Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Tour of the 'gorms

The washing machine is groaning away under the weight of four days dirty riding kit as I am just back from riding a tour of the Cairngorms with 5 friends. Expertly led and fed by Phil of Scottish Mountain Bike Guides. This is easily the best riding I have ever done, proper mountains to make you feel like a tiny rider in a big country. Simply stunning, with breath-taking views round every corner. With 120 miles in four days my legs have been nicely worked and scratched at by the heather, my nerves tested by singletrack with steep drop offs to lochs below, my feet dipped in icy rivers (some ridden through, some waded) and my face blasted by wind, rain and sun. 

I don't think words can do justice to the adventure, I'm not sure photos do either but there are some more here and here.


Tuesday, 14 April 2009

all in the numbers

easter sunday

the plan: to route test July's happy hundred.

the ride: lovely. wall to wall sunshine, lambs and daffodils. first swifts of summer. rollercoaster road. bolton abbey easter bunny. dougie lampkin's dad. cadbury's creme eggs. peckett well (aka the only smooth road in west yorkshire) both ways. fishnchips. sun tan.

the numbers: 88 miles of riding. 11,364 feet of ascent.

hmm. some revision may be in order... :-$


Thursday, 9 April 2009

0.4 seconds

That's not even the blink of an eye but it's what I lost my podium place by at the weekend! (Actually it was the weekend before but I've been a bit slack with posting...)

The thing is, despite the time, I'm five races into the season and it's still all about the same things; Good friends, good riding and good times, and of course, good weather helps too!

Enjoy the long weekend!

SJ. x

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

about turn

Last blog: 28th December
Last flickr post: 3rd January
Last day off: not entirely sure...

Busy busy.

Racing for fun this year whilst work and health take precedence. Lacking the usual markers of training months, rest weeks, M25 days and two-hour tests that always seemed too brief to tell any honest truths. Not missing them, though. 'Just riding' reveals that I've somehow kept enough base to climb as fast as I want to despite a winter of laziness, and that the drive to ride bigger, harder and faster still exists, despite numbing myself with volume over the past few years. Trails that make mind work as hard as legs, arms and back strong once more, shins bruised and scabby, knees shiver and quake. It's a progression of sorts but also a regression, because this is how it used to be: out in the sun with friends in tow, encouraged and pushed beyond previous limits, bravery and laughter, germolene and plasters.

Turning out to be a good year.