Monday, 19 July 2010

The adventure begins

It feels like I have been waiting forever for this weekend to eventually arrive. Last year after the British championships when I qualified to compete in the world cups I knew I was going to embrace it. Its all been a bit of a whirlwind this year but I am frigging loving it. I have been planning this trip for more months than I can remember and for the last week or so I have suffered extreme brain fry trying to organise everything, but on friday Kerry and I set off on our little summer adventure - woop woop!

Isn't it funny how easy it is to wake upin the morning when you know the reason you are getting up is not work :) there was no need for the snooze button on friday! I literally bounded out of bed, but part of that was panic because I still had a heap of packing to do- eek. It didn't take long for me to get into a rhythm and before I knew it Bob was my uncle, Mary was my aunt and my bags were packed. That proved to be the easy bit . . . . the difficult bit was trying to fit 3 weeks worth of kit, clothes, bikes, camping stuff, food and most of the contents of my flat into the van, oh yeah not to forget all of Kerry's stuff. By we cracked it, check it out below:

I can find anything in there . . . . or maybe just the coke :)

Chi Chi (the van) also got a makeover for going away, check him out below with his show girl Kerry.

Just after midday we were off, what was left behind was left behind (let's face it judging from the picture above it wasn't much) the adventure starts here!

The first leg of the journey was only down to Birmingham but the journey was a bit of a more to be honest - Friday M6 need I say anymore!

On saturday we got upfairly early and tackled the next 3 hour of the journey,again we got caught up in a bit of traffic on the M25-we are so noy use to that. But we made good time and got down just after lunch, unfortunately there was a bit of hanging about though as course practice didn't open until 4pm. But eventually we got there and I was pleasantly surprised 30 minutes south of gatwick there was a hidden gem of mountain biking hidden in East Sussex at Pippingford estate. The course had some really tough climbs but to counter that it had really fast sweeping descents, if they didn't make you smile you are so in the wrong sport! So I left practice on a high, good course now all I required was a good night of rest to prepare.

My race wasn't until 2.30pm on sunday which was really weird, it totally throws you when you are use to racing at 10am, there is a whole other meal invovled - yikes! The temperature was starting to rise and the nice organisers put our race up to 5 laps, there was no way around this is was going to be a slog out there!

As with most races you get to about 2 hours before the event and then the time flys in! So there I was stood on the start line in blistering heat for the 2010 British Champs. We were off . . . the start was a horrible drag up a lumpy bumpy field, my legs were screaming at me on the way up but I knew I just had to get to the top as there was a descent to follow. I was lying in 6th and stayed there for the first lap. On the 2nd lap there was a bit of a confusion at the feed zone and I missed my 2nd bottle - nightmare in the heat but I just had to get on with it . . . . I had now moved into 5th and was closing on 4th. As I approached the 3rd lap I could see 4th place just up ahead, I worked hard and attacked coming out of the feed zone and thats where I finished up. I'm stoked, a few errors in there but it is all starting to come together.

Yee ha


Monday, 5 July 2010

Dam good at Dalby!

The season seems to really be rolling in fast now especially since it was time to return to Dalby for the 4th round of the British XC. I'm starting to get to know the course at Dalby pretty well so I wasn't really expecting any differences for the race. Sadly this year Dixon's hollow was taken out at the end, it's a small 4x stylee track that is just so much more fun and feels like a little reward at the end of each lap so I guess I was pretty sad to see it go. Apart from that the course was pretty much the same old, with a few added braking bumps. There had been a few heavy down pours in the days leading up to the race so some of the berms were slippy as, actually I just fell down the first one - doh! The rain had passed by the friday however as the temperature was starting to rise so I wasn't too concerned.

Saturday morning was another scorcher . . . . . it's not good for us Scotties that are only use to an average of about 14 degrees (well maybe it has been a little higher this year). To the race . . . . . I actually got a really good start leading the field out and being able to dictate the pace at the first 180 degree corner, before the first technical section Rossara Joseph nipped in front of me so I followed her wheel down that. Later Mel spath came past and on the next section of the track my chain came off - doh and fell all the way back behind my cogs. I had to get off during which time the whole field passed me - nooooooooooooooooooooo! Once fixed I was back on track and fought my way back to 7th where I eventually finished. All in all it was a great race, really tough but that's the way it should be. Can't wait til the next one