Monday, 29 December 2014

Milton Keynes part 1.2

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If you weren't there you missed the best cycling event of the year, Great racing amazing atmosphere all here in the Uk. If happens again make sure you make the effort to go. Heck we found muffins, beer, hotdogs and loads if cowbells. Sven was er Sven we were lost for words really and now I need to save up for a Trek Boone.

Very cross on Boxing Day

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Mince pie belly removal attempt CXNE South Sheilds. On site coffee truck was a blessed reviver after the Xmas day onslaught and a 2h drive across the Pennines  unfortunately I finished all the Xmas choc when I got get out on my bike.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Ride like Sven.

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Sven had on cameras on his bike in Milton Keynes 
This is quite entertaining.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Milton Keynes Cyclo Cross World Cup

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Wow....I'm still in a bit of a daze.  What a weekend of uber excitement.
I should be writing updates of us all racing, Ian, Piers and myself have all been getting cross lately, but this was something else. Our racing news will have to wait

The giddyness started on Friday night, His holiness Sven himself was in town along with Katie Compton, performing for the fans at the Trek Store in Milton Keynes and I hugged them both in the hope of absorbing some greatness. 
Brilliant thing number one.

Saturday morning I was up at an ungodly hour to be on site before 8.  Working you see.
I say working, but it was hanging around talking bikes and cyclocross while sticking Trek flags to anyone who moved. I even made a group of real Belgians buy Trek merchandise.

As for the racing, I have no idea where to start, it was all too much.
My wonderful employers worked out shifts so everyone got to see at least one race, so I ran to the start line and stood there metres away from Cant,Wyman, Harris and Compton.
On my right shoulder as I turned round was Keith Bontrager.  I had a quick chat but he had to go, he had jackets and leg warmers to catch as riders threw extra clothing to their swannys. 

I won't go on about the race, I'm sure most people have seen it, but it excelled all expectations.  So much noise, such an atmosphere and a close race from start to finish.

The men's race was no different.  other than the crowds were going even crazier and making even more noise.  I then spent the next hour +1 running back and forth to catch the likes of Sven, Kevin, Tom, Klaas and Ian field as they tore round each lap.
The pro's ride unbelievably fast. 
I don't know what else to say, It still feels like a little bit of a dream. The whole weekend was not like any other.
So here's some pictures.

The #Awesome Durrins and me

Katie Compton

Sven and me
You can see more of my boring photos on my flickr

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

For the Love of (all things) Mud

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Go Team!

If you had heard already, VeloCake is a team of winners. At least in North Yorkshire.
Jon Bateman WON a cross race, yes won! Jon was aided to victory by team mate Tom Levell who didn't win despite finishing ahead in the race. 

Jon leading the pack

Off the front

Also "racing" last weekend at the Bristol Oktoberfest, Simon Barnes romped home in 10th place, even though he only completed two laps and getting held up in the singletrack by fellow VeloCaker. Pete Watt. Pete did extremely well to stay upright and not repeat his previous race outing where he had a nasty connection with his stem and required ice packs from the St.John's ambulance folks. 
Full race action reports and photogs to follow, I'm sure.

Below is a trailer for a sooner to be released film about Cyclocross.  It's rather beautifully shot by film maker Benedict Campbell, I like it rather much, if you've not seen it, it's well worth 4 minutes 26 or whatever of you time.

"FOR THE LOVE OF MUD" TEASER-2 from benedict campbell on Vimeo.

Monday, 6 October 2014

I love cross racing (again)

Last Saturday, I had my first cross race of 2014 at my new local race at Milton Keynes Bowl.
For the first time since I were a lad, I rode to a cross race. Four miles along the redways of this town provided a good warm up which was needed as the Indian summer ended with a bang as the temperatures dropped and down came the rain. Proper cross weather and a it made a nice change from driving for 3 hours to a race.
I felt a little unprepared, no spare wheels, no bags of faff just riding what I brung.
The central league has a familiar yet different feel to others I've raced.  The vets and womens field was big enough for its for it's own race,  49 riders in the 40-49, and there was another 20 or so in both the 50+ and the womans entries. Including the current V50 world champion.

I thought I'd take it steady, I wasn't expecting to do much in such a big field and besides, new league, new course, 1st race and so on.
The course really suited me, all up then down and the rain had made things really slippery.  20psi was spot on. 
At the 1st climb I went passed about 15 riders, ok they were mainly more mamil than Veldrijdener but I got me thinking.  I was really enjoying the modder, and passing loads, time to press on.  Louise Mahe from MuleBar Girl team passed me and I tried to stick to her wheel as long as i could as hey, she's practically a pro, in all but salary. 

I managed to stay up whilst others fell around me and I have scars from someone's chainring in my left calf, as  he slide off next to, then into me. Obviously southerners don't get on with the challenging conditions so well as  I continued to catch and drop riders and had a good couple of last laps.  Despite only supposedly lasting for 40 minutes I got a full hour of racing and finished in 11th place.

This is quite a climb.

How to hup hup hup

That was the most fun I'd had on a bike since last December.
Cross racing's ace isn't it?

Thanks to the photographers that I pinched the photo's from.