Sunday, November 29

The little penguin that couldn't cross. (Supercross Rnd3 report)

Story time!!! there was a little penguin called Greg

He didnt have a Ferrari, but he did have a nice red cross bike instead!

He was really happy cause it was VERY cold and wet and kinda reminded him of home, he didnt like the hot months in Ireland and all the fish tasted a bit off too.

So he decided that it might be fun to ride the red cross bike around a field up north

So he did, he rode it round and round and it turned out that there was a race on! Penguins like to race, LOTS, so he decided to enter

He met some guys (he thought they were penguines as they were wearing black white and orange too!) and asked them if he could ride with them

SO he lined up with all these HUMANS! and then they started to race

it was very muddy, which was kinda slippy like ice so he was happy, but very wet like the sea

HE rode around with 5 of the other penguins and then 7 mins later he was at the start again! But they were still going, it turned out they had to do it 7 times!

The second time around he was cycling up a very icey part of 'snow' and racing some other HUMAN, and then WHAM he fell over on his beak!

he hopped back up, squalked at the man who had knocked him over, then gave chase.

Then his chain snapped and his race was over.

he did a little puke and went home as he couldnt cool down.

The ENd

Thursday, November 26

Phlegm and darkness

About this time of the year, every year, i get sick. I think its a combo of SAD and generaly trying to get away with wearling as little kit on the bike as possible. But i get into a period of poor eating, following poor moods, then sickness of the green phlegm kind.

Normally i catch it when its too late but for a change i appear to have got it a little earlier than normal. However it still necessitated 3 days off 'work' and doing shag all. Trying to get my head back in order, and get the body to follow suit.

However something did come along to brighten the week up. My new Inbred frame! Waiting about 2 months for it from On-One due to the fact that its a special limited edition or something. All i know is that it ROCKS. I haven't had a steel hardtail in years, forgot how good they can look, skinny tubes and loverly welds.

So i built it up mixed with coughing and grease and just looked at it until i could go no further. Had to go for a ride this evening, needed to see if the legs were there. Up to Howth, onto the local run.....WOW. Slack head angle, short stem, risers and long travel...i forgot how fast i can ride. Hitting all the sections flat out, in the slithery mud....and in the dark.

Gotta love winter, empty trails and rabbits. Time to get new lights me thinks.

The Pig of Happiness

Wednesday, November 18

Hipsters make me angry...

They just do. Get a helmet, get some bloody proper riding kit, stop buying useless shite for your shittly looking bikes and actually race some real bloody races.

I've been riding and racing track bikes for the last 6 years and now it just makes me cringe when i see a total dullard sitting on a cross bar in town posing at lights.

First they ruined my MTB back in the late 90's, now they have ruined my commuter, next its going to be cross, you know i'm right. This just sums it up.

Monday, November 16

Manchester sweet Manchester

Its been a while since i have had an actual weekend off training and racing. Decided a long while back that 4 weekends in a row racing was enough and booked tickets to go over to Pauline in Manchester, see some track racing, and have some fun with the lads. It also nicely corresponded with my birthday weekend.

Late on Thursday night i got a ring from the UK to hear that Pauline had had a run in with a car. Great! So Friday was spent wondering if she was broken or not. In order to distract myself from that I went mountain biking with Waggers for the morning, went shopping for a new MTB for him in the afternoon then headed to the airport. Arrived in the UK to find that all was well and that Pauline had tried to eat an entire SUV....she failed and mostly just hit it with her face.

Good nights racing at the track after a trip to Decathlon for some new kit, and Rusholme for some curry. Few beers at the velodrome then off to Fallowfield for a few beers before bed, pretty relaxed weekend as i think we were all tired anyway.

Sunday saw a lie in (first for me in months) and then a real sunday of reading, shop for milk, then off to the pub to watch the Ireland vs Australia rugby match. Mmmm english mixed grill for dinner. Total lazy Sunday, havent done that in a long time eiter. Saw what remains of Paulines front wheel and the rest of the bike was OK, some bits writen off some not so.

Late back to Dublin, then off to bed. Lazy day today, but going to spend most of it catching up on work i fear. Back to the real world for me it seams :(

Sunday, November 8

Supercross Cup Round 2: Tymon North.

Another race another chance to clean my bike.

About this time every year i get sorta sick of cross, mostly because of the amount of time it takes to clean the bike, then me, then my kit after a race. Then when its done I'm happy again and looking for new parts to get for the bike that are going to hold less mud, yet take more effort to keep working. Its a circle that keeps happening and i don't think will ever stop.

