Be it a guide, an instructor or a leader, I want to be one, and want to be one of the best out there – I have a lot of learning and work to do first! And thus, I attended the MTB Leadership Workshop 2017. This was the first progressive development workshop for MTB Leaders, held last weekend over two days at Plas y Brenin. 70 MTB Leaders from all levels of the British MTB Leadership award pathway as well as MBLA Leaders attended. Read More
As I gradually pull together the skills required for leading on a mountain bike, whether in a local playground or out on an exposed ridge at 800 metres above see level, many miles from civilisation, it’s clear to me that leading is about understanding others’ perspective, others’ values and finding their real desires. Read More
The start was well under way, I rode with the pack, mashing along at silly speeds, I think it might have been Mark Richmond, event organiser, next to me in the fury, who wished me luck “All the best Verity, you and Delia, 20 seconds..” not sure if he meant she was 20 seconds up the road, or a prediction of the finish. He was spot on, though it was Delia and then me, 23 seconds. Read More
Currently in Yorkshire, training hard, thinking about life up here. Harsh. Seasonal. Weathered. And such things.
Last weekend was Matt Page’s XC Marathon Champs in Llandovery, more specifically the Crychan Forest, totalling 94km, ~3000m climbing. Imagine a hilly, wet, Welsh event, and you have it right there. Super tough, (as it should be), longest day out for me in a long time. Testing both man and machine, psychological, physiological and mechanical failures abounded. I certainly had my fair share of each.
It was my first mountain bike outing in a couple of months, I felt a bit green at times. Coming to the end of a big block of training for the Cyclocross 3 Peaks, I was fit but not fresh. Eventually coming in at 3rd Vet and 6th overall, I was so happy to finish it. Talk at the end was non-stop as we all offloaded our anxieties and efforts experienced during the race, whilst barely recognisable under the layer of wet Welsh mud. Thanks to Rhys for his patience such a long event. Though I think he was suitably entertained by the campsite customers… Thanks to Paul for the looking after the mtb, it needs a good strip down now.
This weekend sees the start of the cross season. It wasn’t my initial intention to go for it this season, but after a virtually non-existent mountain bike season, I am having it.
Relative to previous years, Mayhem provided a surprisingly technical challenge, largely due to the preceeding week’s rain. It was certainly a torturous challenge to the legs, for when you weren’t climbing you were riding through plasticine, I understand that roadies would refer to this as “grippy”. Read More
Finally done it, thought about for it for years, organising the logistics always put me off, not to mention finding someone to do it with. I never realised until last year that the Sustrans’ Way of the Roses passed through my home patch in East Yorkshire, through the Yorkshire Wolds. So what better way to mark my entry into true middle-age. Read More
Love this time of year, holiday time. It means I can wake up feeling like death from training and racing and NOT having to face the prospect of work. Having said that, the constant barrage of filthy foods presenting themselves to me rises exponentially, alongside the Christmas parties. Read More
Its been an unusual recovery period after the 3 Peaks cyclocross race. The Tuesday following it, I had surgery on my nose and thus spent the last 10 days on strong pain relief, antibiotics and done little. This is the third round of plastic surgery after I face-planted at Dalby Forest in 2009 – 32 stitches – my nose was virtually peeled sideways to the right and I de-gloved my lower jaw. The healing didn’t go so well and part of my nose necrosed (the skin just died away), and replaced itself with scar tissue. Read More
Its all over, I didn’t think I was going to win today, then I suddenly came incredibly close to being able to do just that. I was beaten by an outstanding climber today, Jules Toone, it was a great battle. I was on for a sub-4 hour time, my target. It felt as hard as ever, just doesn’t get easier, it was emotional. Read More
I’m stressed, I’m tired and I’m busy. Its all self-inflicted and wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m feeling alive, working towards my plans and goals. Seasons are changing, the leaves are turning, I love being part of this, amongst it on my bike, it even smells different. Something I would like to change is the time available to ride more.
Mountain bike season is over, cyclocross has started for real now. Two weeks in a row of racing it, I’m always surprised at how painful it can be, five minutes in and looking at your watch wondering how on earth you’re going to manage another forty minutes! Its a ridiculous sport, there’s not a huge amount of reward beyond self-flagellation. Read More