Velo Club Moulin

Thursday, 31 December 2009

first tracks

It's an immense pleasure being the first rider on trails after a fresh snow fall. The first to leave their mark, the first to attempt a trail without dabbing a foot or having to get off and walk, the first to slip and slide their way through. Controlled and not so controlled slides, feet out in the corners, bike dancing over the ruts, ice and snow beneath you. You defining the ride line that others will naturally follow, any mistakes there for all to see.

After a very slow start today I finally got out for a ride at Glentress around lunchtime. To my surprise, many of the trails had yet to be touched. a cheeky race link, Hit Squad Hill, Pie Run, Magic Mushroom and Falla Brae were all fresh and tyre mark free (well, apart from the underlying frozen tyre ruts from previous days).

Getting out to ride in the snow with the sun shining was an absolute joy. It's amazing to be back on the bike, feeling good and able to train again, with my post viral fatiguey problems hopefully behind me. Roll on 2010!

A very happy new year to y'all.


Monday, 14 December 2009


So. Mull. Finish work. Throw warm gear in car. Pick up Chipps. Drive into the night, car cranked to metal.

Ferry. Meet the rest of the southern Scottish vcm'ers and head over the sea to Mull.

Drive carefully on the frosty ground to the welcoming and warm embrace of Davie Graham. Break a tooth, eat splendid curry, drink too much beer, fall asleep fetally at 4am. Awake to a pristine day and head to the castle of Glengorm. The course in fine fettle, fast people were fast, slow people were slow and there were lots of snapped derailleurs.

Back, shower, comfort food and out to a ceilidh at Aros hall with some locals and the rest of the crossers. Some partook more than others but the season was seen off in fine style.

Out on sunday for another fine and crispy race. More derailleurs were lost, but the season was done and after the prizes a few faces fell at the prospect of another year to go before we again don the colours for cross.

Thankyou to all the sponsors, the ds (mr duncan) and the rest of the VC Moulin family who have made this a season to remember.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Kielder 100 2010

Hi everyone,

Having stated that 2009 was always going to be a write off when it comes to riding and racing due to a busy year and the birth of my daughter who has DS. I've kicked off my 2010 race campaign this evening with a positive start as I mean to go on attitude, I've gone and entered the K100. Crikey! Think I will start my training on the 2nd of January!!

Good luck to all you lucky buggers on Mull this weekend, I will be there next year you can baleed dat.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Laatste ronde Wereldbeker Koksijde

Laatste ronde Wereldbeker Koksijde

The Sand God's! a must see for all VCM's something we can all look forward to, Surly a wee trip next year

A hard 50mins

photo taking by

A hard 50mins, Looking at the course I just knew before I started that I was gonna have find some kind off new running muscles, even thou my pins were feeling good. After watching Andy Whippet Wardman floating round to 2nd and Nelly to 3rd in the open race.
(nearly losing my voice because of screaming on nelly to get his ass into gear) Then it was me and John,
we started the race with the idea that we would run the first part, which would have worked for me if some
fellow crosser had not jumped on ma heels, making me land both knee's straight into a good 15 inches of mud.
Well yet again it was bad start. So it's a case of breathing out off every hole in your body to get your place back.
Which I managed to do, and nearly got up to a good group. But the old running legs if I had any where nae up to much.
So I settled for where I was, with a stride to come back next year stronger and faster.
Anyway Mull coming up so there is still something to play for boy's and girls.
Yours Miffae de Muir

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Stick a fork in my arse, turn me over, I'm done.

After too many weekends of traveling to ride, it felt decadent to just ride from the door. Delayed by faff, route dithering and apathy that a 6-cup pot of espresso couldn't dispel, the pale Winter sky drew me through the door.

With the trails reduced to deepest chod, a road ride would be just the thing to awaken slumbering legs. With brain and iPod set to random I set off with no aim other than to earn my supper and ride a few new B-roads spotted some way off connecting the well-known.

You choose to do hill-reps in the Chilterns by leaving the house for a road ride and today I felt particularly masochistic too. Many of the roads were awash in rain-driven detritus; wood, gravel, road-kill and mud. Fields full of ripe egg-sized flints ready for harvest. Tail-wind, head-wind, tail-wind. Startled deer. Many, many kites. Special dusk light.

The weather held, the follow-my-nose route had a typically saw-tooth profile and the last miles ridden in the dark were spent planning a large risotto in great detail.

Deep bath, supper, fire-piled high. Stick a fork in my arse, turn me over, I'm done.

Monday, 30 November 2009

An apology to the Moulin Massive

What can I say. There I was staring at the proofs for issue 15 of Rouleur magazine. It was deadline bound and I was being hounded for captions to the images. I sat there staring at a shot from last year's Mull race. From high up, looking across the running stream of the first day and over the ocean to the isles beyond. The sun had just broken through the clouds. Do you remember that bit?
I thought, can I see Skye from here can't I? That thought was in my head so much that I wrote it down. Of course, when I phoned the printer to tell them they could only tell me that those pages had gone to press. FUCK! So apologies people. I take full shame. On the plus side there are beaucoup cross images in the issues from Crossvegas, Belgium and UK and cross on the cover.

I'm shuffling out now.......

shades of delirium

delirium pic by Andy Wardman

Saturday, 28 November 2009


It is time to move on. I have had a fantastic year racing in The VCM colours, it has been an honour and a privilege.

After alot of thinking and some more thinking I am defecting over to ride for Morvelo A clothing company started by a very good friend from university. I will miss the pimping white skinsuit, I might not miss having to scrub it clean three times after a race!

I look forward to seeing you all again at a race soon.

Cheers for the good times.

Thursday, 26 November 2009


photo by Mark Forrest

damn that should have been my skinsuit, the big man grinds out another fine result, black bike+white tape=proper etiquette.

Gareth building his new bike.....

