Sunday, 31 October 2010

A weekend in London town

Down in London this weekend for the NFL game at Wembley. Ali is a huge fan so has spent the week trying to educate me again...i've forgotten everything since 2008 when I last came down with her. So far we've had burgers, beer and a go at the watt bike challenge. Ali went into the lead on that, I want her speed!

Yesterday we went on a treasure hunt that started at liverpool street station. It was hard, with all sorts of difficult questions to answer but fantastic fun. It was organised by ali's cousin and I would definetly do another one. An afternoon in the pub and I then had a tipsy Ali to get back to her sister's.

So all that is left is to hope for a good game, we have good seats and my personal commentor will help me follow the game.
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Thursday, 28 October 2010

Racing in 2010

Well what a fantastic summer of racing, odd as it wasn't meant to happen at all. Due to not having any money and not getting enough freelance work the plan was only to do the Kielder100 and then solo24 thanks to Ollie gifting me his entry. Then just before solo24 I got a full-time job for the summer. It meant that at 24solo it was always in the back of my mind that I had to work on the monday, although my main problem was the heat at that race. Still I felt like I had a reasonable race and apart from one two hour stop I rode the race.

After that I got thinking about doing another 24hour solo, I wanted to see if I could push myself harder. So I booked some time off work and entered SITS. In between I rode the Gisburn 12 hour as training, I felt good at the race and despite being the only female pushed myself to finished 11th soloist. After this I was looking forward to SITS. SITS was hard and without my sister and Ali I wouldn't have finished. The lack of long rides was telling but even when I thought no one could be riding slower I kept going. I finished on 20 laps, so 160miles and the top step of the podium. I was very glad of the time off work afterwards.

Then it was time for Kielder which was orginally going to be the last race of the year, but I had now entered both Relentless and Dusk til Dawn. My aim was to ride faster than 2009 and that I managed. I also realised how much faster I needed to be to get near the podium. Ali was meant to ride this race as well but injury put paid to that so we'll both be there in 2011, I am going to try it geared this time.

Onto Dusk til Dawn in a mixed pair with Rob Lee, slightly worried that I was just not fast enough. But the conditions meant that noone was fast. 2nd in the end well beaten by a team from finland, I do want to go back and try the event in the dry, I imagine it would be super fast.

Relentless was the last race and Chris and I wanted to win. It wasn't going to be easy though, mixed pairs is a hard category and our plan was to ride equal time. It was close the whole time with us spending most of the race in 2nd. But in the end we won by ten minutes. Probably the hardest I have rode my bike. So rewarding to feel that shattered though.

I also managed a brownbacks race and a cross race, there may be one or two more but I'm not feeling it for cross this year.

So what of next year. Well keilder100 and 24solo are definitely on the calendar. I'm hoping to be at Mayhem with a mixed team - I am yet to have a fantastic race there - and I also want to do most of the brownbacks races this year. I also fancy SITS again, D2D and the Gisburn race but depends on real life.

In other words I am job hunting, from sunday I have no job. Unsure what I actually want to do and how to persuade someone to give me a job. But need to look, as no job, means no money, means no racing.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Pignuts CX

Otherwise known as velocake northern meet

Sunday was a lovely day so Ali and I decided to ride over to the cross race in Northwich. There was going to a lot of cake there, or so I promised Ali so she would ride with me.

30miles later and it was time to race, I didn't feel like it at all but once there it seemed silly not to enter.
Apparently its not normal to smile and chat your way round a cross race?
Mikey was velocakes star rider, finishing well up the field after running most of the last lap - some excuse about snapping a rear derailleur.
After that the happy lot had a pub dinner and no cake was consumed! Beer was though!

Turns out I was third female, had a phone call asking for an adress to send the cheque too. Maybe next time I should try running up the odd hill?

chocolate and cake

Met up with Velocakers Mikey and Katie before they headed back down south. There was lots of lovely cake although Mikey made a shocking shocking I can't mention it. It was a nice couple of hours out of my working day and if they didn't live so far away something I would like to do more often.
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Friday, 22 October 2010

Recovery ride

Met up with Chris last night. Both of us still saying we haven't fully recovered from Relentless. So we rode to the pub, okay there was one hill on the way but we didn't even go to the top! In total I managed 30miles and I remembered that night riding is so much fun.
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Sunday, 17 October 2010

An easy week

This week has been an easy week after last weekends efforts. On monday my legs were so sore that demonstrations while teaching bikeability had me gritting my teeth. So I spent most of the week on the train. This weekend I was working both days. Saturday was Lee Quarry so I rode out there. Nothing in my legs on the hills but as long as I didn't push. Today was my last Sky Ride of the year. Out at Preston. I considered getting the train till I realised how much it cost. So that was another 35miles. Once again nothing on the hills but actually my average wasn't too bad for a ride on cross tyres. Next week i'll be commuting but mainly taking it easy. Then next weekend might be the first cross race of the season.
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Saturday, 16 October 2010

The chocolate challenge

My mum took me to Slattery's for afternoon tea. As we were there after 3.30pm it was drinks and cakes only. So I took the opportunity to attempt the chocolate challenge. I've never seen such a huge slab of chocolate fudge cake. I did try but I was easily defeated. Feeling a bit to full of sweet stuff now.
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Thursday, 14 October 2010

Getting ready for Winter

Spent tonight getting the fixie ready for the winter. New tyres (okay not winter specific but I couldn't resist!) Mudguards on, have a set of the mk2 crud road racers, they look better than the mk1 but only time will tell.
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Wednesday, 13 October 2010


It seems ages ago that Chris suggested we pair up for this event. He has raved about no fuss events in the past and I thought it sounded like fun. I had already realised after D2D last week that mixed pairs is one hard category. Our plan was to ride for an equal amount of time as well which would make it harder, often the bloke does more riding. But I was determined that we should give it a good go to get on the podium, winning it being the ideal outcome. Mike was kind enough to drive us up and more importantly drive us home. So we set out early on Friday, a stop for burgers at the Drovers and we got there with plenty of time to get a good spot. We were right next to the track so we could swap over here. This was fantastic in the middle of the night as you could stay wrapped up in a sleeping bag till the last possible minute.

