Tuesday, 30 September 2008

How pro are Chris' arm warmers?



A portion of the team that lined up for the 46th annual 3 Peaks Cyclocross race (courtesy of the very lovely Trina Ritchie. What an amazing event. My back, hands and arms are still recovering... think they will be for a wee while. Lucky with the weather, blessed with great company and spoiled with oodles of top notch nosh and booze. A perfect weekend away.

By the way... How pro are Chris' white arm warmers?!

Monday, 29 September 2008

Les Moulineurs at the 3Peaks














Morning campers. How are we this morning? A little sore? A tad woolly? Well, so you can relive the GLORY of yesterday, here's some piccies for you. Well done. It was emotional!

Oh, just one more thing. I have put a teeny weeny selection on my news page here

Thursday, 25 September 2008

SCX etc

Last Sunday was a glorious day, and to add to its wonder, I had the last round of the SXC series to enjoy, held at Glentress, under unseasonably sunny skies. The track was awesome, thanks to VCM's own Andy. A combination of the existing hard-packed climbs and a descent on newly cut tracks it was pretty much and all up, all down lap with a small uphill pinch towards the end.

The downhill was amazing, with 3 inch deep mud hiding a network or parallel and diagonal roots
, we were pin balling down a wide-ish track across a fire road and into a much narrower, pedally section with equal technical challenges. Did I say it was amazing? I was helped by first class pit bottle-hander-upper, Dr Jon. Thanks Jon!

I came out with 4th place, not a stellar result but happy enough with it. And being a UCI race I was handed a cheque for £70 pounds... Enough to cover the cost of replacing the shoes I broke on my last lap :-)

3 Peaks on Saturday, and I'm not sure what i have in store for me. I'm sure it'll be fun though, judging by the picture of races gone by!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

It may be winter outside....



But in my heart it's Spring! That's because as your Glorius Leader (© Uncle G , all rights reserved) says cross is here. Sorry, I'm jumping the gun a bit. The Glorious Leader has deemed me fit enough to contribute to this hallowed board. So this is my first little epistle if you will. So, allow myself to, er, introduce myself. I am Uncle Geoff and I'd like to say hello, to the black, to the white, the red, and the brown, the purple and yellow! I do get around a bit with my work and it's no secret I like a bit of Belgian sand. However, that definitely wasn't the case at Sunday's London League round at the lovely Hillingdon circuit. (did I say lovely? I meant featureless). Check out the sunshine! That's wrong, very wrong. I realise most folk like a bit of the yellow, warm stuff but I need dull, overcast, wet, muddy, maybe a bit of ice to make my cross season complete. Eating ice creams - yes I saw you- is a NO NO.
Anyway, enough blathering. I hope this looks OK on your page. If not I fear the wrath of the Glorius One. He may dish out a Bart Wellens style roundhouse on the descent of Whernside.......


Monday, 22 September 2008

cross season is here


Just in case you haven't been able to find the SCX calendar, it's here,on Friday afternoon I finalised the course for  our Glenmore Cross in the Cairngorms, it's going to be a fast and furious race with grass, singletrack, berms and fast tarmac sections to test the fittest of the skinny folks, gutted I have to work at the London Cycle Show as I think this has potential to be a regular on the circuit and if I can squeeze a bit more distance into the course would make a great Champs course.
3 Peaks this coming weekend which sees, Anja, Jac, Stevo, Deano and myself all putting ourselves through the calf clenching torture of this classic I've been trying my hardest to squeeze 'proper' type training in for this but to brutally honest, it hasn't happened. Family and work commitments have been taking priority, so I guess with 6 days to go its all about not drinking too much? Eat well and sleep better? Fingers crossed, I'm sure this time next week there should be some interesting postings. 


Take it easy out there,

chrisD

Friday, 19 September 2008

Merida / 3 Peaks Training

With the cancellation of the final NPS XC I decided to ride the Penrith Merida, using it as some much needed training for the 3 Peaks. There aren't many hills in Cambridgeshire so I jumped at the chance of riding 100km around Cumbria.


With a week to go before the Merida I got my cross bike sorted and made a few 3 Peaks mods- fitting cross-top levers and a pair of Tufo T34 tubular tyres. So the Merida would be a good work out for me and a chance to make sure the crosser was running well.

Sunday morning and I headed over to Penrith for the event (not race:). Plenty people asked about the bike and what was I doing- some guessed it was 3 Peaks training. It was funny to line up alongside so many folk on 6" full suspension bikes when I had no suspension and 34mm wide tyres. All seemed good for the first 15km then things went a bit upside down- I had a major stack:( What seemed like another puddle turned out to be a big hole which spat me right over the bars and face first into the ground- nice. Thankfully all my teeth were still in place and my beak in one piece too so I pressed on. Unfortunately I seemed to rip my shorts right at the base of my back (as many people informed me) sorry to anyone who was following me and had this view.