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


After today I am a Selkirk High School popodom eatting champion. 15 popodoms in 1 min. We all have to be good at something. Not sure if this is a well know training method! See you all for sand sea and ...... wind and rain!!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

It hurts so good

Dundee SCX 7
It's been both a long and a quick year and all of a sudden with a mere 5 Scottish cross races left I decided I had to try and salvage something, for my own sanity as much as anything else. I won't bore you with my aborted attempt to ride the previous two weeks races at Knockburn and Inverkeithing but lets just say I hit a pretty low point, regarding bike and fitness and just a sense of why the fuck am I even bothering and so Sunday rolled around and round 7 of the SCX came to Dundee, a mere hour drive for me, virtually a local race and my first race of the year, coming straight off the back of not riding for 2 weeks and the aforementioned despair it was a high risk strategy, the drama queen in me could easily let this boil out of control while my head imploded and as if that wasn’t bad enough all day Saturday I had what can best be described (for the sake of not repulsing you) as an upset tummy. The rest of Saturday was a mish-mash of trying to find all the stuff needed for a cross race, which in light of the race duration seems like an awful lot of equipment, clothing and assorted paraphernalia.
Sunday morning arrived all to quickly and I would be lying if I said I felt comfortable, a rough nights sleep, a churning gut and the niggling thought that I was for all intense purposes about to make a grade A twat out of myself. I had only ridden at Caird Park once before, that time a couple of years ago the course was long and lacked the closeness of a cross race, it quickly spread out and stayed that way. This year on arriving I assessed the course, it looked very short took in a lap of the velodrome and had a healthy dose of off camber, singletrack and multiple switchbacks, before I could have second thoughts I got signed on and received my voucher for a free soup and a roll, excellent. It felt like a long walk back to the car involving lots of blethers and nervous banter, everyone was looking so bloody fit and organised. I started to try and sort out my kit, a Mule bar and a bottle of Nuun, quickly downed and allowed to churn around like primordial soup. A half hearted warm up and before I knew it I was out on my practice lap with Maddy. It rode pretty good, nothing to fear, it will boil quite literally down to how fast I could ride. The start line beckoned and I opted for safety first and gridded up at the back of the pack, a misfire on the starting pistol didn't bother anyone, we were off. The usual melee for the front was somewhat diffused by the lap of the velodrome, I dug my way through the field to what felt like around half way, quickly we were spat out onto the grass and vying for position on the singletrack. First laps are curious beasts and this one didn't disappoint, riders shot past then ground to halt, others fell, braked too early and just got it wrong, staying on your bike and keeping a calm head usually reaps rewards and so it did, through all the mucky stuff I picked off a few more riders and settled as best as I could into a rhythm. As the laps unfolded, the race at the front was long gone but surprisingly I could still see plenty of familiar faces, Maddy got away being a bit lighter through the grungy stuff and spurred on by the battle she was having for second place. All too soon the bell rang and I dug in to get round without losing any more ground, finished I was somewhat elated, that was bloody good and a hot cup of veggie broth never tasted so good. The split race also allowed time to get changed and watch the seniors racing into the bargain, an awesome return to cross for me and an awesome race, a classic is born.

pic by Marty or Sue

Saturday, 21 November 2009

How to roll a front tub and stay on your feet!

looked a fast and furious race at the GVA Hasselt, chuffed to see Stybar finally get a win this season.

what caught my eye though was Sven Nys rolling a front tub and managing not to crash! how the hell did he do that??

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Inverkeithing Sufferfest

Is everyone trying to forget the pain then?

Sunday's Scottish Cyclocross race at Inverkeithing was one of the toughest, muddiest cx races I can remember. Not since the last race held at Sighthill Park in Glasgow has my bike weighed nearly as much as me at the end of a race.

Still, I secretly quite liked it. Whether it was the mud at the far end of the course that made a funny farty noise when you ran through it or the cheese and pickle toastie in the cafe that made me forget about the pain, I don't recall.

Results are still due, but conditions took out 33.3% of the plucky VCM starters. Toughen up for next time a bit lads.

On to Dundee next weekend. I hear that we're going to be using the track - just like the Roubaix World Cup round...

Saturday, 14 November 2009


Here's the latest on Gareth - he's home from hospital and happier, largely to have some piece and quiet and not surrounded by slightly disturbing patients!

Now it's just a case of healing fast so he can go and play again :0)

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Broken boy update.....

.......the cast is off but it's looking likely that he'll need an operation as soon as this weekend :-(

fingers crossed it'll be straight forward so he's back to full speed soon.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Glenmore - mud and fun

Woop Woop - What a weekend. 2 days racing my cross bike, you don't get better than that.
Saturday, weather was better than was expected and got the whole race in without any real rain, same can't be said for the seniors race - but it did make it entertaining.
After a pretty shoddy start with some daft decisions, including running the first single track decent and the tarmac climb, then I remembered that the fell race was down the road and I was meant to be ride my faithful stead not carrying it. Got on the bike and into a rhythm and started to pick off some riders ahead of me. Got myself up into 2nd position in the womens race, but Ruth was ever elusive. Kept pushing on catching a few and being caught by few of the lead men lapping the field. Watching Nimmo riding past with such ease on the silly steep climbs, makes me think that he might have an engine hidden somewhere on that bike.
The finish came sooner than I expected but that just meant the bacon sandwich also came soon and was very much appreciated.
Sunday, weather more cross like, a bit more mud never did anyone any harm, good for the skin I believe. A much better start to day, in to first place. Got all the way to the first huddle before I put my knee through my front wheel and buckled it and went sliding back through the field. 2 laps with a knacked wheel, getting back into first girley position then loosing it again to change my wheel. Road my heart out for the rest on the race chasing down the lead lady to catch her with 3 laps to go, kept the power on and increased my lead. I WON - I am a bit pleased about that.
Thanks to all my fellow VCMer for organizing and to everyone who was shouting for me or at me.

pic by Marty

Well done

Well the dust and mud has settled down after a fantastic weekend of riding and racing. I just wanted to say well done to all the team up at Glenmore. I think we really set an example of how to put a succesfull race meeting on. We had a great turnout and and by all accounts everyone really enjoyed the course and venue. A big shgout out to Glenmore Lodge for allowing us to use there fantastic facility. I for one am already looking forward to next year.

Once again well done to all the VCM crew.

Glenmore CX (revised)

Arriving around 3AM Saturday morning after driving up from London Myself, Deano and The Boy Jones discovered where we would be sleeping and tuck into a beer before retiring to bed. The alarms started going off in the chalet at 7am as Chris, Mark and Andy arose to get things sorted for the days racing.

After a much needed trip down to the Mountain Cafe in Aviemore for coffee and breakfast we returned to Glenmore lodge and prepared to race.

With a rubbish start for me as my body decided to not want to work up the first tarmac pinch, followed by a traffic jam into the first section of singletrack the race was not going entirely as i had hoped it would. By the third pinch on the course i was warmed up and started trying to winch my way up through the field. Then it started to rain, coming into the start finish area my bike decided it was time for me to have a spin in the mud and dumped me on my ass, once i had stopped sliding and spinning (skin suits slip well on wet grass) i retrieved my bike and started on another lap.

