Saturday 28 June 2008

My first century!

101 miles, six hours twenty minutes. Going to celebrate with a can of spongebob pasta shapes on toast.

Post Mayhem

So after my frenzy of mobile blogging from Mayhem, I guess I'd better write a bit about it.

I remember:

- The rain
- The wind
- The off camber rooty clay section that was tricky to walk
- Overtaking 41 people on one lap (yay, go me!)
- Needing Darren to convince me to go out again
- The atmosphere of the last two hours

But my one, overriding memory was dragging myself out of my tent in the rain and wind, feeling quite chipper (given the circumstances) and going to wait in the changeover area for Gareth, at my allocated time of 240am. The changeover area was two deep so I was standing behind some others, peering into the murk, trying to spot Gareth coming in. After twenty minutes or so, a rider came in, looking shattered, lights failed. He started talking to his team mate stood directly in front of me, describing how tough it had been. It was about thirty seconds before I realised that the rider was Tim (in our team) and I'd been standing behind Gareth... who had been waiting over two hours for Tim.

At that point, I went back to bed.

It was kind of an inverse-Mayhem changeover - you quite often see people arriving and getting stroppy when they find there is no-one to handover to. Our team sent out an extra one, just in case.

Saturday 21 June 2008

Mud tyres going on

We've had quite a lot of light rain, so the dry tyres are being removed. I can't believe people didn't come with mud tyres on anyway.

Friday 20 June 2008

Last minute mechanicals

Darren tries to fix vicky's bike. It's not going well!

The camp

This is our home for the next couple of days. Not raining yet!

Monday 16 June 2008

Crash Test Dummy

After a big crash, resulting in some kind of seriousish injury, there is that nagging thought... what will the next one be like?

At the moment my shoulder is about 80% I reckon - I can do most day to day things, but there are still certain positions that it won't go into and I'm still doing daily mobilisation and strength exercises. I've got a mountain bike event at the weekend (Mountain Mayhem) which obviously results in increased risk. So I've been thinking over the past couple of days "What happens if I fall off again onto my righthand side?". Will the shoulder just pop out again, will I be in agony, will it set back my recovery?

So, fortunately I fell off riding home tonight, at about 5mph, onto tarmac.

I say fortunately, because I now know that it can just about take a 5mph impact onto tarmac without coming out and without pain or noticable damage.

I did take the skin off my right knee, right elbow and tiny marks on the shoulder itself and right hand. Oh, and ruined a pair of jeans by tearing them open. So that was unfortunate.

But overall I'm sort of pleased.

Saturday 14 June 2008

A pair of peckers

Woodpeckers. Great Spotted Woodpeckers, on my peanut feeder this morning. I've never seen a Great Spotted Woodpecker before, and now there are two eating my nuts.

That is all.

(Oh, I know that peanuts aren't really nuts)

Thursday 12 June 2008

Rest week = eating week

On a rest and recovery week at the moment. My plan has three weeks of increasing intensity, then a recovery week with about half the volume. I'm mentally resting too, from the whole concept of being in shape - it's been beer, chocolate, ice cream and nuts all the way this week. I reckon that I'll have to start thinking about what's going into me from next week.

Even though it's been R&R week, did a three hour off-road ride last night. Described as "more Haribo than Torq bar" (i.e. eating sweets on the way round rather than energy bars), it was actually fairly intense - some good climbs in there. I was great just to be riding with a couple of friends, not looking at the heart rate monitor and looking at the countryside and wildlife instead. I must do a few more of these, especially after the big event in July. I've noticed that there seem to be many more birds of prey around, compared to when I was a kid. Last night we saw a Red Kite and a Buzzard. I'm not sure why but I do get excited by birds of prey - perhaps I still think of them are rare and react accordingly?

Didn't see any bears though. Perhaps next time.

Monday 9 June 2008

It's getting hot in here

Not in the garage (which stays pleasant all year - being half underground helps) but in the house. We've had a couple of days of summer, and as I rode in to work this morning I caught a whiff of that summer smell - pollen, dust, heat. Not quite intense enough to really excite me, but it's on the way.

They say smell is the most evocative sense - something familiar can trigger a long hidden memory. The "summer smell" reminds me of riding in hot climates; that last day in Sardinia, the drag across Morocco when I ran out of water and had a bit of heat stroke in the evening. I guess that's why I'm craving it a little, I've no trips planned to warm places this year.

I do have a vague plan/promise to spend a few days in Wales with Jon, doing the trail centres. I've only been to a couple and it should be fun - bikes, beer, stupidity. We'd better get the dates sorted soon anyway.

This is the week I start learning to ride off road again... two weeks til Mountain Mayhem!

Saturday 7 June 2008

Argghhh! Missed training

I noticed that the last couple of posts have both had titles starting with "Today". So That's changed for a start.

Secondly, I'm not going to be doing my Saturday super long ride. That's because my neighbour is taking me to the cricket, the England-NZ test match in Nottingham. Free.

All I've had to do is provide the picnic. Now, this is an absolute pleasure for me, because I love picnics. Not the actuality of them, more the idea. I can't really remember enjoying one, but in my head they are wonderful things, filled with sunshine, gambolling lambs and home-baked goodness. In reality it tends to be wind, rain, ants, wasps and a deep fried selection from the supermarket.

The best picnics I've had (and now I've thought about it, I do remember some) have been on bike holidays, most notably in Italy and Morroco. These are the kind of bike holidays that provide a full catered service using fresh, local produce - which in Italy and Morocco means just picked/killed/dug up. I ate my first ever pear on one of these in Sardinia, and my first donkey sausage.

So, in honour of these bike picnics, I've included a couple of token peaches amongst the deep fried selection and Mr Kipling cakes. Here's hoping they taste of Italy, rather than Nottingham.

Thursday 5 June 2008

Today I dressed in my jeyest roadie top

It's actually a bit of a milestone. One thing the shoulder has been stopping me doing is wearing certain tops, because they're a bit difficult to get off. Today I wore my tightest, jeyest top to do a road ride, and managed to get out of it without the help of other people, scissors or pulley arrangements.

It's been a pleasant couple of days, sunny in parts, verging on the warm, and everything seems that little bit greener and bushier. Jon was riding home so I slipped out of work more or less on time so that I could get my road bike and meet him. We rode together for 45 minutes or so, then he carried on and I turned back. We'd been bimbling along, but the ride back was a bit more painful - I did some much harder intervals, the kind of "better ease off in case I vomit" intervals that are just so much fun. Still, it felt great to be flying along at 25-30mph for three minutes at a time.

After a shower it was time for the shoulder exercises. I've got physio tomorrow so I spent a little more time than usual on them. I think I've made progress since the last time, but it's not dramatic. Ah well, we'll see what she says. Hopefully I'll need more physio!

Tuesday 3 June 2008

Today it...

...absolutely pissed down.

It's stopped now but for some reason I just can't be bothered to go out - the forecast for the rest of the week is much better, so maybe I'll be able to make up for it then.

Of course, I could go on the Turbo. But somehow, it's lost its attraction since I've been able to go out and enjoy the real world.