As always I didn't get the best nights sleep on the friday and I was very nervous on saturday morning. Chris was the complete opposite and completely laid back, I think him and Mike found me funny! Before we knew it the race started. Chris sprinted the 100m run and got into a good position on the bike. He then went on to do the first lap and a half, coming through up in the top ten. No pressure on me then! I headed out and straight up the 4X course. Who thought that would be a nice climb! I enjoyed the course although it was pretty technical, lots of squealing and screaming from me. The first lap I did at least ride everything. Chris out again and another fast lap. We kept going till night time. We were in 2nd at this point by about ten minutes so we had to keep pushing. Through the night we ended up chatting to the girl in 2nd, turns out they had the bloke out doing doubles. We could only hope this would tire him out and that we would stay consistent. The night was hard, coming in and eating as much as I could, drinking loads and trying to stay warm before heading back out and trying to ride fast. At the end of the night Chris put in a double, my lights were both ready to die as I had done over 6 hours of night riding. This pulled us back up into first by a minute. The race was on. There bloke kept catching me, then Chris would move us back into 1st.

Going out for my last lap, knowing Chris would have a lap and half to do, I knew that I had to stop the gap getting too big. I knew which bike he was on now so when he came past me just after the last technical descent I put my head down and tried to hang on. 10seconds was all I lost so Chris was able to storm round. I was basically collasped in a heap. Chris of course thought he was right behind so kept pushing as hard as he could. He basically collasped across the line. But we had a ten minute lead in the end.

It was one of the closest races I have been in and certainly one of the hardest. It was good to be pushed so hard and there is no doubt that mixed pairs is a hard category to race in.

Thanks to Mike for being a fantastic support in the pits and sorting my bike when I snapped my saddle! Oh and of course to Chris for being a fantastic team mate and being super fast!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Dusk til Dawn

The last time I got so muddy was at Hit the North in 2008, this time though I wasn't riding solo but as part of a mixed pair. Rob Lee had asked if I fancied it and never one to say no I was there. The race is in Thetford forest down in Norfolk so I drove down on friday night and stayed with Ali's mum. She did that great mum thing of spoiling me so when I headed over to Thetford I was ready for the race and had a parcel of food to keep me going. Getting there and wandering round I wasn't seeing anyone I knew. The camping was also away from the Arena so I wasn't sure where to set up. Rob found me wandering round and fortunately recognised me...he looks a little different without his riding glasses and helmet on. We found Josh who was riding Solo and set up there.

It seemed no time at all and it was time for the start. I was glad Rob did the first lap as it looked crazy. He was up on the 2nd row and they were led round a short loop by the quad which came back through the arena to fireworks before heading out on the lap. There must have been over 300riders all trying to go as fast as possible and not crash. He came round after 50minutes looking strong and headed straight out for a second lap. Waiting to head out for my first lap I was hearing tales of mud and how hard it was. But there was no time to worry about it and as soon as I was on my bike it was head down and push. The first lap I rode as hard as I could on the fireroads and basically held on for dear life on the downhills. I came in and sent Rob out again, he came through looking strong and headed out for another lap. This time waiting for him I began to get concerned, the course had slowed but I was expecting him in by how. When he came across the line running, rear mech bust. Out I went and the course was even muddier. There was little difference between the fireroads and the singletrack, I had a demoralising moment when a girl came past me running! But I had to ride my own race and for me staying on my bike makes the most sense. Rob went out again, a little slower again and then I was out, I knew this was to be my last lap and we were comfortably in 3rd, 2nd were maybe catchable and 1st miles ahead. On a fireroad I went past the girl I thought was in 3rd, so I knew I couldn't let up. Back in and no sign of Rob, back to the tent and there he was all ready to go. Out he went and I got changed into clean dry clothes.

We finished 2nd with 9laps. A lot of people had stopped and I heard tales of 3hour laps so I was happy to have stayed under 2hours the whole time. I want to race there again in the dry as I think I could have been faster. I was struggling so much to ride in the mud I couldn't push as hard as I know I can. It was great fun though. The hardest thing of the weekend was the drive home. With no Ali to drive me I had to stop numerous times, twice to get some sleep as I was worried I was about to fall asleep behind the wheel. A four hour journey took 7hours in the end! Still it was worth the journey, next year I'll take the monday off and stay in Cambridge.

Friday, 1 October 2010


It was the last race of the brownbacks series up at Lee Quarry on Sunday. I really enjoyed the ones I did in 2009 but missed all of the last series and most of this one. So although I was working Sunday afternoon I was determined to get up there. Initially I had an idea I could ride there, race, ride to work etc. Until I looked at the timings and realised I would have to leave before the race finished. So I drove. It was still close getting to work, thanks for doing my prize first. It was really close racing with all five girls and I was beaten into second on the hills, need to work on getting uphill faster! But I got a prime for the fastest lap which was nice.

Odile came up and took pictures instead of racing. Got some good shots of me as well.

I really enjoyed it so thanks to the guys who organise it and Baron Aggregates for sponsoring the Racing Diva category, a good prize list definitely raised the quality of those racing.

I wrote up the race over on the cooksons blog as well so wander over and have a read.