Wednesday, 31 December 2008

I've had a bit of a duff year to be honest and I'm not that sorry to see the back of it, but what a fantastic last day it turned out to be. A singlespeed ride with Trio that had us above the freezing fog in sunshiney, blue skies. We took our time, pootling along, stopping to admire the view, plenty of giggling as we skidded about on ice patches. Cake and hot drinks in the cafe at the end. A day that really reminded me why I like to ride a bike, just what I needed.

I don't really do New Years resolutions, being of the sort of disposition to instantly break them, but I have agreed to take part in a 2009 Century a Month Challenge that Trio has got a few riders roped into, hopefully will help keep reminding me why I like to ride. 


Sunday, 28 December 2008


Or just busy...
Mull. A thoroughly enjoyable muddle of friends, fun, laughter, beauty, cakes, cocoa, bikes, trains, boats, skies, mud, pain, racing, beer and potato based foodstuffs, all in complete and exhausting excess...
...including the mileage. Fine, so the bulk of the travel was done by train but still - 1340 miles is a long way to travel for two hours of riding. Or 90 minutes of riding and 30 minutes gentle jogging with a broken bike on your shoulder. Must do more stuff at home next year. And also go to these nice places not for racing. And maybe ride to Mull :-)
not to scale
Christmas. Often hard work, this year no exception. Keeping myself sane with plenty of quiet road rides. If I'd been able to bring myself to ride a road bike when I was growing up here I think life might have panned out somewhat differently. The mountain biking is a dull, clay-slathered bogfest for ten months of the year but the roads are as good as anything I've ridden anywhere.
And what good is Christmas without cats to tear the tree to shreds? Sadly not mine but I will get to see them often. Ahhh.

Next: packing boxes, moving house, doing some work, putting down roots, shaking off colds, buying new helmets to replace the ones I keep smashing. Hmmm.


Wednesday, 10 December 2008


off to mull for a weekend of cross racing debauchery. could go either way...


don't see that christmasy one very often :o)


Tuesday, 2 December 2008

top ten winter survival tips

one - rice pudding. hot homemade with jam for supper, cold from the tin for hasty pre-ride breakfast, as a chaser to lunchtime's cheese on toast. yum.

two - bright rear lights. more than one. flashing is good but flashing and static is better.

three - fit mudguards. the washing machine (and the rider behind) will love you for it.

four - winter boots a size too big, thin wool socks and chemical toe warmers. icy feet begone.

five - ipod. good music makes the tedium that much more bearable. plus having something in your ears stops them aching with cold. mind the cars.

six - did i say fit mudguards?

seven - wool. not because it's snuggly and warm (which it is), or because it's super comfy (which it also is), but because it will save you having to run said washing machine every day for four months.

eight - pockets full of food, no matter how short the ride. sometimes you will need to bribe yourself to go more than a mile from the front door and at these times only chocolate will do.

nine - really. fit mudguards.

ten - if all else fails, run. who can resist an excuse to buy new shoes?


er, me.


Monday, 1 December 2008



november nearly over (late night posting!). not sorry to see the back of it, full as usual as it has been with it.

chewing grit as autumn colour morphs into flat white and all the bad times swing by just to say hello again. cleaning grit out of the bikes, the bath, the house and the clothes in an endless cycle of laundry, hoovering and scrubbing. picking grit out of my eyes at the end of every day. drowning out the soul-crushing sound of the bikes eroding into piles of gently squeaking scrap with it.

am i the only person on the planet who can't wait for january?