As i entered the grass S's John Macullam was a couple of turns ahead and heckled with me with a call of come on the pony. Sweet! extra inccentive to try and chase him down. and so the race continued making ground up on John and passing him on the last lap. 6th place and time for food and beer.

Sunday morning rolled around and the weather was starting to roll in as had been predicted. Bikes were prepped and warming up was done, then standing in the rain cooling down as we may have been a little to early with the warming up.

We all lined up on the start and much to my suprise i was called up for the gridding. The whistle went and i proceeded to go back through the field as my body baulked at the pace of the start, a better start than Saturday but still not great! A couple of laps in and i was starting to feel good when the sinking feeling of a rear puncture entered my world. I carefully made my way around the lap and came into the pits with no spare wheels i was dejected and ready to pack the race in when Directeur Sportif extrordinaire Chris Duncan says i can use his singlespeed.

I joyfully grab his bike and set off on another lap, realise he runs shimano pedals and i have Time cleats on my shoes and try to convince the two of them to co-exist together. They work to a degree but i spend too much time going down the descents legs akimbo. Going out on another lap i pass The Boy Jones looking in some pain lying at the side of the course i stop to check he is ok and he tells me to carry on.
Another lap down and i notice The Boys bike not being used, discover he had canned the race and proceed to remove the back wheel from his bike so i can jump back onto the Beloved Yeti and carry on the race. I claim back a couple of positions and finish the race to discover The Boy needs a trip to the doctors with a suspected broken ankle.

The Boy gets a lift into Aviemore to get an X-ray myself and Deano pack up our collective gear, say our goodbyes and go to find the invalid. When we collect him it is confirmed by the cast on his leg that he has indeed broken things.

We head back to the Mountain Cafe for sustenance and then begin the drive home.

It was great to meet up with some of the new additions to the team. A massive thankyou to Chris and all the others that helped make for such a brilliant weekend. Can't wait for Mull and more Scottish CX action :-)

Friday, 30 October 2009

Hello, I just wanted to wish all VCM'ers bags of luck and fun in Aviemore this weekend, sorry I'm not there in person but I'll be ringing my cowbell from the Surrey hills so I hope you can hear it!
Remember, ride it like you stole it!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Mud och aye the noo

I must say that was fun! Good turn oot from vcm. Cheers for the support on the course.
Cheers to Trina for some great photo's. Makes me laugh. Results should prove interesting. Not quite sure how on earth they work it out. Just got lapped by Craig and Moodie one lap to go. Shame Must try harder. Sure will be great next week for a wee bit of banter. Will bring some extra strong tape for DrJon. Anyway let's Shown em how's it done out there kids. Miffae de Muir


The suffer-fest circus came to Mugdock on the 25th of October. GMBC put the show on and a busy youth field was followed by an enormous 'main' race. As the 130 riders jostled for all important start line position, it was clear that not only was passing going to be tough, but the mud was going to claim its fair share of victims.

With the bang of the gun, we all raced for the much lauded Mugdock singletrack. Unfortunately, a bottle neck formed which immediately meant those with good position on the grid got well away. It may not be gentlemanly to push to the front at the start, but if you don't you'd better be happy with a mid pack finish.

Moulineers john, neal, simon and doug got away but a small issue with some metal (my stereo fell off my bike, and i neeeded to run down the course to find the ipod before it was buried) meant maddy, chris, marty visitor~chipps and myself bent our backs to the task of fighting through the crowds, before the leaders came round to lap us as the rain started.

A log-hop that was fine to ride early on became like a greased pole, as the mud through the trees moved aside to let roots like black ice see the light of day. Riders were going down left right and centre but the spectators hammered their cowbells to keep us going all the way to the final lap.

Placings will no doubt be up soon, hopefully slightly more accurate than for Auchentoshan. To be fair the organisers will have their hands full sorting out so many riders especially with a generous coating of mud to obscure numbers!

Next up, the 'home' race...Glenmore...

Nys - the master!

Thursday, 22 October 2009


Seems to have been a looong time since I raced properly (I'm not counting my Kielder disaster), so where better to get the race legs going again than with cyclocross at Auchentoshan.

Guessing most folks will have this one down as their favourite Scottish course - if not, go and ride the first bit of singletrack and try to drift sweetly round the LH bend at the bottom just a wee bit too fast until it is. :)

Seven VCMers took their places in another massive field and rolled out on the B of the Bang of Jammie's six-shooter. Some crazy overtaking moves by some re-jigged the long line on the singletrack and before you knew it you were looking up at the muur from the bog at the bottom. Up, round, down, try not to slip on the tarmac s-bends and it's back to the start.


Good solid performances all round and another podium for Maddie.

Bring on Mugdock. Raar!

p.s. had a wee tour of the secret training grounds of Neil and Simon tonight. Sweet singletrack and a good workout. Who's out next week?

Sunday, 18 October 2009


Last Thursday I got my gears back.
Exactly 209 days (that's almost 7 months folks) after my arrival back in NZ, I finally got my beloved bikes back. I've had one bike, with one gear for twohundred and nine days. Dunedin's not flat either. So, i've gone an entire winter without gears, but most notably, that's a whole winter without cross.

My leg warmers have been feeling ever so slightly snugger lately. Probably due to the increasing girth of my calves that I can only contribute to the regular suffering I put myself through, hauling the brown creeper (my trusty Redline Monocog) around the local hills. So it was with great anticipation that I got my beloved Cross Check out of the box and took it up the hills. Oh, the thrill of it to be changing gears again (even if they are 105)!

Anyway, wanting to believe that summer is on it's way (the sun was shining but it was a moderately chill 9 degrees C) , I took the Cross Check out for a spin up to the shops. Eagle eyes will note the platform pedals...
Here's a lesson for you all - Bunny hopping speedbumps in jandals will only result in grazes, stubbed toes and a bruised ego, and the losing of forementioned footware. Don't do it.

Viva la Cross.


I love gears

Friday, 16 October 2009

receiving the Signal

I had no intention of turning this into some sort of Bike Porn website, however over recent weeks there has been an element of I'll show you mine if you show me yours, so here it is.

A fuller piece will at some point appear over on funknbikes but in the meantime, enjoy the redness. A big thankyou to Matt over at Signal for being super helpful, Daniel WP for hooking me up with these guys and Carl at Bikelove for loan of his workshop I look forward to many years of active service. (and yes it does have mudguard eyelets!)

