XC Mountainbiking

XC Mountainbiking

Spring Time On The Home Trail

Birdsong, Sun breaking through the trees, and the leaves growing again. Spring. My favourtie time of year.

Singlespeed racing

Breathing hard. My face hides how much I love racing even on one gear!

Downhill Mountainbiking

Downhill Mountainbiking

Tour de France

Sunflowers on the Tour

XC Racing

World Cup Racing where the best fight it out over some of the most demanding terrain


Taking the sport to extremes

No matter what or how you ride, enjoy the trails out there.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

A Year Comes To An End

Well I've just witnessed Mark Cavendish winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.  A big deal really for him but an even bigger one for cycling as it is often over shadowed by the bigger media sports.  It perhaps shows how much his success as well as others has brought cycling more into the fore front.

I think it'll make for a good Christmas Present for him.  Talking of which Christmas looms which has meant much wrapping of presents and the usual mad plannings that go with family Christmas time.  The kids present pile seems to get bigger every year.  I'll have a few days off from training with some long rides put in while I can during the holiday period but I will not be writing my blog till the new year.

So with that, I'd like to wish all my faithful readers a very merry Christmas and a great 2012 in whatever you do.  Hope Santa brings some nice bike bits for you all!!

PS.  Want It Wednesday will return on January 11th so have a break from it till then if you like :)

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Want It Wednesday #3 - DT Swiss XCR 1150

Product Image

I like light things. I like light bike things.  I love these!!  Dear very rich santa please could you get me some....pleasey cheese......no.....aw well it'll just have to remain a dream item.  This Wheelset is a DT Swiss XCR 1150.  The number denotes its weight.  Thats a ridiulous weight for a mtb wheel.  Seriously light.  Probably not one to keep as an all day pair more a race thing.  I'd break down and weep if I broke one of these!!
Loved to tell you the price but I can't even find them online at the moment.  The rims alone are about £300 pounds so I'm gussing not cheap.  Over a grand I'd guess!

If you'd like to see other blogs want it wednesdays that go to my 'Want It Wednesday'  pages to view Pauls and Charlies.  If you want to join in too (and its all fun) then please just fill in the magic linky box!
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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Want It Wednesday #10 - Assos Chamois Cream

Hello bloggers.  Sorry I seem to have been neglecting my blog of late but I've got my head in the clouds and with Christmas coming I've just been very busy.  I've got quite a few topics in my head that I want to cover too but just haven't had the time or truthfully the will to do so.
As an update to my training for the UK24 race, things have been going well.  The windy weather has been making things tough going on the road but so far no snow has fallen so I can't complain.  I'm currently doing my training in blocks, with Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday a mix of hour long training sessions and trail running.  Friday is recovery day on the bike then on Saturday I've been doing a high intensity trail run then on the Sunday a long ride out.

Its only Mondays that I get a proper rest, and apart from feeling more tired in the evening and having more tired legs than I've grown used, I'm feeling good in myself.

My weight loss isn't so good as I've gained weight but I have a feeling that will come from muscle gain and hopefully that will mean fat will soon burn off quickly.

Anyway my Want It Wednesday this week is I'm afraid to say not very exciting but still something I want......or rather need Chamois Cream!!  Stop sniggering in the back there!!!  I've never really had need for the stuff so I'm still exploring my options.  But if I'm to stay in my saddle for 24 hours I'd be mad to ride without it!  Also with longer rides ahead of me there will be plenty of time for experimentation.  This cream by Assos is supposed to be good stuff from what reviews have said but I'd be interested to hear from you as this isn't an area I'm knowledgeable on.

So there you go.  Not my usual bike lusting object but my want it list is versatile if nothing else.  So what are you wanting?  Something that you hope Santa might bring you for your biking needs?  Something for future bike events or rides?  If so tell people about them and join in my Want It Wednesday linky party so others know you are taking part and can join in too.  The more the better it works.  For more information see my Want It Wednesday page (see tabs)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

It's Training Time!!!!!

