Saturday, 17 October 2009
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Enviado desde mi dispositivo inalámbrico BlackBerry®
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
It has been a busy fews weeks with me doing a fair bit of travelling. I was on for a really good one in a '25' in wales until a puncture at half way put an end to it.
The season is starting to wind down now, with just a 2-up 25, a hillclimb, and..oh yeah..the national pursuit champs left.
I want to do well in these last few races, but next year's pursuit is where it's at..this year is just to learn. Still, i'll make sure i have my mulebar before anyway ;-)
Nice one Marts, love the random articles in the front of the bus!
Please note: there are no mountain bikes or skateboards in this.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Thetford MTB held the 9th Edition of their 12 hour endurance event which has typically been known as the end of season finale. The event is run from 8 pm on Sat. through to 8 am on the Sun. over 10 hours of night riding. This year the vent boasted it largest ever field with over 600 teams and 1049 riders, in the solo category there was 156 entries alone
I arrived at Mayday Meadow to set up the stable for the weekend, once unpacked and set up I prepared the bike and got ready to tackle the course the thetford team had lined up for us. Having ridden at thetford many times I was expecting a fast flat flowing course, with lots of wicked single track winding through trees and as usual they delivered. The course was 11 miles long and was very dry and dusty.
At 7.35 pm I made my way over to the start line with my old man (chief pit crew), to my amazement the start already had riders lining up and by the time I got there I was on row 7. It was a rolling start behind a quad bike to spread the large field out using an additional 2.2 Km start loop, this was probably the most manic part of the race with riders pushing, braking and cutting each other up ready for the mass acceleration as we crossed the start/finish line. We crossed the line and the race was on, I got into the top 20 after the first lap and just concentrated on racing the course. It was important to be up at the front because of the large amount of single track making it difficult to pass, you could quite easily loose huge amounts of time before you have even started.
After only my first lap I had to pull into the pits, I was already struggling with my back and so got the Ibuprofen out and got back on it. Thetford is renown for being a back breaker due to the course being flat and having several whoop sections which means a lot of pedalling out of the saddle. At the 4 hour mark I made my first stop to take on some hot food and get a position update, by this time it really was cold and the wind made it feel a lot colder but I was in 5th so set off. I knew I had to stop at 2:00 am again to change my lights and as usual my Dad was there waiting, he took the bike did the light change and I took on some more food. I was told that I was yo-yoing between 4th and 5th,, but the race continued to go well and at about 8 hours in I was told I had moved clear of 5th and so pushed on. Towards the end I picked up a slight blur in one eye but this progressively got worse, when dawn broke I was expecting to rip it up but did the opposite and was slowing down loads. My last lap was terrible, I could barely see but being told I was in 3rd gave me a huge boost to push on and finish. After finishing I made my way back to my wife and Dad the pit crew to my now traditional bacon butty, I took a few minutes to reflect on another good ride although not quite perfect. Thanks once again to Mule Bar for fuelling this 12 hour adventure.
Monday, 12 October 2009
Loads of Belgians turned up to the 2nd round of the National Trophy yesterday! I was gridded near the back as usual but got away to a great start, exiting the pit area in about 30th place. It had been steadily drizzling all morning and despite the sun coming out for the Elite race, the course remained treacherously slippery (I have decided to invest in some Dugast Rhino's). The exit from the pits transitioned from grass to tarmac whilst turned sharp left up a climb. As I went to put the power down, my rear wheel spun out and overtook the front, unceremoniously dumping the bike on the ground. I lost 8 places right there.
I chased back on and caught the group that now contained my sparring partner Andy Waterman. As I committed to remounting my bike following the hurdle, Andy came up my outside and I kicked his bike full force which knocked me backwards off mine. Again, I lost the group and again I chased back on. By now it was clear that I was covering ground quicker than this group and I worked my way to the front to share the load. Along a muddy off-camber section my bike seemingly disappeared from under me and Andy came past me. On the following climb the door shut on me and I got pushed into one of the marker poles, forcing me to stall. For a third time I lost the group and was forced to chase back on, only this time I never quite mustered the legs to get back on. I rode for lap after lap on my own but the elastic finally snapped and the leader caught me on the bell lap.
A frustrating day but that's racing and there is much to be learnt from riding these events. The Cycle Show is out of the way now, allowing me to focus more clearly on training. This coming weekend sees an entry into the London Dynamo Hillclimb and then another London League on Sunday.