Good luck to everyone at Auchentoshan this weekend, sadly I can't make it but I am sure you will all make plenty of noise without me ;-)

Thursday, 15 October 2009

hakka lugi lugi lugi

You know that incredible feeling when you just can't keep a smile off your face - yup, you know the one.

Well that was me today returning to my work office at Glentress this afternoon to be greeted by a lovely brown box with Ibis on the side.

The smile continued upwrapping the box to find a frame even better than I imagined it would be. Super super light, beautifully finished and a glorious lugi green colour.

A big thankyou to Ian P and the fine chaps at Stif

Promise i'll not bore y'all with every detail of the build. ; )

Monday, 12 October 2009

Updates from the South East

Bit of a mixed bag since the Three Peaks. Round 3 of the Eastern League 'cross series was at Colchester and was very flat and very fast. This type of race is not really my thing but gave me an hours worth of practise on terrain I don't go well on, worthwhile then. Position- well down the order. How can riding round a flat football pitch feel harder than riding over the three highest mountains in Yorkshire, I no understand this?

So onto the weekend just past and a new venue, for me, at Welwyn. Signing on was a bit more lively than usual as six Belgians had signed on, getting some practise in ahead of Sundays National Trophy at Derby. A nice wee course, mainly on grass with a couple of nice woodland sections and even a wee descent. A few practise laps and I felt much happier that I could ride well on this course, the ground being soggy would help too, a bit more of a slog than an all out sprint. As expected the Belgians took off and cruised round at the front chatting away to each other. Behind them the racing was fun and close. Quite happy with ninth place, feeling like I'd gone as fast as my legs would allow me to. Still getting used to the all out one hour effort of cross- it's a bit of a shock.

Being too chicken to attempt the Derby National Trophy I decided to ride the third round of the Lincolnshire League yesterday. The lap was kind of like a mini mtb course, some fire road, a nice piece of singletrack and some tight twisty bits though the woods. Being my first time at a Lincolnshire League event I was unsure what to expect, surveying the carpark there were a few likely looking suspects, shiny oiled up legs, shades and plenty swagger. The start was quicker than I expected and it took me a couple of laps to get up to the front where I joined the two leaders, we raced round in a good wee group for a few laps. Then a crash, completely my fault, as we were passing another rider I totally missed my braking point for a ninety degree bend and t-boned my competitor in front- oops sorry mate! This allowed one guy to get away by thirty seconds or so. Determined to make amends I got the head down and pulled in the leader, we rode together for the remainder of the race till I got a gap in the final wooded section meaning I could cruise the last hundred metres of fire road. Finally back on the podium, it's been a while. Hopefully with some training it won't be the last this season. Looking forward to race the Scottish Series at Glenmore.

Sunday, 4 October 2009



It was beautiful to see so many folk out on a crispy day for the first round of Scottish Cyclocross. The course was generally fast, and the large field took full advantage, speeding from the gun like greased lightening. A surprise call up left me going backwards, then settling into the mid pack around the first loop and taking the run up reasonably. John Mac helped me lift the beast as it pumped out 1 watt of rock and roll for the masses.

And then the climb. No way to get on top of the gear, hug the thorny sides and act penitent. Grind it out, shifting to and fro in the saddle and try to catch everyone back on the gravel trail after the woodsy descent.

The first half slipped by and i continued to slip back. The Moulineers pounded out the rhythm though, and it was surely a top team performance and Maddy on the podium.

45 minutes in and i thought i may split my thighs. Then the emotional release of finishing.

Forget spare wheels, i may need spare legs next time. Bring on Auchentoshan.

Singlespeedwidow pics.

Saturday, 3 October 2009


Before I had crossed the finish line of this years Three Peaks Cyclocross Race I'd begun thinking of next year- where I could gain time, changes to my bike and how to approach my third attempt.

I hadn't planned to enter this years race however soon after the first round of entries had closed I regretted not posting an entry. Thankfully the race didn't sell out so I got in the second wave of entries. Game on.

Training didn't really go to plan; the Kielder 100 was horrible (amazing event but not a good one in which to be having a bad day) and didn't give me much confidence I'd be able to race the Peaks. Not having much hope of a good ride I decided to take it easy and just enjoy riding my bike.

Taking a relaxed approach to the race I decided to change a few things from last year's safe approach. I used tubs instead of clinchers and went for the lightest set up I could carrying only a single bottle, six gels and the regulation whistle, safety blanket and waterproof. A light set up worked really well, less weight on the carrying sections was nice, tubs were just the job and gave me no worries, I'll use them next year for sure. Using a bottle instead of a pack was good for less weight and not having something bouncing around on my back but carrying it in my jersey (no bosses on my crosser) limited me to drinking on the road sections.

So the race went pretty well, the neutralised start was more relaxed than last years mad dash. The first climb up Ingleborough was steep and tough but went well, somewhere around the top ten at the first summit gave me some confidence I could do a good ride. Descending off Ingleborough I discovered how rubbish Frog Leg cantilever brakes are- these are going in the bin as soon as I can find some Pauls! Brakes were to be my only problem but one which cost me minutes on every descent. Last year I loved the descents and enjoyed making time coming down, this year I was really struggling and riding the down hills like my gran! Annoyed at losing time off Ingleborough I got my head down and beasted myself along the road to Whernside. The climb to the highest summit went well and my mtb gearing allowed me to ride parts others were walking. The descent again was awful and I got repassed by all those I'd over taken on the climb.

Back on the road at Ribblehead and determined to make up lost time, shovelling in plenty juice and a few gels, head down and on to Pen-y-Ghent. The more rideable climb of the three went well and all those gels helped me pedal well passing a few more folk. The top of Pen-y-Ghent is, for me, the best bit of the race as you know it's down hill all the way to the finish, and the descent is fun. Unfortunately I lost out to the four people I passed going up as they ripped past me flying back down to the final tarmac section. As I popped out onto the road Emma, my girlfriend and super support team, shouted THREE TWENTY; I knew if I beasted the final road section I'd break thee hours thirty minutes and get an elite time. To my amazement I did it and got home in 3 hours 27 minutes. So it seems taking a relaxed approach to racing works- lesson learned, enjoy the ride and the results will come! Big shout to other VCM chaps Gareth, Phil and Dean for beasting it round, Shaggy for doing the singlespeed record, my two mates from home Gav and John for good rides too and Nick Craig, what a ride!

