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Kielder 100 Entry In

Well it’s done, all booked and paid for.  Just have to book my camping (if they ever bother to answer the phone).

Feel like i have some unfinished business up there, been deliberating too long.  No going back now….

Longshaw Trailquest, Report

Decided to do this one on my hardtail, there is always a bit of road work so thought it may benefit me.  Not sure if that was the case but it all went OK, apart from a creaky bottom bracket, which was annoying. Was i faster, not sure, it felt faster in places but overall there is probably not a lot in it.  Biggest benefit i can think of though was not having to carry anything on my back as i could fit a full size bottle on the bike.

Staring at it always seems to help…

Weather was great, warm sunshine mostly, really felt like spring had arrived.  Another 3 hour event and felt good so got to the start without my usual faffing about.  For the first time doing these I picked my route almost straight away, i now find it a lot easier to take one look at the map and decided the best route/direction to take.  It initially looked like a clean sweep could be done if i got a move on so a worked hard right from the off.

No major mistakes this time, a couple if silly pauses while being indecisive and missed a junction but just took the next one so no biggy.  My biggest time loss was trying to get too point 14, for no other reason than it was almost impossible to find the bridleway down off stanage edge.  Only found it in the end because a local guy new where it was, you really had to know it was there.  Local knowledge was a definite benefit here, incedently this chap i passed some 10 minutes earlier, so shows how much time i lost there.

Route taken, 1, 4, 5, 9, 10, 12, 13, 11, 18, 19, 17, 14, 16, 21, 15, 3, 6, 7, 8, 2.

At this point I had already realised that point 20 was out of the question and i would have to work my backside off to finish my chosen route off within the time.  After dropping all the way down into Hathersage and working my way up to point 3 I had only 30 minutes left to get the rest.  This included the monster climb back up to the top of stanage edge, and with the steep muddy decent to point 6 (which had to be climbed back up again) doing it in the time was going to be tough.  After point 6 i felt like the top of the climb was never going to come and time was counting by fast, not helped by the legs starting feel the strain.

Finally the road leveled out and was able to recover a little.  The last few points were all on the way back to the finish so just got my head down and got on with it.  Ended up 5 mins 20 secs late, so not the end of the world but made me 6th, 2 mins faster it would have been 2nd.  A good result non the less.  I got a total of 320 points -7 for penalties so 313 points out of a possible 330. All but 1 checkpoint achieved.  Only one guy got them all, and he was the winner.

I know i missed out on 2nd place by such a small margin, but considering this is a new discipline for me, I am really pleased with my progress so far.  I would hope i will only get better.

Thanks again to the event organisers, an excellent venue and superb event. http://www.darkandwhite.co.uk/

Dyfi Enduro Entry In

Blimey, you had to move fast.  All the entries gone in under an hour.  Look forward to seeing why its so poular.  My nymber is 364, roll on May 6th…

Bethesda CX, final round North Wales Cyclo Cross League

Woke up to beautiful sunshine this morning so decided to ride over to today’s race, despite the 1h30mins riding time.  Knew it would be a good turn out so didn’t expect much anyway so thought i would get the mile in my legs.  Iris and the kids were going to come and watch too so didn’t have to ride home if I didn’t want to.

Wasn’t the best start when i got 2 miles down the road and realised i didn’t have my helmet on and had to go back for it. That meant having to pick the pace up a bit to meet Chris Purt in time at 11am.  To make the whole situation worse, it rained on me for about 45 mins and ended up with very cold feet.  Just was not wearing the right clothes due to the sunshine when i left.

Anyway, enough whining, got to Bethesda with time for a brew and a couple of laps.  Barry Davies worked his magic as usual and got a good course out of the restricted space due to the wet conditions.  He has been watching way to many Belgium cross races as he threw in the long jump sand pit for good measure.

 

12 Laps was the order of the day and as usual a few guys went of like they hard fireworks strapped to their backsides.  I just got into my rhythm like i normally do and got my head down.

 

The course was really slippy in places and was glad i was on my mud tyres.  I was up against it on the flat grassy bits as i was obviously slower but made up for it on the steep sections.  I had 3rd place guy in my sights and was slowly catching him lap after lap, right up until a caught him and then promptly fell off because i couldn’t get my feet out of my pedals.  I had been struggling with mud clogged pedals and shoes from lap 1.  I lost about 100 meters on him with only 3 to go, plus I was getting really tired so my race for 3rd was over.

 

 

4th was a good result for me, especially when all my training is based around endurance at the moment.  Maybe if I had not ridden over, 3rd would have been mine but I’m not worried about that.  Was great to have Iris and the kids their to watch, always makes me feel good having them cheering me on.

Penmachno, wet lunchtime ride

I was over near Penmachno today for work, so threw the bike in the boot (still mucky from last night) on the chance i would have time to go for a ride.

Jobs went quick, so depite the weather, went and did the long loop.  Was very quite, only car there.  Chucked it down the whole time, bit didnt really bother me.

Its been a while since i have been up there and the trails seem really badly worn out, very rough in places, quite badly rutted up too.  Great XC training course though, not one for the downhillers i think.

Frogs were out in force, dread to think how many i squished…

Great wet and muddy lunchtime…