Thursday, 21 May 2009

Baggies to the death!!!!

Peebles cycling club held their first open time trial of the year so I decided it was time to bite the bullet, leave the mountain bike in the shed (boo hoo) and entered the world of the road monsters/time trialist's . . . . . . scary!!!
It was all a bit of a mad rush to get down the road, get changed, pick up Gary . . . . . . sorry change into the Goonie mobile so we would arrive in style ha ha! I had no water, no bottle . . . forgot my purse mmmm it wasn't looking too good :) When we eventually arrived at the sign on we got a few special looks as we spilled out of the van in our MTB baggies, we didn't really fit in with the whole aero theme that was going on that was for sure :) Don't think matters were helped when Gary asked if it was ok to use elbows ha ha!
The course was an out and back and although I have cycled that road loads I didn't really understand where turning point was, I'm a bit rubbish like that so just nodded my head and pretended I knew! Karl (bike patrol) was at the half way mark . . . however we were told that we had to cycle round him . . bit difficult when he was standing in the gutter :) It was pretty tough that's for sure10 miles of pain . . . I think I almost coughed up a lung when I finished :) Finished in 28:58 and I'm happy to take that for my first go. Gary Forrest pulled off an impressive 27.12, with Dick Hamilton getting 29.36 . . . he was wearing flatties and five 10's!!!!!! Jake Law schooled us all finishing in 26.38 and last but by no means least Hannah Ferguson finished in 32.52!
Really enjoyed the event . . . . . maybe one day I will venture to the dark side once more!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Lots of laps at Laggan

Friday was abysmal, winter appeared to have returned and the weather wasn't looking too hot for the race at the weekend! I headed home to Fife on Friday to get some TLC from the family Ingram before heading up North on Saturday. I arrived up at Laggan just after midday and headed around the course for a pre race reckie! One thing is for sure at Laggan . . . . . you know it's going to be a fast race! The course was similar to the one I had raced a few years back apart from a natural section that had been added to the climb and a smoothing out of the descent . . . . . mmm slightly disappointing!

Out of no where the sun was shinning on sunday which was ace! The Elite/Expert females had one of the biggest fields that I have seen in Scotland which is such a great thing to see! The start was mental (but it always is) as everyone tried to battle for a position before entering the singletrack descent! On the first descent their were riders and bikes sprawled all over the track, it was quite a sight! Lee Craigie was as dominant as ever and took an impressive win, followed by Anne Edwing and myself in third - yaaaaaaaaaaaoooooooo!

To the Team . . . . . Lucy Grant continued her good form finishing in second spot in a very tight race. Hannah Ferguson had a day of misfortune, after suffering 2 punctures resulting in her having to push her bike round most of the course she later found out she had been disqualified because her dad helped her realign a wheel that wasn't working right . . . . maybe I'm being cynical but the fact that she was the only one in her category (Youth Female) and she pushed her bike so far not giving up should we not be praising that . . . . . . .some people and power just don't mix! Rant over :) Lewis Kirkwood and Sam Waterston finished 4th and 10th respectively in the youth males! Jake Law finishing in 5th in the masters race. Last one Graeme Short finished in 10th in the vets! Yee ha well done guys.

After the race everything got launched in the van and once again Kerry, Chi Chi and I hit the road . . . . . destination Fort Bill to catch the tail end of the downhill. G was over all weekend collecting some data from the boys (Gary & Graeme) during their race! It also gave me a chance to catch up with the downhiller's in the team, with Neil being very quick to point out it was old man 1, whipper snapper Alex nil . . . . . his words not mine ha ha! Good Craic at the Bill!

It turned into a bit of an epic day and I had a slight boob that made it even longer by failing to turn off for Edinburgh on the M9 - doh and promptly headed for Glasgow! That is such a pain in the bum I tell you . . . you have to drive for miles to get back on track! AAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGG! One day I'm going to drive to and from a race and not get lost, miss a junction, hit a animal and so on and so on . . . . . . one day!

2 weeks til 10 under . . . . . yikes what have I done :)


Monday, 11 May 2009

Dalby got it so right . . . . but sadly I got it so wrong!

Last week was just one of those weeks, every hill I encountered was just a little tougher than usual, parked automobiles were playing tricks on me, the wind was always against me (why does that always happen when your tired), my eating was crap and it just generally felt like something was missing/not quite right . . . . . . but could I put my finger on it?? Its always a tough one, I tried not to worry about and instead be positive, relating it to the reduced volume of training and hoping my body was just being a little lethargic in preparation of what lay ahead at the weekend, I was pretty sure it would all return to normal . . . but that didn't really happen! Time for a bit of re-evaluation I think and possibly a little less chocolate this week :)

It took a little longer than I expected to travel down to Dalby, mainly due to the fact once you leave the motorway you have to follow tight, twisty little roads through a number of very busy and slow moving villages. Even when the roads opened up into the country there were so many 40mph drivers cutting about whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy???? :( The journey also had a bit of a yukky twist when a pheasant decided it would be a good idea to jump out in front of the van, I thought we had missed it but it did that whole start to fly then sink 2 feet thing that they do . . . . . and oh dear no more Mr pheasant! Chi chi (my van) kind of got splatted with all this horrible yellow stuff . . . seriously what is that? And clear jelly looking stuff . . . yuk! So we had to take a detour to find a car wash! Put me off my food for a good 5 minutes that did!

This was my first trip to the Yorkshire dales and I was not disappointed. They have hills and some of the gradients you had to drive up to get to the race venue were well exciting (I know it's sad when you get excited about hills). The work that has been put in at Dalby is fantastic, it's a real mountain bike course that's for sure! It's hard packed surface makes the course roll fast but you have to be careful of the speed at some sections as it's fairly lumpy and bumpy and I got a little too close to a few trees at some points. Then there is the drop . . . a whole 6 feet that provided enough comedy on the day that will see many fans returning to watch mountain bike racing forever! On practice day it was face plant central and those that escaped luckily did a massive endo that was so out of control it made you feel a little sick! The mass of 30 or so riders gathering around it on the practice lap lead me not to have a shot, thought I would just save that for race day . . . . makes it more interesting ha ha! The climbs were brutal, the granny gear was out and you had to work so hard just to keep the front end on the floor at some sections. I really hope that Dalby is successful with the bid to be a venue for XC racing in the World Cup, I think it would be really sad if the UK did not have an XC round!

For loving the course so much I was a bit disappointed when things just didn't go my way on race day, think I forgot to pack my climbing legs (you always forget something right!). I loved the descents and was riding so smooth through them, even the drop I nailed it. Don't get me wrong it was fun but more of the p.a.i.n kind of fun! I finished in 11Th spot. Katherine O'shea (Torq Australia) took the win in the Elite females. Hannah Ferguson continued her impressive form finishing in third spot and Lewis Kirkwood in 6th - well done guys!

Accommodation for the weekend was the pent house suite at August Guest house near Rosedale! Mary and Michael certainly give a warm welcome. Michael likes to think he is a bit of joker however his jokes about the Scots were a bit poor ha ha! Maybe he will have some better ones for the next time we visit :) Racing brings alot of travelling and that can sometimes be a difficult thing, but when you find a bed and breakfast like what Mary and Michael run it makes it all worth while. The food is also amazing in the morning its just a pity I have to limit myself so much on a race day - Mary did try her best to force feed me mind! Thanks for making me want to come back and spend more time in Yorkshire! Check them out at and be sure to pay them a visit if you are down that way!

Onwards and upwards for Laggan