So, next year, more training, some fell running and hopefully a top ten and sub three fifteen time. This will be my main goal next year. A serious attempt but relaxed too and with some good brakes!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Bring the pain.

I have sprinted up stairs until my legs have bent asunder.
I have ridden through storms.
I have fought with lions.
I have shaken the hand of World Champions.
I have eaten bacon in extremis.
I have cleaned and tuned my bike
I have wrestled the Amazon Queen.
I have stolen golden moments in the hills.
I have eaten the apple of the eye.
I have chopped down trees with my bare hands.
I have stroked cats and dreamt of domination.
I have wiped blood from my mouth.
I have warped metal to my needs.
I have railed against weakness of muscle.
I am ready.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Rough in the jungle (peaks)

Hmmm, The Three Peaks Cyclocross race. Last year i crossed the finish line and threw the remaining toy out of my pram swearing that it was horrific and i would never do it again....

So at 9.15 on Sunday morning there i was lined up on the starting grid with fellow VCMers Jones, Deano and Stevo and off we went behind the sort of neutralised start (this year was considerably tamer than last years sprint to the base of Simon Fell).

The race strings out up the first climb i manage to keep Jones in sight and we summit together and he promptly drops me on the descent. I reach the tarmac section and wind myself up for the ride across to Wherneside, Hoping to be able to get in with a group of riders to ease miles away. This does not go according to plan and the group i have been chasing down for a break from the wind i catch just as we reach the start of the next offroad section up onto the second peak.

Nevermind, Wherneside is my least favorite of the 3 Peaks. The climb up to the top is not too bad, But the descent is hard and unflattering I miss a hotline off to one side and see riders i passed earlier go past whilst i mince around some sharp lumps of rock - Bugger. Eventually the trail opens out in to a gravel lane and i spy Mel and Dave A with a fresh bottle of drink and words of encouragement.

Back onto asphalt and another Timetrial on my hands across to Pen Y Ghent. This is fine as i know soon it will all be over. However first i have to get the final peak conquered.

A large portion of the final climb is rideable and i settle into a steady pace and winch myself up towards the penultimate check point. This final section is an out and back along the same trail. about a third of the way into the climb the leaders fly past on their way to glory and it is a pleasant suprise to see Nick Craig in the lead followed about 30 seconds later by Rob Jebb.

The climb continues i spy Jones up ahead and get admonished by spectators for shouting words of encouragement to him, He is suffering from badly rubbing shoes and cramps we chat for a while as we push on up the hill and slowly i pull away from him. Stevo comes past and I think i can see Shaggy in the distance.

Dragging myself up the final peaty schlep to the check point Shaggy comes past on the return leg and is flying. I reach the turn around and start mincing my way to the finish.

The finish arrives but not before i nearly bin it on the gravel just before the line, keep it upright and it is all over for now...

However a few days of recovery and i seem to have found some unfinished business with the Three Peaks.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009


Sam of Singular Cycles posted me this challenge for the forth coming 'cross season.

Bring it on...

/click image to biggerify/

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Good Choice?

Over and easy make it look classy!

Looks like Dr John and I have the same taste in bikes. Couldn't quite stretch to the height's of IF, hope my Kelly Luscious X looks as tidy. Maybe if I ask him nicely, he might gimmae a shot next week?

Friday, 25 September 2009

New guy in the ranks

Just a few words from the new guy in the squad! Well if ya don't see me ya might hear me (sorry it's my way of being nervos at races I suppose). Or I liked winding Neil Dryden up aka Nelly. A wee brief insight of what chris d has let himself in for... Well I've done quite a few Scottish road races, from the girvan to the peebles hydro Apr back in the day. Mountain biking has always been my first love (let's not get confused with females) My first mountain bike race was the Edinburgh bike co-op race in penicuik early 90's. Anyway am suprised cross has come so late in. Just wished I had done it ages ago.
Well hears to a blinding cross season. Will try and do ma best for the V.C.
Oh and John Anderson needing a shelve before I leave the bike works.
Or else.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Racing Bikes

Hmmm. I've been doing quite a bit of racing lately. It's been pretty awesome.

It all began with a trip down to the Darley Moore racing circuit, near Derby somewhere far South. One of the Women's National Team Series. I hadn't done any road racing for ages, so was a bit nervous about getting dropped on the first lap, but no such thing occured, the race went pretty well and I really enjoyed it.

Next up was the Cumberland Challenge Cyclosportif, 110 Pennine miles, which are at least four times as long as normal miles. I actually really enjoyed it, and didn't find the distance too bad (apart from one point where I was asking passers by 'seriously though guys, where the hell is the god damn food stop? Tell me now!), which was surprising. I rode most of it on my own, but got a good pull for a while at the end of the first loop (the course is like a figure of eight) which was really good fun, riding in a fast bunch of men, it felt like a road race, and zooming past loads of other people. I ended up 4th woman which was pretty cool, considering I didn't have a personal domestique.

Then I went for a trip across the water to Ireland, to ride the Women's Ras na mBan, an International Stage race, four stages over three days, I loved it! Three of the stages were road races, and one a (downhill, two mile long) time trial, which wasn't really playing to my strengths. The first road race went really well, it went over a Category 1 climb, Molls Gap, I was with the leading group until just before the top, then rode with a smaller group to the finish, beating all but two of them in the sprint for the line, which was pretty awesome, as a lot of them were Dutch, and Dutch girls don't tend to get beaten in sprints all that often.

The second day was a really hard four laps of a tough little circuit with a really horrible gravel road with grass down the middle. There was a big crash on the second lap as everyone went hareing around the corner to try and get onto the gravel section first, I missed it but the bunch was split from there and never got back together. My legs gave up about 2 metres from the top of the climb on the last lap, however the Chief Commissaire said the day was the best example of women's racing he had every watched, as every place was so well contested.

The time trial was...over within about three minutes.

The last day was pretty epic, they sent us out over a Category 1 climb, around a loop and then back over the same climb, which I thought was pretty cool. The weather was glorious and the racing not that fast, everyone seemed pretty content to sit in and enjoy the sunshine.

Last weekend I made another long journey down to do the Coalville Wheelers Women's National Team Series event, it was six laps of a nine mile circuit, with a couple of sharp climbs. The race went well, I was in the leading group for four out of the six laps, and then rode with various other girls, winning my bunch sprint.

