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

Defection

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.
-Phil

Thursday, 26 November 2009

he-huff


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

Champion

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

Ouchie!



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 :-)