Diary of a Mountain Biker
Monday, 24 September 2007
Glad that’s all over!
Final round of the BMBS at Coed-y-Brenin and the race season is (almost) over, hurray! And what an eventful weekend it was. Four unknown sport riders turned up on the start line and soon disappeared up the hill. Knowing my training hadn’t been ideal and my series standing unchangeable I just wanted to finish. Minutes later I came across Fran, a fellow Climb On bikes rider, in need of an inner tube adaptor. I stopped to see if I could help but to no avail and was now dead last.
I caught up and passed the next two sport riders only to come across a guy who had rammed his face into the stoney singletrack! Again, I stopped to help. His position of ‘face planted firmly into rocks spilling blood, bike on top of him, still clipped in’ didn’t look very comfortably and his weak flailing and groaning told me I could helpfully remove his bike from his feet without causing further injury. After establishing he couldn’t remember his name, Ruth and Rachel caught me up and I told them to ride on to the next marshall. The junior Team Chance rider who’d also stopped then said she’d punctured so I may as well continue with my race. I did so. Only to find Ruth a little further down the singeltrack with a puncture. This scenario became very common as I completed the lap.
The next singletrack and more unhelpful bodies had decided to throw themselves in my path. One more good samaritan session helping to straighten handlebars and a brake lever and I set off once more! Any chance of podium had now gone so I decided just to enjoy myself and was whooping and jumping down the rocks once more, casually rolling down the 4x track with a view to putting all my effort into the second lap, just for fun really.
With all the breaks I’d had on the first lap, the second lap flew by and was most enjoyable, finishing 5th only a minute or so back from 4th. Being my worst position of the year, this round was dropped from the overall series and I happily collected my Series 2nd trophy. Woohoo! Not bad for a year where every spare minute has been spent with a paint brush in my hand, rather than riding a bike.
Labels: mountain bike, race, wales
Wednesday, 19 September 2007
Back to school…
First day back at work today and even though it’s been many a year since I experienced the big summer holiday, it still has that feel about it – the fun is over, normal life resumes, packed lunch is made, bag packed, there’s that slight chill in the air that tells you autumn is on the way and the nights are drawing in. Every good holiday comes to an end I suppose.
At least I’m away again this weekend for the final round of the NPS at Coed-y-Brenin. Not that I’m looking forward to it. Two weeks of alcohol consumption that would make my doctor cringe even if I halved the daily amount and then knocked a few units off for good measure, never ending amounts of fried food and grilled cheese, and umpteen 4am finishes, have not surprisingly taken their toll and my body is showing the signs of giving in to a cold of some sort. That was blindingly obvious. Still, I shall persevere, then take a few weeks to chill out, rejuvenate and replenish my bank account by actually doing some work. Ho hum…
Monday, 17 September 2007
The Long Way Home…
Well, my epic two week trip around Scotland, and believe me, it has been around Scotland more than once, has finally come to an end. The Raasay Rumble on the Isle of Raasay, just off Skye was a bit of a wash out. The rain started on Friday evening, and I can’t remember it stopping! It went from drizzle to torrential to biblical and back again continuously throughout the weekend – throw in a howling gale, some nippy temperatures and you’ve got yourself one fairly miserable setting. Shame, because there’s some amazing trails on that island. There’ll be a full story once I get home.
Right, best hit the road, I’m in unknown territory in my road atlas (i.e. a brand new unused page), and it’s a hell of a long way home…
Labels: mountain bike, race, Scotland
Thursday, 6 September 2007
SSWC 07 – leaving town
So the World Champs are over for another year (the real world champs, not that rubbish that’s going on in Fort William this weekend). Beer, riding, friends, derbys, crashes, dancing, beer, mickey taking, heckling and endless story telling, perfect. Sat in Cafe Mambo in Aviemore, drinking great coffee with C.G. an American friend I only see once or twice a year, and Ricky/Chris, the random Canadian guy we picked up last night and has decided to hang out with us for a while. We’re on first name terms with the baristas and practically have seats with our names on. We have no plans, just a big van full of bikes and stuff. This is what singlespeeding is all about.
Browsing the interent to find all the photos, posts, threads and things being said about the event is proving interesting. The photos tell the best stories, everything else seems a little distorted. It always fascinates me the amount of comments that are made by people that weren’t even here! It was legendary, you missed it, get over it.
Adam Craig and Kellie Emmett won with true style, the course was amazing, not that I rode it, there was some world class heckling, lots of beer and I think Billy Spaceman won the ass slapping contest. We went for a walk, skimmed stones in the loch, drank coffee, ate cake and ice cream and laughed, lots! (I think we may have ridden our bikes at some point too, but that was only to get to the cake shop.)
Another plate of nachos and we’ll be off to Pitlochry, making sure we stop by the Cairngorm brewery to stock up. We’re passing (meaning, dropping by) some distilleries on the way too. I think this mornings vows to not drink any more this week aren’t going to last very long, another few minutes maybe…
If you want to see any photos Garrison’s, aka Baby Bear, are on flickr. And yes, the in-jokes are going to continue for many years to come. And no, it’s unlikely you’ll ever get most of them…
Labels: mountain bike, Scotland, singlespeed, SSWC 07