The bike stood up to lots of abuse and was going very well- on any section other than the technical downhills the cross bike was as fast if not quicker than the mtb. There was lots of hike-a-bike which many people were moaning about but for me it was perfect training!

About 2/3 of the way into the ride I started getting a strange feeling through the rear wheel, something didn't feel quite right, but decided to press on and hope for the best. With 10km to go I heard the noise I had been dreading all day, a short pssssssssssssss as my rear tyre went flat. Bugger! This confirmed my earlier suspicion that something was wrong, the gluing of the rear tub had failed causing the tyre to turn on the rim and rip the valve out. I was annoyed as this meant my idea of using tubs for the 3 Peaks was not going to work- more experimenting with gluing methods required. If anyone has any good ideas for secure gluing of tubs I'd love to hear them.

So the final 10km of the Penrith Merida turned into a run/ walk for me. I still finished though and learnt lots in preparation for the 3 Peaks. There were a number of casualties from my ride: 1. Giro Atmos helmet. 2. Assos F1.13 bib shorts. 3. Tufo T34 tubular tyre (x2) 4. My face. Ouch an expensive ride but that's biking I guess.

Riding the Merida on a cross bike was fun and I'd recommend it as something different if you like a wee challenge. You've just got to accept you're not going to be the fastest down the hills and enjoy it.

Stevo.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

inside SSWC



date: 24th august
place: napa, california, usa
time: 10:30am
conditions: hot and dusty and poison oaky
representing: deano and marty

bikes dumped for the traditional le mans start and we're off. the field charges off round a horse corral and back towards the bikes. some ne'er-do-wells in orange overalls head the wrong way and appear to be trying to tackle the oncoming masses. and so it begins...

back to the bikes and we're off on a starter lap before hitting three laps of the skyline world cup race course (when WC race courses were race courses) . the field strings out on the forest (sorry, fire) road climb round the back of the hill and steadily upwards. i'm pushing long before the first singletrack. up past the bagpiper and onto a beautiful, rocky, dusty descent. i pass a few mincers and Mr Paul Components on the way down and it's on to the big climb at the start of the lap proper.

the course was a corker. virtually all singletrack, it contains a bit of everything - swoopy, dusty, buff, rocky, droppy and about an hour long. it even had a six foot tall pink fluffy rabbit with a line in angry heckling at the furthest point. "way to fail" was a particularly hurtful bit of encouragement as i stopped to re-hydrate with the Surly folks on my 2nd lap.

by the time i'd hauled my ass back round to start my 3rd lap i'd been (long) passed by the winners, so i had to shake my head when asked if i'd finished three laps and it was off to the DNF queue to collect my medal. the shame. deano dug deep for three laps and a finish. mad props.

the winners? carl decker and rachel lloyd - worthy champs. next year? durango, colorado.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

clean round the bend


small paul makes light of the twisties on his pimp ass Cube! He really needs some white gloves though! nice work Joolze behind the lens.


Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Ed to York charity bicycle ride


Here's a very bedraggled but happy trio of Wardman's just arrived at their destination after 210 miles of riding split over 2 days and I don't know how many inches of rain....



It all started brightly enough. I met my brothers Jim and Phil off the train from York at Waverley Station around 10.30am. Bikes set up and obligatory photo taken with castle in background we set off out of town heading south on the A7. I'd be following the forecast obsessively on metcheck and knew the rain wouldn't be far off.


I was surprised however that it didn't arrive until we hit the bike path between Galashiels and Selkirk about 2pm. Waterproofs on we made steady progress up through Selkirk and on towards Galashiels, but things slowed up on the lumpy road to Hawick. About the same time the rain came on good and proper. Bugger. Add in a meaty side wind and descent down to Hawick and things quickly started to get chilly.


A quick stop at Hawick Cycle Centre and their sale rail yielded some absolute bargains: Altura waterproof bottoms for £25 and winter overshoes for just a tenner sorted Jim out. More kit and warming balm on all round and a quick hot chocolate at Morrisons raised spirits, though the realisation that it was 4pm and we were still not half way through the ride with some lumpy bits to come maybe didn't!


On the road to Bonchester Bridge I got a front flat. No worries I thought, I'll fix it and catch the lads up. Not wanting to get too cold I didn't mess around putting a new tube in, which was probably a mistake as only 10mins later.. bang, same front wheel puncture. Oh crap, i'd not even caught Phil and Jim up and i was having to stop again.

