Monday, 27 April 2009

Throw away the slicks, get some studs on and prepare for Aberfoyle!!!

The SXC series made a very welcome return to a golden oldie this weekend returning to Aberfoyle. This was my first race at Aberfoyle and if all the pre-race hype was anything to go by it was going to be a goodie . . . . . Yaaaaaaa! The course was tough from the onset steep technical climbs with steeper more technical descents . . . it was a dream come true. Hat's off to the course designers at Squadra Porcini ( you guys know how to put together a MTB course that's for sure! During practice on Saturday the course was stowed out, the craic was good as loads of folk were falling off and screaming as they rode the descents . . . I even did a swan dive a one point (I reckon is scored a 9 and a half!), best to find your limits on practice day . . . . . ha ha!

To the race . . . . . it was a flying start like usual with Hannah Ferguson (fellow Glentress Rider and Youth Female) taking the lead . . . . . . man they are like whippets :) It wasn't too long until Lee Cragie (Square Wheels) took over the lead and did her usual pace setting. As Lap one passed I managed to get on Lee's tail, both being closely stalked by Hannah. Lee continued to dominate the race in front of me for the remaining 3 laps although I kept getting painfully close to her at the bottom of the last descent only for her to scoot off again on the climbs! Lee took the win but I was so chuffed to finish so close behind her . . . looks like that hard winter training is starting to show!
Hannah continued to look impressive for the remainder of the race and took the win over Katy Winton. Lucy Grant continued to dominate in Juvenile field. In the Youth men Lewis Kirkwood finished in 6th and Sam Waterson in 9th . . . good work guys! Last but by no means least Jake Law finished 3rd getting his first podium . . . yee ha looks like the whole team were enjoying the tough technical race!

Accommodation for the weekend was the Braeval Old Mill Bed & Breakfast. Those guys were brilliant, very warm and welcoming and biker friendly too! They even locked our bikes away in the garage over night so they would be nice and safe! Breakfast was great and those guys certainly know how to make fresh bread that's for sure! If you are ever up that way go and give these guys a visit. Check them out at :

Thanks to Kerry for standing in a rather miserable feed zone for a few hours, The G-man for getting me in shape to do the damage that I did, Emma and Tracy for those shout outs around the course, and all the marshals / organisers and supporters!

The sheer toughness of the course has left me feeling a bit wrecked today that's for sure . . . . but that's what a proper course should do isn't it?

Time for a bit of feet up :)

Yee ha


Monday, 6 April 2009

Slicks were in order at Sherwood.

It was an early start on Saturday morning to head south for the start of the British XC series. Things were going well, the van was all packed up nice and early, the tunes were on and Kerry and I were on the road . . . yippee! I forgot one important factor though . . . . . . Kerry is no TOM TOM and she takes shortcuts like my Dad, on average adding 15+ miles to your journey grrrrrr! (could be worse I suppose the last time we were heading for London).

Sherwood pines played host to the first round, the course was certainly different to what I am use to that's for sure! Really flat and fast, I did have to giggle when I saw that the roots and tree stumps were painted white just in case your eyes failed you and you couldn't see them :) If they plan to paint the roots at Inners someone better start the job now because it will take them a while he he! After the practice lap I changed to slick tyres as there was really no need for anything else! To keep my sanity during the lap I created 3 jumps that gave me a little something to smile at each lap. To be honest I though I was going to hate it out there from start to finish but I didn't, it was just a different kind of challenge. It was a case of putting the bike into a big gear and pedalling until your legs would no longer go round! Where a course like that sits in terms of mountain biking I'm not sure, but maybe we are just spoilt for choice up in Scotland!

So I finished in 15th spot which I am well chuffed with. Last year at this time the big guns were taking a lot more out of me during a race so it feels good to see something coming back after a gruelling winter! Hopefully its a sign of better things to come!

Hannah Ferguson was on form finishing an awesome 5th with Katy Winton finishing in 7th spot. Lewis Kirkwood was also flying round the course at a great pace finishing 11th overall, well done guys!

Its good to be home and in the hills again!