Its been a year.. a whole 365 day period of not blogging or documenting or doing anything particularly creative that i feel proud of. This last month has seen my life move in a whole new direction and though the ground beneath my feet feels slightly uneven now, a change needed to be made. Its scary jumping out of the boat… that initial rush of adrenaline you get knowing you’ve made a difference in your daily routine to the feelings of anxiety about whether it’s the right thing to of done, if you can swim to safety. I’m hoping by taking this plunge into unchartered waters that i’ll start to find new opportunities, new motivation and most importantly inspiration.
Well i left the house wearing two layer of howies merino today… rib vest and a long sleeve base layer! Yikes when did summer stop and the autumnal winterness begin to creep in? I can feel it creep in down my back and the wind wiping at my hands, making them feel like i’ve been holding a ice cube for 5 minutes.
Its been a great summer this year and im not just talking about the sunshine turning grim into great, no im on about my first committed season to racing DH. I decided at the end of last winter to retire my 10 ton ancient Commi Mini DH bike and replace him with a younger and more capable machine.. a Trek Session 8. Well what can i say this bike rocks.. its just so bloody fast. I remember using it for the first time at the Fod race in Feb, i nearly has a bowel malfunction, i couldn’t get over how much it just sucks up the bumps and compressions and flew over everything. Totally new experience but lucky not to alien that it had me running scared. You might read this thinking, what she on with but im from a background of 80 mm xc forks and knobbly road tyre (cyclo-X). Though my Commi was burly and capable of gunning it downhill… it really doesn’t have a patch on Shrek the Trek.
So with a new bike to show off and whole load of new skills to be learnt i entered my first BDS at Antur Stinlog up in North Wales. This venue was a great place to get the DH ball rolling, the course offered up some flat out sections, technical rock obstacles and a end run of doubles. I found it a little daunting to begin and felt conscious of holding other riders up in practice, but after a couple of runs down i decided that if i keep thinking like that i’ll never get anywhere. I did have Danny Hart come flying past me in the air on one of the final doubles.. that was pretty impressive.
Race day came round quick and before i knew it i was getting ready for my seeding run… looking back now at a couple of the photo my face did look pretty grey.. I have always suffered quite badly with nerves, bloomin wreck. I wasn’t that bad but i think it was just the anticipation of racing in a national level race. Mixture of excitement and the unknown. My seeding run went well, had a cleanish run, didn’t managed to clear any of the jumps at the lower section which was annoying but thats just something that will come over time and practice.
BDS round 1 Antur Stinlog
After trying to eat a small cereal bar and banana i was soon jumping onto the uplift wagon and setting off for the start of my race run. I always tend to feel a bit better for doing a run, kinda makes me see how i cope at race speeds and also highlights the areas where i can give it more beans. So now that the nerves had settled slightly.. I waited up at the start gates. Before long it was my time to go, so with the timing machine ticking down i got focused – 30 seconds— 15— 10– beep beep beeeeeep… and i’m off, BOOM. I’m pedaling as much as i dare myself to. Trying to be conscious of not clipping my pedals on any of the rocks sticking out of the ground and also flowing the corners without losing to much speed. I then approach the middle rock section.. this was a little tricky due to the slippery slabs of slate and also the holes that had begun to appear due to all us riders shredding the course. I managed to get through here near enough clean but did catch my right leg on a sharp rock, race memento! From here i just pedaled and pumped as much as i could whilst my heart did flips and my brain kept repeating ‘just get me to the bottom’.. ‘i really want to finish’… and i did! I flew into the finish and managed to win my first ever BDS race in the Senior Women’s category. Amazing experience and left me wanting to approved so the next time i can do those jumps at the bottom and hopefully go even faster! Woohooooo
First BDS race
Nervous but excited
Oh i do luves a bit of Downhill biking!! More race reports to follows
I watched this short documentary on Friday at work and i found it brought a small tear to my eye. It’s an brief insight into random strangers lives and reasons to why they get up and go running in the park. It isn’t just about how sport and exercise keeps you fit and healthy, it is more importantly a tool for dealing with every day life. A very heartfelt film.
Guess i can associate with this because though i like the health and social benefits of cycling/ surfing etc, these aren’t the main reasons why i participate in these activities. I definitely find it a good way of dealing with life’s obstacles, doubts and worries, it also provides a solution to balancing these things out in only a way that i can understand.
Take a look…
If i don’t make the effort to write up my Highway to Hayle adventure then I’m a mug, and i think i owe it to myself to do this, because it was an amazing experience that i can look back on and think… yeah i did that off my own back!
So here’s a couple of pics as a teaser, and over the next week i shall endeavor to write up the first part of my trip… it’s gonna be a two parter, i’ll have you on the edge of your seats begging for more!!
In every single photo taken by Dan Barham! He’s work is unbelievable, not just because of his amazing camera skills but also because of the stunning places he gets to go to! His photo’s are a mountain bikers dream.
Below are a couple of teasers… to find more of this goodness check his website out and let you mind wonder…….
I relunctly left the house this afternoon to cycle to Tesco’s to get much needed food supplies such as milk, washing powder and muffins!
It was blowing a gail but the sun was out so i wasn’t about to waste the day stuck inside.
Leaving my house i cycled up the big hill that always makes my legs burn and heart quiver with the added exersion. I then turned right onto the country lanes and pedalled along no handed singing to Two Door Cinema club that was blaring out of my head phones. With the crisp blue sky above me and fields of sheep look aimously into nothing to the side, i felt really content.
I then left the lanes and was back onto a main road. With a gusty tail wind i hung on tight and rode along at a rapid pace. The final decent towards Tesco’s is a long one, so is always fun to get into the tuck position!
Locking my bike up, i swiftly made my way round the supermarket trying to dodge screaming kids and random people in oil stained jogging trousers! Not a strong look. Luckly i had pre-made a list, so it was a straight forward operation that i managed in just over 5 minutes.
Back on the trusty cross bike i then rode through town and then onto the slog of a 2 mile climb that takes me back to my house. A combination of wearing far too many layers and feeling like my lungs had collapsed, made me want to get off and push, but somehow i managed to keep the pedals turning and conquer that bastard climb. It never gets easier, though not particularly steep it’s just one of those dragging hills.
Once back at home, i got the kettle on, put Blue Crush 2 in the vd player and treated myself to a choccy chip muffin. All in all an ace way to round of my superb Sunday jaunt!