Oh, I also did an Open 10 mile Time Trial, in which I beat my pb by about 2 minutes, which wasn't too shabby.

Now Cyclocross is on the horizon, as well as a little spin around the Tour de Trossachs Time Trial, which should be fun. I'm also looking at doing the National Hill Climb Champs and the University Hill Climb Champs. Looking forward to wearing my shiny new VC Moulin kit.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Tuesdays of hurt.

What better way to finish off a good hard ride than a cold beer, steak and potatoes? Well the addition of this helps:

Nike Debacle from mike on Vimeo.

I don't really pay much attention to skateboarding but this video made me smile. Added to the fact that i finished building the Yeti today ready for 3 peaks action.

It has been a good day!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Borrowdale cross

Ooo I think I'm the first crosser of the season. Hit the Borrowdale show cross at the weekend for my VC Moulin debut. No kit, not naked though! Maybe be on Mull, if it snows.
Second round of the North West series (they start early), fabby sunny day in the wettest valley in the UK. Good turn out of riders, over 50, I managed a 27th overall and won the womens event comfortably.
Course was a bit different to our loved Scottish mud, grassy fields and 1 dead duck. Only one dismount and a bugger of a climb, too slick to ride after the second lap. Don't often get a sun tan on a cross course but did at the weekend.
Good start to the season after a shady summers result due to health things. Glad to get back on a real bike and burst my lung for an hour.

See y'all at Plean.



Should you find yourself nearby I *highly* recommend a visit. Stunningly good pancakes and belgium waffles.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Steez for miles...

Apologies if you've seen this, but then again it is worth learning off by heart by the VCM Choral Arm for chanting at the next Worlds......

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

VCM colours on!

details about the upcoming Scottish Cyclocross series, of which are are a sponsor, are just out.

VCM's own Marty has done a sterling job putting a new website together for the series -

First race - Plean, Sun 4th October. Oh yes! Excited. Hell yeah!

Saturday, 12 September 2009


(pic courtesy of SMT)

So, Shenandoah. I've been waffling on about it all year. I rode this race last year, and some may recall the Singletrack magazine article about it. I just missed the 10 hour mark. It is a tough race with several significant climbs, technical and rocky terrain, fast, fast singletrack descents with a real chance of puncturing and long dirt road rollers. 100 miles with 14,500 feet of climbing. The goal this year was to knock 8 minutes off the time from last year, and try and ride the steep singletrack climbs and enjoy (rather than grimace my way down) the downhills.

So: lower gearing, a year spent learning to spin faster and lots and lots of early season miles.

Mistake: i needed to have done more steep climbing and i needed to use a not-quite-so small gear.

The nitty gritty: After hitting New York, we sped westwards to State College in Pennsylvania. There i hooked up with east coast imba dude Frank Maguire and Jim Malta (indy fab and Genuine Innovations honcho). We had a few beers, and rode for a few hours at Raystown trails which they had been instrumental in building.

The legs felt great. A few massages prior to leaving had seemed to decrease the muscle tightness i had been suffering since Kirroughtree, and i was hoping that being on holiday would melt the fatigue i have felt recently. All good. Bike shod with new wheels dropping 450g from the front and 150g from the rear felt skippy light.

After picking up some last minute stuff for the road trip, we took the 4 hour drive to Harrisonburg, home of team Hugh Jass. For those who don't know, these guys rode 24 hour races and other endurance events with 1 pair of shorts between them, on fixed gear shopping bikes over the gnarliest terrain imaginable and basically upped the ante so high that i don't believe anyone has gotten close since.

A quick refuel at a quality eatery and out to the campsite, arriving just after dark. A few dogfish head ales calmed the nerves, but my jet lag meant precious little sleep. Up at 4.45am, with some coffee and some cereal. The day was to be dry and dusty and record times were predicted. The startline was busier than last year, but i managed to make a reasonable start and headed out on the initial dirt road happily enough. After the short steep fire road climb to the mast, we headed along a classic east coast rocky, rooty ridge line, Wolf Ridge, before the first significant downhill to aid 1. No need for refueling yet so try and knock the bike into a high cadence and spin my way along the dirt road.

This 20 mile section has one or two climbs but is generally a relatively easy ride. Worryingly, my left hamstring and quad were twitching with cramp every time i ramped the cadence up. I tried to hydrate and take in some electrolyte. With little more than 56 hours in the USA and 9 hours driving after a flight, my system wasn't on top form and unfortunately the accelerade i was using was making my stomach a bit achey. Corn fructose? maybe...I decided to cool it a little and see if i settled into things. The long singletrack climb was hard work, and i ended up walking some of it, but the drop after was sweet relief. At aid 2 at Todd Lake, i filled the bottles with Heed, and ate some PBJ's. With this i headed up Hankey's with some hope that the lower gear would ease the pain. It did and i was still aiming for a good time, my legs were not great, but i was holding.

As i popped out at aid 3 after the wicked descent of Dowell's Draft (on which i punctured, but repaired rapidly thanks to a loan of jimbo's Genuine Innovations pump/CO2 unit) i hit the road to spin out to Braley's Pond, the leaders came through. Um. Wow.

As i tried to get a spin going my body hit a blank. It just wasn't playing. I didnt feel tired in particular, but i had no va-va-voom. The following section was a bit of a grey time as i realised 10 hours was looking very optimistic indeed. After Ramsay's Draft climb, a technical singletrack ascent i was able to roll quite well, a hairball descent over sharp rock clinging desperately to the steep hill side, aid 4 was a blessing. Refueled again and pedaled out to the beginning of the long climb up to Lil' Bald Knob. With many false summits i was prepared to suffer here, but the roll out to the start of the climb seemed to take forever. I tried to do some sums and compare with last year. I knew it was possible to slip in under 10 hours at this point, but i'd have to climb well, and rock the tough decent down to aid 6.

It wasn't to be. There was no way to muscle the bike anymore than a gentle climbing pace. The false summits were punishment after a quick refuel at aid 5. They seemed to double in number compared to my memory. I made the decision to just go with the flow, enjoy the downhill, and chalk it all up to experience. Caution to the wind, i ripped downhill, the jones allowing aggressive lines to be taken and the speed was exhilarating. I *love* the riding on the east coast. At aid 6 i was crashed out. I stopped for a while to eat, stretch hydrate and talk to a few guys who were intrigued over my bike. Reluctantly i remounted and rolled to the bottom of Hankey's for the final big climb of the day.