Well that's it.  I went ahead and have entered my first 24 hour solo mtb race.  My finger twitched on the button to apply long enough but now I've made the commitment and in exactly 4 months time I will be readying myself for the challenge of my life.

I'm feeling really excited about this mixed with the feeling of nervousness and a tad sick!!  It's hard to get my head around what I'm expecting my body to do.  I have in mind to do around 170 miles which is a hard target.  Not a winning standard but my aim isn't to win.  My victory will come in completing it.  I'd still not want to come last so I'm going to have to train well and consistently.

So training is now underway, and already I notice how much I've let my body slip over the year.  Random long ride outs just isn't enough to transform or hold my fitness so that is the first part to sort when dealing with my training.  Like a lot of people, training time is restricted due to work and family so I will be looking at training most days during the week for probably only an hour or so to begin with.  Weather isn't helping right now to getting out in the evenings so I'm hoping consistency will push my fitness rather than a couple of long rides in the week.  My Saturdays will be the day for interval training followed by the Sunday which will be my long ride.

My long term goals is obviously to compete in the 24 hour race and also loose 20lbs in weight.  This will be the first time I've had to loose weight to compete so that'll be interesting, my targets will be around 5lbs a month in weight loss although realistically with Christmas the first month my not go to plan and so more will have to be lost the months after.  I'm a weak man when it comes to chocolate!!

I've now started writing down things that I will need to take with me to the race most of it centring around what to eat and drink.  I think I will be using bottles so I can monitor my drinking better and do one lap with carbs in it and the next with water and electrolytes in it.  I've worked out that with each lap I'd be burning off about 800 calories.  This I have to try and sustain per lap or at least eat on my quick breaks between my two lap stops (this plan could all fall apart!)  I've worked out that if I raced the whole thing I'd burn over 8000 calories, or 3 days worth of food!  Still not sure what foods are going to get those calories but I have a feeling that they will centre around nuts and pasta.........not together though!!

Anyway, I'm off for a trail run tonight and going to do some core work giving me a night off from my turbo trainer.  I'll need lots of encouragement in the next few months to get me through this winter!!!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Planning, Planning, Planning........24 hours Solo!

I have 24 hour race fever.  I am sick.  I can't think about anything else right now.  Am I ill or just mad?  I had planned on doing the Nutcracker race series this year and although I've not written this off, I have now decided to complete my ambition of riding a 24 hour race solo.  The most I've ever ridden is six hours so the prospect of being in my saddle for the majority of a full day and night is somewhat daunting.

I'm not sure whats come over me but now my ever waking thought and day dream is about doing a race solo.  So I've started researching.  The first thing was looking for a race venue.  I wanted something near by so the drive wouldn't be too long (I'm hoping my wife will drop me off and pick me up!)  This left the Nutctacker 24 in July which would give me plenty of time to train most of the hard work being put in the long light hours of June.  Perfect.  But no, not perfect because I just realised the event is not going to happen.  That only leaves the 24 hours of Exposure which is the country's only Solo race.  It looks amazing, and held in the area of Newcastleton which is a great riding area.  They have great support there aiming at those who don't have the support already, lights to hire, energy drinks, and even a jersey competition for rookie entries.  Perfect. No again.  It on April 7th.  Bugger. 

I am now going to have to get some serious training underway and that means the prospect of riding through the winter which is hard at the best of times.  Is it enough time? 4 months?!?  Who knows, and this is the main reason I'm still not 100% committed.  The training is more a concern than the race itself.

Do I, Don't I?????  I had thought that if I did it I may even raise money for charity to not only feel I've done something for myself but others and give me the extra boost on those cold winter mornings.

This just leaves so many questions.  I think I've an idea on the training side, but its things like what do I eat during the race, how many calories should I be consuming.  What drinks, what energy products.  Will my arse cope with my current saddle and what do you do with chamois cream anyway?  Is my hardtail bike going to cripple me and will I ever be the same again?  Do I just go at a plodding pace and play the turtle and catch the hares later? Am I just mad?

You know there really isn't that much information out there for this kind of event unless anyone can point me in the right direction, it would save my brain going into over load.  Should I just go for it?