Now last week i broke another set of Eggbeaters. Cranky yes, but at the same time they were over 7 years old and had only ever had one rebuild. So not that pissed off if i am honest. However this is now 3 pairs in 6 getting disillusioned at this stage. So in a rush i just grabbed a set of the cheap MXR's that they do to get me through the race yesterday.....what a bad idea.

Good warm up, few laps of the course and i had it nailed, nice and fast and a great usage of the hill compared to other years. Big success for IMBRC, seriously good course. Fast but wet, grip but slippery, all that cross is supposed to be.

Lined up on the grid, stepped back to let Roger Aiken in on the front row, no chance i was going to beat him, felt better letting him get to the front. Clipped in, 5 secs to go, GO, pushed off second foot clipped in went to pull on right foot, BANG, foot blows out of pedal. 'FUCKIT', clip in, pull on left, BANG, second foot blows out....these springs are pure shite. Rest of the race every time i went to pull hard they popped or just stopped short of popping. Teach me for buying cheap again.

So after working my way back up from the back of the group i got onto the front half. Few laps tussling with Rob from IMBRC and Mark from 3D-Tri gave me a real going over in the first 5 laps. Mark binned it into a tree and Rob and i kept trading places. Eventually Rob pulled away and i couldn't get back onto him no matter what i did. Total blow up. Had to try to keep away from Mark but he'd disappeared (turn out a tree ate him and his brakes).

Kept on keeping on and felt good for the last two laps, took a few places back but nevewr came through like up in Carrickfergus. No idea why, course suited me , but obviusly not enough. Gutted for the start though, pretty much lost any chance of racing there and then. Don't have the power to bridge groups, but if i'm in i can stay in. Ahh well.

Photos stolen from the race thanks to Ollie from MAD MTB at:

Monday, November 2

Belgium, beers and prison?

What a roller coaster week i had last week. Monday i was wasted, race the day before had taken allot out of me so i just recovered, two easy spins on the bike, nothing in the legs though.

Tuesday saw the usual cross session in Knocklyon. Felt dog awful on the way into college, nothing in the legs still. Figured it was going to be a bad bad session. Rode on out with Mick and Katie expecting a good deal of personal suffering. Felt good on the way out and by the time we got there legs were feeling great. Tough session focusing on sprints and physical cornering in bunches and i was on fire, really felt on for a change. Last race of the evening i was on fire, starting near the end and held off the big boys (Robin) until the end, didn't get caught, but at the same time Mark got away from me. Focus for this week :)

Great ride home, no bonkage, and great ride on Wed in and out of work. Legs were still going well. Perfect for the two days off that were coming up. Treated myself to a beer that evening too! Next morning up stupid early to head to the airport to fly to Belgium. Decided to ride over, lock the bike, then get the plane. It lashed. Cock. Got to airport very early though as i had a HUGE tail wind, so settled in with Catch-22 and a massive coffee.

Met Ryan and hit the plane, good natter on the way over, nice bit of talk about training and whatnot. Off the plane talking away, off to the check in....cock no passport. Wander up to the nice Belgian man; 'ive got no passport its on the plane' .. 'this is not good for you'.... ' i know, could you ring ryanair?'... ' yes, we will try'.... and so on. Suffice to say the plane took off and ryanair did fuck all. To be fair i would expect nothing less from the flying bus that is a ryanair flight.

Calls to the forign office ensued, escoreted into the police station, put under 'administrative arrest', ringing the Irish embasy, trying to prove im Irish, etc etc. 3 hours later and i get a get out of jail free card and get to leave the airport, under the assumption that i'm a very good boy and dont try to steal Belgium. Or drink all their tasty beer and make a fool of myself. Bit of banter with the police if im honest, a sound bunch of blokes, the whole talking about cyclocross and having my kit with me kinda helped i reckon.

Bus to Brussles, then taxi to the hotel, and manage to catch the last hour of the course. Meet the lads and get a quick de brief then head to get showered and tidyied up. Good dinner, talking about cycling and so on, then a few drinks on the Belgian cycling federation. By the time 10pm local came round i was wrecked, hit the bed and crashed out with the TV still on. Second day more of the same, some more talk, more food (man they like leeks) and more coffee. Picked up by the national team car and dropped back to the airport with 4 hours to kill.....uugh....oh look on the plane and passed out. Wake up, slow ish ride home, telly for 30mins then off to bed again.

Looks like im back on early time folks! Its good to wake up at 7:30am and not be confused. Now to start using this time to train!!!