After helping a fellow singlespeeder with a leaking tubeless tyre, i began the climb. The tanks were empty and my motivation to dig deep had gone when i had realised the time on the way up to aid 5, so this time the ascent took forever. I walked the dustier parts that had been building up all day and then rolled through the final double tracks and beautiful singletracks to the campsite.

10.46. Disappointing in some ways, but i think i may have stacked the cards against myself with a pretty tight schedule to even get to do the race.

Next time.....

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

the transfer window

With the deadline for transfers now past it is time for Velo Club Moulin to announce it's winter signings.

First up shouldn't need much introduction to any regulars at SCX events, is Maddy Robinson. Maddy is a consistent rider and ardent Cross enthusiast. Last years 3rd place overall and 3rd place the the Scottish National Champs. Maddy has come over from ERC and will bring some strength to our cross squad and especially help to strengthen our standing in the womens category..

Vicky Ward is the next new member coming from the KMB team, a relative newcomer to racing but with an already impressive list of achievements, having started riding in 2007, that year she was 9th in the U23 national road race championships. From there she was awarded a Scholarship to race in Belgium for a month by the Cycling Time Trials National Committee. She is one of 20 athletes at Edinburgh University who have received a Sports Bursary alongside several Olympic athletes. 07/08 NE Cyclo Cross Champion. She is about to ride the womens Tour of Ireland before focusing on cross for the winter.

And lastly Simon Muir, makes the jump from the Bicycle Works team, last into the squad for the year, Simon it's fair to say is a jovial fellow and strong into the bargain. Cross again is his main focus and next year he is going to be doing a plethora of enduro type racing mostly on his single speed, he assures me, he's a good guy and passionate about his sport.

Welcome all three, please make your selves known to anyone sporting the colours and vice versa.

That's it on new signing for this year, we are a big old bunch now and cross season is breathing down our necks. I'm especially pleased to have Vicky and Maddy on board who along with Jac should give us the dominant CX squad in Scotland. In the mens field we now have strength and depth which hopefully will see us as the dominate the results.

While I am here if everyone could email me through their winter race schedule and years results to date that would be cool, 2010 planning is already afoot.

Race hard, look good and stay healthy

Monday, 7 September 2009


Still digesting this one. Basically it very much rocked.

A serious bike race professionally crafted and run with a light touch and fun atmosphere.

Chapeau! to Organisers, Marshalls, Givers of Permission, the Brewery Guys, Food and Shelter Providors and all the Riders. And a tip of the cap to designers of stout whisky packaging.

Moulineers Steve-o, Deano, Phillipio, Christo & Martino were in attendance having various flavours of racing - can we just have a big pantomime villan Booooo! for shimano free hubs.

A classic is born, I think.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Arguing with yourself.

Gorrick 12:12 Torq in your sleep

6 Laps in and i am getting fresh bottles and some food into my belly. I figure its going to be about 6pm and i will need my lights in an hour, I happen to ask the guy in the pit next door what time it is.

He responds with "quarter past four"

Minge! at this rate i will be clocking up something like 18 laps of this course. This is not good for my head. The course is good but there is only so much loamy dusty singletrack repetition my little mind can cope with. I swear a few more times get back on my beloved Spot and go out for another couple of laps whilst trying to think happy positive thoughts.

Through the first half of lap 7 i feel like i am going to puke, I console myself with the idea that if i puke i am allowed to stop. i start to wretch and instantly feel much better which is great.

Lap 8 passes ok the legs feel great, my bike is going like a dream but i am so bored! I carry on trying to coax myself up to 13 laps and a century under my belt.

Lap 9 comes and goes the course is getting pretty chopped up in places where you don't need to brake WTF? and the Loamy bits are getting deeper and deeper.

Lap 10 and Giz from Chelmer passes on some fireroad we have a chat he is racing on a team of four and i follow him into one of my favourite bits of the course a lovely contouring, fast, hardpack bit of singletrack goodness. He is going at team pace and i jump onto his wheel and we tank it through the trails nice and fast, Too fast for Solo! and it feels amazing lungs and legs burning from the effort and the satisfaction of knowing you just pinned some sweet trails!

Bang! the final nail gets driven into the coffin, 10 laps down and i have had enough. i could keep on going but with Kielder coming up a cold beer sitting in the tent and with no desire to keep pounding away at a course that is only going to become more hateful in my mind i come into the hand over area chat to a few friends.

I Find my tent, peal myself out of the Lycra with 7 hours stench and dust ingrained into it. and slip into something more comfortable. It has just started to spit with rain and as i take that first taste of beer, cool, refreshing and relaxing whilst warm in the goodness of a down jacket i go off to help Lorraine, pit bitching for Steve from Singular as he destroyed the solo category. And as an added bonus made alot of teams look a little slow!

Racing is great....

Sometimes a down jacket and a cold beer are better.

Roll on the K100

Photo credit: Joolze Dymond

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Goodbye Jake

For 3 seasons my fluro orange Jake the Snake has been my faithful mount upon which i've raced the Scottish cross series. I've had some very good races and lots of good times generally on it, as well as some not so great races. Auchentoshan last year stands out as my best cx race yet -i seemed to be going great and the bike just worked perfectly, repleat with spangly new tubs (thanks to Alan McLean for the pic).

Today though I sold Jake. Whilst stripping it down and cleaning it up I definately had some second thoughts, but with a new cx bike on the horizon and limited funds it needed to be done. Glad its gone to a good home too - Paul Newnham will be ripping round the Scottish cross races on it this autumn.

A few more weeks and I should have my new cx steed built up, can't wait! And yep, it'll be in an equally shocking colour!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

On a Whim

I've never been much of a racer. I've raced and raced allot in my 15 odd years of riding mountain bikes but to be fair I've never really achieved a great deal by the way of sizzling results. It has by no means dampened my enthusiasm for the all things bike, In fact having helped start this team with Chris D I delight in reading all of your exploits and find my self growing more and more envious of some of the longer distance rides you guys have been doing and my focus is now changing to the long player version of the bike ride. Being short of time this year I'm only managing to get out on my bike once a fortnight if I'm lucky so I cherish the time on the bike I have.

I woke up on Friday morning like any other day, sort the kids in there morning routine, got ready to go to work and then the phone rings. My Brother and Sister in law call up to invite the family up to there place on the Black Isle. Then in hits me, like I said above I've been really inspired by some of your long distance rides you guys have been doing and on a whim I declare to Ali my wife that YES we shall go north and I will ride my cross bike!!! So a plan was hatched and I spent the rest of Friday working a little and doing a lot of bike prep, sorting what I would eat and checking the weather.

