Wednesday, 26 October 2011
Especial thanks to the gentleman who allowed my to bleed onto his glove for the best part of half an hour, whilst saying kind things. How gentlemanly in fact was that? Offering a lady his glove (to staunch a nosebleed). V Jane Austen.
I now have a Met Parachute, ordered on Wiggle a mere day later. I will look like a knob with a full-face, albeit very light XC full-face helmet. But hopefully my teeth will stay intact, which they nearly didn't (one kindof shifted in, which is ick), and my nose will stay straightand not incur any (more) scarring.
I still like Mountain Biking more than the road mind you. At least I didn't come off and get run over by a lorry, having left all my skin and lycra as a paste on the road.
Hey-ho. Perhaps soon I will stop feeling like I have been kicked by a horse.
Monday, 12 September 2011
Contrary to the forecast it was blue and lovely.
I was slightly unsettled to see how many fit looking club-type riders there were, and was beginning to wonder if my timing prediction that led to me setting off in the first wave was over optimistic. There was a bit of nervous circling and trying to warm up whilst chatting a bit to other ladies. I am not used to not having the children and husband send me off, but people were really friendly.
I ended up absolutely at the front, under the jealous makingly pretty nose of the lovely Victoria Pendleton.
At 9 we were off. Two women were ahead of me for some time, while I pedalled frantically hoping to catch a tow from one of them. I expected any moment a massive lady-peleton to sweep past me. But oddly it never happened. Did a mass crash happen at the start? Were marshalls desperately trying to call us back? A couple more women came past and I stuck with them for a bit, but not enough to draft, which had been my best hope prior to the race. My Garmin showed my heart rate right on the edge and I was sure I couldn't keep it up, despite the welcome distraction of the marvellous countryside. But I did keep it up, counting down the miles, knowing that the famous Bison Hill was to come. On Bison Hill, surely the peletonette would munch me, given my shocking inability to climb.
It didn't happen. And as I passed the finish a small girl said I was 7th over the line. And getting in so early meant I bagged a lovely massage and got rid of the hideous cramp that had set in.
I am properly pleased with myself (even though my setting off at the front meant that a few more of the women behind got better times and I came 12th in the end). As a slow coach multiple mummy with a tricky job and a lactate phobia, 12th out of more than 600 is flipping great for me. Almost makes me want to do time trials (almost), but I guess that is the point of Cycletta and Sky Rides. To encourage women to ride, or to ride better or faster and know that it is possible, not just for the sponsored skinny chaps, but for the rest of us. I'll leave the skin suits though, thank you very much.
Millions of thanks to Minx for anti-big bum riding solutions, and millions of thanks too for the Cycletta. It was a great experience.
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Saturday, 10 September 2011
Anyway, this "Flow" is the key to it- reading a trail ahead at a little speed means processing a lot of information, making tiny weeny back of brain decisions constantly, and the odd biggy, sod the drop-off type decision.
If you want to do it properly fast you absolutely have any gas-bill/annoying person at work sort of thoughts utterly squashed out, which frankly is as good a thing as you can get legally (although this can happen in sex, you cannot easily crash during it, unless you are a good deal more adventurous than me, allowing the possibility of gas-bills if one's heart is not in it). This is absolutely not that I think mountain biking is better than sex in any way. Absolutely not. It is also borderline scary (biking that is), and being on the edge of controlling it,either speed wise or skills wise.
The other thing is exuberance and playfulness. Hairy mountain bikers will not admit to being in any way playful or frolicky to their mates, but will whoop like comedy cowgirls, hopping and skidding and arsing around. I like this. There is not enough whooping in modern life.
Ladies, I exhort you once more, get on your bikes and get muddy and whoop and forget your bad stuff. And then have a welshcake and a cup of tea.
Anyway. Cycletta tomorrow. And what to wear? Autumn is such a gear headache.
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
Adventure racing friend had a fine time last weekend in the Lakes, which sounded good. There's something going on in Cardiff. There's Dusk til Dawn. That's a bit soon though and I have this weekend bagged by Cycletta and Oktoberfest a few weeks later. Perhaps I need to settle down a bit.
Then there's Strathpuffer- the 24 hours of Scottish Snow-Hell. I like night riding, I don't like it too warm, I am well hard me. I'm not too hot on mud mind. Well not for 24 hours anyway.
Or then again I could just keep myself up for 2 straight days on the turbo in the dark in wet smelly clothes, eating jelly beans and drinking strong coffee whilst smashing bike parts with a hammer.
Oh well, let's get the Cycletta done, try and get in with some fast ladies, hang on and give it some beans on the hill. I need to get there from Brizzle in time first though. Speaking of sleep deprivation and orienteering.
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Monday, 5 September 2011
I have a tendency when cycling to be the fitness equivalent of a trusty diesel 4 by 4 rather than a race-tuned hot hatch (as it were). I can truck on quite happily with my pulse jammed on 135 all day long, but deathly slowly. I want to get me some of them fast legs, and I'm afraid that that involves if not a brush with the Hurt Locker, then at least the Substantial Discomfort Locker. This is not a particular problem with the comedy Postman Pat style hills around Kingsbridge. There is no down without an up (and a down, and another up, and a down: and repeat).
Anyhoo. My leggies hurt today- inner thighs believe it or not, as opposed to knees, which I take to be a good thing, and I shall be bringing it up with @markjohnpilates. Who is an actual minor deity of musculoskeletal advice and chicken anecdotes.
More cycling later this week, hopefully with some other girlies. If not, I shall be hitting the road (hopefully just metaphorically) on Thursday.
Thursday, 1 September 2011
Weeeeeeeeeell. Comfortable is perhaps over egging it. One has grown accustomed to modest yet hard working rear-suspension allowing terrible line choice, "Turning a mistake into a possibility", as the lovely Mr Cooksley says. It also stops the rear of the bike kicking you up the bottom when you barrel over a bump. I am prepared to go along with the forgiving a rubbish line bit to a certain extent, but my bum was thoroughly kicked going over the stuttery bumps on the Quarry Trail at Ashton Court. It does seem to go whizzy fast though. And it was fun and very stable and nimble and other good words. And I didn't fall off and the Ghost Dog that apparently roams the woods at night didn't get me, and I was brave despite the owl sound effects.
It was dark, mind, which distorts things a wee bit, especially as I have still not replaced my poor lost head torch. Just bar mounted fellows, however bright, are not the same.
"You've always been a thorn in their side. But to me you're a shining light. You arrive and the night is alive. Yeah, you are a shining light."
This is no longer true. Use your lanyard sisters. Never leave a torch unlit on your helmet in the dusky woods without one.