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.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

2014 Three Peaks Cyclocross


Whernside hurts it's never failing in that respect I always forget until I am half way up it and a steady stream of people start to trudge past me one day I'll get fit and monster this one......but not today as today I'm hurting. Simon Fell on the hand always seems a bit easier relatively speaking.
  Preparation this year was not its best due school holiday's, both my wife and I traveling away resulting in whole weeks not riding a bike and finally the crash on the Sunday before that landed me in A&E. Not been able to move my leg until the Thursday before the race was not helping. Things were not looking good so had to make the decision to turn up and see what happened. Dressings wrapped in cling film to keep them dry with a knee warmer over the top to keep it place were are ready to go.
   9.30 start time it's crazy! I always worry about having a big stack here and this time no exception a whole chunk of the pack go down forcing me to ride the grassy verge its a stressfull time for all.
We hammer along the road make the left turn and were on the farm track and on to the field wow it dry this year no having to carry as soon as we hit the grass is strange. Soon the gradient winds up to max and the sorting starts its most depressing to see a long snake of riders almost reaching the top when your just getting started. I avoid the fence for the first time ever less jostling I go at my own pace I want to see how the leg is (and avoid a telling off from the nurse when I go back to get the dressings redone on the Monday) 
Soon were at the top dibbed and heading down them who can ride do others run and stumble along its so dry a fast decent is obtained and people overtaken remembering not to go over the bars this year at the bog at the bottom which must be a disappointment to the spectators.
Bike swapped fuel on board we head on up to Whernside while stuffing my face with water and bars
  Packs of riders go past me my legs feel dead I just can't hold a wheel I am to hot and now hate this race and will hate it more as we get into the climb up Whernside. Halfway up a friendly  voice "come on shift yer ass Morty" Martin Abbot doing his first race catches me and strides past.
  Tech descents are good and this is though it's getting slowly more sanitised as the years go by its still good fun and takes my mind of the accent. Ribblehead more water and food feeling a bit empty so I cram it in and head down the road with now trashed legs Penyghent looms in the distance I know what's instore and it's going to hurt. Left we go and away in the the pain zone I failed to hook any wheels on the way here but get into a group of three Beacon Wheeler Jon Bardgett is collected up and and another. Halfway up just as we all get off and push I am dropped again, I slog upwards people pass me my legs hate me. At last the summit and we are on the way down suddenly I hear "out of control" and a rider shoots past and goes straight on in to the rough holds it for a moment then is catapulted high in to the air lands and picks himself up a lucky escape. Ok moving nicely now but not at full tilt as I am very fatigued I start thinking about cups of tea I overtake a few people then I am rewarded for my complancey on the way down rear flat. I scream to halt fall backwards of the bike and cramp sets in.. Beate Kubitz is just opposite me on her way up I say hi and she falls off I hope I don't have that effect on everybody. I lay in the grass it's nice apart from the cramp two spectators come over and get me to my feet. Fumbling with the spare tube I am gutted to lose more time. Soon we are rolling and the rear is going down again! I make it to the road and grab the spare bike turning myself inside out to get to the finish more people going past now.  At last the finish 4.18 no magic 4 hours. Like a addict I will be back next year its the race you can't get out of you system. 
Photo credit 


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Good day at the office..

Some of you probably know already that I work for the greatest bicycle company in the world and today in the office one of my co-workers bikes was left against the filing cabinet.

Just so happened the co-worker was the one and only Jens Mother hubbin' Voigt.

The bike was his one off special used in his last few races before retirement,  oh and that hour record tomorrow.

That's the corner of my desk and Seb.