This time on a wide open stretch with the rain lashing down. With no phone reception to let the lads know the problem, it felt even more important I fix it quickly. Which was probably a mistake. Going again, but not having much confidence in front tyre staying up I descended into Bonchester Bridge and climbed out the other side as hard as I could. Imaging I was off the front of a Spring classic (!) I got my head down in an attempt to catch up. Then bang... same front wheel and only 1 more spare tube! Sod this, got to keep going I thought, which is what I did with a flat front for about the next 6miles until I finally caught the guys up just after Hyndlee. Jiggered, I muttered something about flats then stopped to fix it again.


On closer inspection I spotted a cut in the tyre. Doh! Powergel wrapper in as temporary tyre boot I was off again on the chase up the last part of the climb then down the fantastic (and tail wind assisted) desent towards the Kielder turn off. It took me until nearly Kielder village to catch the lads up again and with more chocolate consumed we pedalled on towards Bellingham.

We finally arrived here about 8.30pm, all feeling a little pissed off with the rain which hadn't let up at all and hungry too. Lights on we got going again and around an hour later were at our destination, the Station Inn at Hexham.




Unfortunately the heating wasn't working in our room, the windows were open and only a cold dribble was coming out of the shower! Wet kit off we wrapped up in the duvets to warm up and just had to laugh at the situation! Things improved as Jim sussed out the shower, a small heater was found to try dry kit out a little and pizza was chowed!


We got up to a truely miserable day on Saturday, rain and gloom abound outside and wet kit to put on inside! Breakfast woolfed down we got going at about 10.30am after a quick trip to the bikeshop for a new front tyre.

We decided to take the A68 south towards Darlington to save a few miles, but figured it'd be pretty hilly. And so it was! On this part of the ride I was so impressed with Jim for his determination to get up several big and steep hills on roadie bike gearing, especially given he'd already ridden 110miles the day before and prior to that only about 25miles all year!








After the climbing came some epic descending in the rain, where I became strangely fixated with the thought of my hands slipping forward off the hoods and over the front of the bars! A horrible feeling indeed.


Around 2pm and 40miles in, the rain stopped (!) and the sun even made an appearance. Things got even better as we turned off the A68 and headed south and downhill towards Scotch Corner with a beautiful tailwind. A couple of freewheel competitions later we were under the A1 and at a little village called Barton for a quick food stop.





At this point Jims knee started to give him some bother, so we decided to detour slightly across to Northallerton to get some pain killers and cold spray. By the time we got there his knee was giving him serious gipp. The possiblity of getting the train to York was mooted but we instead decided to stick together and see how things went towards Boroughbridge. Gentle downhill gradients and a tailwind helped here and we made good progress.


By Boroughbridge the rain had started again but we didn't really care - we knew we could make it with only ~15 miles to go. We continued on down the eerily quiet old A1 road until our turn off just north of Wetherby. Lights on for the final few miles, a strange sense of euphoria came over us. At 8.30pm we pulled into Tockwith and my folks house, ride completed. 100 miles on the dot, 210 in total over 2 days, 20.5 hrs on the bike including stops.


Looking back a few days later, I feel very proud of my brothers especially. I do a fair few miles on the road, so maybe the distance wasn't too hard for me, but for Jim especially to have completed it and in the conditions we had with no back up and a dodgy knee on day 2 was an awesome achievement. Riding for a charity definately fires you on and makes you more determined not to give up, for sure. Nice one Jim and Phil.


On Sunday my folks put on a cracking charity barbie. It was great to see many faces from my childhood, though being rubbish at remembering names is something I definately need to work on. With the money raised at the barbie and sponsorship from the ride we've in total raised ~£3300 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Well chuffed with this! A big thankyou to everyone who has supported and sponsored us.


Andy

Thursday, 4 September 2008

charity ride, Ed to York

Am doing a ride this Friday and Saturday from Edinburgh to York with my two older brothers in aid of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. 115miles each day. Should be fun, i'm excited. Maybe not jumping for joy at the heavy rain forecast though, but I guess it justs adds to the challenge! Also I'm looking forward to hanging out with my brothers for a couple of days. Haven't had the chance to do this enough lately.

I don't think many people realise the air ambulance is a charity relying on donations to keep going. So we figured we'd try do something to help out a little bit and we hail from that part of the country too.

It'll be a challenge, especially for my middle brother Jim who's not really a cyclist. If anyone would like to sponsor us for this endevour, that would be brilliant! I'd just need your name, amount and address if qualifying for giftaid. Also, if you can sponsor us you'll be entered into a prize draw (!) that will be drawn this Sunday at at charity barbie my folks are holding back home.

Oh yeah, the route:

Fri: Ed - Galashiels - Hawick - Kielder - Bellingham - Hexham
Sat: Hexham - Bishop Auckland - Scotch Corner - York

Wish us luck!