Monday, 25 April 2011

Go Fast Eggs!!

Aberfoyle - Yaaassss! Every year when the SXC release their race dates I always get a few butterflies as I sit and pray that Aberfoyle is gonna be there. It was all good for 2011 and a big thanks has to go out to the guys at Squadra Porcini who over came all the barriers set by the forestry to put on another cracking course (I was told that the race was going to go ahead even if it was around a grass field), thankfully it wasn't and the Squadra Porcini guys put on a real MTB race . . . . . . .the future may not be so certain though!

Last week has been cracking weather wise and our often wet and slippy trails have turned into dusty dry ones . . . . . that takes a bit of getting use to ha ha! But Aberfoyle in my eyes is what Scottish mountain biking is all about, rooty, steep and slippy . . . . so sticking with tradition on Saturday morning the heavens opened and the course was transformed - yee ha! Practice is always pretty funny up there as there is normally a stack of bodies somewhere around the course . . . . I pushed my front wheel into what I thought was a moss corner, turns out it was just moss so my wheel went right through and I did a little bit of roley poly action down the hill (reckon I would have beaten any easter egg). After I had finished practicing the sun appeared and it looked like the course was set to dry up alot! Check out the blue sky below as Kerry and I were making some tea!

Sunday arrived and although it was over cast it was still pretty hot . . . you just knew that was going to make heart break hill a little harder :) Luckily enough Andrea was walking about at registration handing out go fast eggs - phew! The race was pretty full on from the start, a massive up hill followed by a big descent that was split into sections - you really had to work hard through out the whole thing. I was pretty chuffed to take the win with Hannah Barnes in 2nd and Rachel Fenton in 3rd - check us out below:
Feeling a bit tired today . . . . nothing an easter egg wont sort out (Kerry bet your gutted you left your egg in my van ha ha!)

Yee ha


Monday, 18 April 2011

Nature starts to reclaim Dalby . . . . . and the course just keeps getting better!

There are always certain courses that you look forward to on the race calender and Dalby is certainly one of those for me. There are defined sections of the course, which I guess helps you compartmentalise the whole thing, and as you set off on your practice lap it doesn't seem that bad . . . . . of course you always get crowds of riders lurking around Worry Gill (the 8ft drop) and Medusa where you line choice can be critical! This year nature has decided that it wants to reclaim Dalby again and the smooth sections thaAdd Imaget once existed are but a distant memory of the past, Dalby has got rugged and its great! So basically you get a full on battering on the descents, there are numerous tricky corners, awkward braking bumps and tricky dips just waiting to grab your front wheel as you begin to tire throughout the race. . . . . and to really finish you off you are then faced by numerous gut busting climbs- oh yeah bring on the race!

Kerry and I headed down on Saturday morning and set up camp (look to the left). Kerry had bought a new shelter for us, but to be honest the instructions were a bit dodgy so I had an idea . . . . . I think it worked pretty well, thankfully it wasn't very windy ha ha! We were lucky with the weather even though it was a tad chilly at night. . . . in the middle of the night when I woke up I thought I had a mummy lying next to me . . . turns out Kerry had just pulled her sleeping back so tight her face wasn't even visible ha ha!

It was a really nice relaxing night as the sunset over the campsite . . . . . . and the moon started to rise over the race village! Race day arrived the sun was out and it looked like it was going to be a cracker.

Check out the photo below of me on the start line (that's my race face by the way- ha ha!), its brilliant to see so many elite females competing at the moment in all the races.

As the race started I got a really good start and was sitting well in the middle of the field for the first lap. It all felt really good, by lap 3 Gabby Day and I were neck and neck and we stayed that way through lap 4 and most of lap 5. I was on the front most of the time doing the work but I felt comfortable there and on the last lap managed to get enough of a gap to get 10th spot. It was a full on tough race out there and it certainly took its toll on my body . . . this morning it felt like Mike Tyson had a few pops at me. . . . . . .

Stunt of the day has to go to Craig Owen who was in front of me on my 4th lap and pulled the biggest endo I have ever seen on a cross country bike off those dodgy little humps after Worry Gill! I still have no idea how he didn't go over the bars! :)

Back to Dalby for the World Cup in May . . . . cant wait!