Saturday 5am

I wake after a rubbish nights sleep partly due to my 7 month old daughters snoring and partly due to the excitement and thought of spending the whole day on my bike. It has been a long time.

The weather is rubbish and still raining but I am still going. Toast, tea, cereal and strong coffee is consumed. Kiss the kids and the wife whilst they still sleep and I slip out the back door to my waiting cross bike (possibly the worlds ugliest bike) I head out of Moulin with a light mist of rain and all the streets of the Pit are quiet. The first leg of the Journey takes the old A9 from Pitlochry to Calvine via Killiecrankie where I join an my old Friend Pete a 67 year old keen cyclist who has got up early to join me on the ride as far as Dalnacardoch . I'm thankful for the company and the chat and the first 15 miles disappear before my legs have realized that they have done them.

Having bid farewell to Pete at Dalnacardoch I start the long steady climb up to the Drumochter pass and the the start of the highlands proper. My legs are feeling really good to my surprise and I tap out a steady rhythm when I get to the first of several gates to pass. I lean frankenbike against the fence and open the gate. I retrieve my bike to find I have suffered a very weird mechanical. My headset has seized with the bars stuck at 90 degrees. They were just fine 2 minutes ago!!! Perplexed by this I break out the multitool and start the loosening and tightening process to try and fix the problem when what seems like the entire population of Scotland's Midges descend upon me and attempt to carry me away by the armpits to there lair. They were thick in the air and I could feel a few disappear down my wind pipe. Fumbling with the multitool I finally fix the headset issue and race away from the midges as fast I can. My lower legs now look like they belong to a leper so I up the tempo to distance my self from the pursuing beasties. It is a light head wind i find myself riding into but as I summit the drummochter pass the wind changes direction and find my self coasting for long durations on my way to Dalwhinnie following the cycle path alongside the A9.

I roll into Dalwhinnie and still there is barely a sole to be seen and as quickly as I entered the town I have disappeared out the other side and on my way to Newtonmore and Kingussie. This particular stretch of tarmac is really beautiful and apart from one camper van I see no other vehicle. It's just me, the road, the surrounding hills and country side with a light mist falling. A real magical feeling of happy solitude. I keep a steady rhythm and before I know it I enter Kingussie. 3 hours in and my stomach tells me that I have been riding a steady pace and demands some sustenance. Taking Inspiration from Phil's ride last week I crack open the camel back and tuck into half of medium pork pie and lovely snake sweeties. I am revitalised. Back on the bike I follow the A95 from Kingussie to Aviemore. Having had my 9 o'clock snack my thoughts turn to a certain Mountain Cafe. The next 12 mile disappear with my thoughts firmly fixed on the all day breakfast which was looming in my future. You have to concentrate a bit more on the road at this part of the journey as the A95 can get pretty busy especially during this time of year but I make it no bother to Aviemore and the MC.

Order up

1 All day breakfast

1 espresso

1 double shot latte

1 pint water


Back on the bike with a slight feeling of "Perhaps I have overdone it on the food" I roll out of Aviemore with Carrbridge famous for the old bridge of Carr which was built in 1717 as a foot bridge to the north being my next destination. I continue on the A95 which is a bit dull and the traffic has defo picked up since my stop. Concentrate! Keep to the white line, black pudding stay down!!! I cruise through Carrbridge stopping for some photos on my way to the slochd summit the second highest point of my ride north. By this stage the road slowly rises and after nearly five hours on the bike my legs where definetly feeling the long climb north. This is the slowest point for me on the ride and my lack of riding this year was showing. I grit my teeth and dig deep, the lactic in my legs is building but after a while the pain goes and I feel like I'm getting my second wind. My head has sent a message to the legs saying "get on with it, we don't get to do this very often so enjoy it" Thankfully my legs listened and I summit over the Slochd Pass.

Old Bridge of Carr

The approach up to the Slochd summit.

From here to Inverness it is predominately down hill and my big ring is now getting a workout. My Maxxis razes are whirrring below me as I wind along the back road to Tomatin, a road which crisscrosses the railway line to the north. This road passes under some stunning railway architecture in the form a several viaducts built way back in the day and still being used today. Truly stunning pieces of engineering.

Passing through the sleepy hollow of Tomatin I meet with the A9 proper for the first time. This is the only juncture on the route were you have to cross one of Scotland's most dangerous roads. Thankfully it is only a crossing and not ride along it. I'm always confused by the Landsend to John A Groats set that insist on riding up the A9 proper to achieve there goal endangering there lives as this is the quickest route from A to B. Does this not go against what cycle touring is all about?

Across the A9 and the route takes me through Moy and onto Culloden the sight of the last military battle fought on British soil. It is here I get my first sight of the Moray Firth. My spirits are lifted at the prospect of nearing the end of my journey and my tempo is raised again from the meander that I was enjoying. The roll down from Culloden is a fast one and the number 7 Sustrans route signs start to become a bit thin on the ground. Several wrong turns later and a trip through a traveling Gypsies camp I find my self cruising past The big Tesco (other supermarkets are available) in Inverness with the Kessock Bridge in my view.


What a difference entering the metropolis of Inverness by comparison to the solitude and quiet roads and cycle paths I'd been riding for the past 6 and half hours. I navigate the traffic and make my way onto the Kessick Bridge with my final destination of the Black Isle on the other side. Stop for a quick Kodak moment with the wind blowing a hoooly. Across the bridge and I'm met by one final big hill over to Munlochy. By this time my legs are surprisingly still in good shape and I crest the top the hill with a punch of my fist into the air knowing I had a 6 mile downhill/flat ride to Rosemarkie beach. I cruise the final 6 miles with huge a grin from ear to ear pondering what I'd just achieved and the joy it gave me. I roll onto Rosemarkie Beach to be met by my family who had driven up earlier during the day with an icy cold can of coke and a bottle of Bitter and twisted ale. Bliss.

Thanks to you all in the team, I'm really inspired by your efforts. Reading your efforts be it racing or just riding for the crac has inspired me to ride the longest ride I've ever undertaken. It people like yourselves who make this sport and lifestyle so cool. Keep up the big rides, keep up the racing.




7.5 hours in the saddle

plus 90min stoppage time for food, photos and mechanicals.