Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Stickin' ya neck out

In the last week I have been and stuck my neck out on a couple of occasions to try something new and to commit another Winter of hard riding.

Firstly, I'm now a sponsored cyclocross racer riding for Cult Racing.  Owner of cult Racing, Paul, had asked for willing/wannabe racers to submit details to him for selection so I thought it would be worth a try and hit send, not really thinking anything would come of it.  Low and behold I got an email from Paul last Wednesday to pop in the shop to try out the bike and collect some kit!  

My first race in Cult Racing colours is coming up on Sunday 14th at round 2 of the West Midlands Cyclo-Cross League in Henley-in-Arden.  I then have quite a full racing programme over the next 4 months (see the Racing tab above).

The second time for me to put my neck on the block was yesterday when I announced that I would be riding 200km in Novermber (just 2 months away), to raise funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care.  It's something I had been thinking about now since my Dad passed away last year at the Hospice in Solihull.  I could have done any number of organised events, big or small, but I wanted to do something more personal and relvent to my Dad.  My Dad worked for the CEGB man and boy, for over 35 years, so I thought it would be relevent to cycle to those sites he had worked at in the Midlands after he and my Mum moved down from the grim northern mill towns of East Lancashire.  I had planned something much grander over a full weekend, including tough climbs on and off road, but my wife made me see sense with the fact that there will be limited daylight hours at this time of year.

So, now that it has been announced and I have donations coming in already, there is no backing down.  I'm a little apprehensive as the distance will be quite a lot more than my usual "long" commute to work, and now with committing to race there will be little scope for "getting the miles in" at the weekends.  I will therefore be trying to increase intensity in the hope that it will then help me "go long" at an easier pace.  I can but hope.


Monday, 1 September 2014

The Blink Of An Eye

WOW - Six months has past in the blink of an eye and quite a few things have occurred in that time.

I had a great race at Pembry Battle on the Beach and a few weeks later took delivery of a new Koga Beachracer which has been superb.  I've had over 900 miles of endless fun on it racing up and down bridlepaths, towpaths and it is surprisingly speed on the road too.  

I've taken the Tank down to the Devon coast and tried it out on the flat sands at Pembry and it has performed admirably each time.  At Pembry there was a noticable improvment riding over softer sand when compare to riding the Disco at the Battle on the Beach so I'm looking forward to next years edition with excitement.

Things have been a bit quiet on the event front, unfortunately I had a DNS at HoNC this year due to illness.  My planned TT failed to materialise due to pickiing up a particularly nasty stomach bug in May which knocked me out for a few weeks.  However my work's cyclo-commuting team took the team price in the Redditch Cycle Challenge again!

With the kids exams over and our holiday touring around Europe in the motorhome completed successfully, I'm now starting to gather myself for the forth coming 'cross season.

I have now re-started my running regime of 3 steady runs per week, and will be taking them on the trails soon.  The 'cross bikes still need a fair bit of feckling to get them in shape and I need to start some higher intensity work to get me back in shape too!  I'll be starting my 'cross skills work this week too and I'm hoping to get a full season of racing in this year.

Also, on Sunday November 9th I am going to be riding 200km around the East and West Midlands in an attempt to visit the old power stations my Dad worked at, and hopefully raise £300 for Marie Curie and they provided so much care and support for him this time last year.