Monday, September 26, 2005


After the Aviemore race I have been thinking. Adding up costs for this race led to a bit of a one sided equation. Race entry was £18 and £6 for a day race membership. I crashed pretty hard on one of the rocky downhill sections whilst trying to force a gap and dinged my front brake lever pretty badly. I suspect the perch will snap as a result, so one right hand Paul Components brake lever £50 is added. Then I managed to rip my shorts. Pretty nice Pearl Izumi ones too. So add yet another £75. Hmm, lookingking good eh? Somehow I also managed to lose my helmet. As a replacement I now have a Giro pneumo. £80 thankyou very much.

Racing a doesn'toesnt have F1 costs but it ain't all that far away eh?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Old Man

Just back from Aviemore. A long day driving, but it was worth it. Today was the Scottish XC series race at Badaguish ( say BAH-dooish) which is where the Telly Savalas Players' put on the SSEC in 2004. The course rocks, and I had to go despite the driving and packing logistics...

I'm glad I did. It was a beautiful sunny day and the ride to the race course was worth it in itself. Met up with Marty and Susan who were in super form and then kicked off the race. After the first climb I managed to squeeze into something like sixth spot, due to the biggish gear I run on my singlespeed. I then found I could gap people fairly easily on the technical trails and managed to pop up to third by the middle of lap two.

By the end of lap three I held the lead and was able to put some hurt on the guy in second, with the guy in third drifting back slightly, the only issue was the longish fireroad drag back to the finish area. The question was: could I put enough time between myself and him to stop him clicking up a gear or 2 and zipping past in the last 100m. The lap went ok. I took a header and have an elbow the size of a lime, and then smacked a tree pretty good. Alas although I forced a gap, I couldn't find enough to stop him reeling me in and then popping by to leave me in second. All power to him really, it is a race after all.

Was thinking of the other boys today as they were all at the 3 peaks...Now that is a toughee. No doubt a report will come.

Off to have a wee beer and order a new helmet. As I rode back to the car it must have fallen from my ruck sack and from there - who knows. Two hours of searching showed up nothing.

As a side note. Rothiemurchas Estate was as beatific as ever. A truly amazing place.

Golden Fleece

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Last Merida 100km race

The last Merida 100km race for the season was this week end. It was very tough, with nearly 3000m of steep climbing and a profusion of technical riding interspersed with tricky, slippery muddy singletracks and some road sections. All in all, a worthy season final. Infact I think it was the toughest of them all this year.

I was doing pretty well until the last quarter of the race when the ascent total and the moderate/high gear I use combined to leave me suffering. Being awoken at 5am by ducks did little to help, but the physical challenge was the main factor.

I raced in Kenwood colours- gold - the last before john's shop Kenwood Cyclery closed this July. I was proud to be flying the flag and I will post a pic or two when they become available.

A few problems on returning home left me with 2 nights of very little sleep again, and to be honest I'm feeling lived in. It will be a week of early nights I hope to try and catch up and get on my game again. We'll see.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

On being a hermit

Today I bumped into Kevin. We get on well, and have done for many years now. Kevin manages a bar in Glasgow. A bar I would class as the best bar in Glasgow. Or would have. See, as Kevin remarked, he has not seen me in a year, maybe more. Now I have been a bit of a hermit recently. Not through asceticism, more through necessity.

But can it really be a year? Or more?

Yup. See, he had *both* his sons with him. The younger was born the day before the last time we talked.

Time flies when you are having fun, but it simply disappears when you are not.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


I smiled after reading Hunter S Thompson's alleged suicide note published in Rolling Stone magazine:

"No More Games. No More bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun -- for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax -- This won't hurt."

4.30 am

There is are many reasons for getting up at 4.30 am. Recently, I have done it a lot. A while ago I was racing a solo 24 hr race, so I had not even gone to bed. However, it reminded me of years past, trying to tear myself out of a warm sleeping bag to go ride a lap or 2 at the witching hour and then smile as dawn began to break.

Then last Friday the reason was just generalised insomnia. Worries and stresses floating around the mind and making it impossible to fall back to sleep.

This weekend just gone we took some time out to visit our very good friends Pauline, Mike and baby Maya. Needless to say, Maya found reason to do a little screaming in the middle of the night.

It is an odd time, when your soul is laid bare and primeval instincts react to any fears or concerns you have. Nevertheless, it can also be a time of great peace and reaffirmation of the benefit of looking forward with the dawn.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

We now take a break from our regular broadcast...

Hmmm, I've learnt some things about the internet and about our computer. This is the first day for over a week that our computer has stayed connected to the internet. The most important thing I have learned is that I don't know very much about either. Hmm indeed.

Just finished reading Dougal Haston's book "In High Places" which traces his climbing career from railway embankment to Everest. A good read with some odd shifts in style and pace, presumably due to the different predicaments noted. Next up, David Breashears...

Well, hopefully more soon-ish if the connection holds. Off to see our friends and their wee one Maya at the week end-its been a while since I was up in the Cairngorm so it should be a good week end.