Friday, 29 November 2013


It seems that an inevitable part of my job these days involves travel.  Any notion I may have had that this was romantic or exciting quickly dissapated during my trip to the states last year when, instead of a road trip down 'Route 66' I spent a week rushing between meetings and spending more time than is healthy sat in various regional airports.

This weeks trip to Denmark , although not filled with multiple flights again left me with little in the way of cultural enrichment but a head and to do list straining at the seams.

Couple this with numerous issues back at the office requiring me to work into the night whilst my colleagues were consuming the entire 2013 production output of Denmarks micro-brewery industry and I can safely say that I'm looking forward to getting back to normality over the weekend.

Good intentions when packing to hit the gym or pool on a daily basis quickly faded as well.  The first afternoon in Copenhagen was spent catching up with work and the regional hotel we stayed at the for the following three days (which boasted comprehensive facilities on it's website) had a swimming pool, which seemed to be 10mtrs long and closed for 23 hours a day, the one hour it was open was obviously the hour I was either sleeping or working.

Without sounding like a travel-phobe, I've not really enjoyed the food either, I've become increasingly concious of what I eat and the food in the hotels seemed heavy and made for stodging you out.  Maybe that was just the lack of exercise though, I'm pretty sure  that a few hours of exercise during the week would have easily burnt off the food I ate.  As it was, I cut down on portions and promised myself a ride when I get home..

I've developed a love of just going out and wandering round new places, this may not be sensible but I've not had any problems and you get to see places which are fantastic.  Copenhagen is a stunning city, the architecture is something that even an uneducated oaf like me can appreciate and the people are friendly.  The cost of everything can only be described as eye watering though, and the first time I had to hand over 9 quid for a pint I almost ordered a second at the same time just to numb the pain of the first.

Bike friendly place though, my local colleague informed me that the order of priority in the city is Cyclists, Pedestrians, Cars.  That's not bad and Danish seem to be a law abiding bunch as I didn't see a single light jumper on my wandering. 

Fixies and sit up and begs seem to be en vogue for the average Dane and I spent the final evening strolling through the centre admiring the more odd bikes on display along with a colleague from England who, it appears, is another bike nut.

The first was the beauty which sat proudly in the window of the Louis Vuitton shop.  All stainless, black and brown..

At the other end of the spectrum was a trike type contraption which had obviously been constructed with lumpng stuff around in mind

So I've waved Denmark off at the airport and am heading home to catch up on family life, watch Dash eye ball his advent calender with increasing excitement and plan which of the new urgent jobs is the most urgent.

I guess I better squeeze some training in there as well, god knows I've missed it!

Friday, 22 November 2013


Not just the blog either, I've fallen foul of the dreaded winter sickness bug in the last couple of weeks, training was replaced with bed and stairs faced with a deep breath and much use of handrails.

I got out and rode Wednesday, it was good too, the call which came through 5 minutes before our meet time followed a day of heavy rain, the roads home were flooded and I admit to a certain amount of trepidation.

My response to the 'Are you riding question' was a simple "Hell Yes", in my mind sits the fact that I've missed a couple of weeks and face next week in Copenhagen with no chance of riding, I was going no matter what.  Jamer was game as ever, trooper that he is and when I got to his house he let me know that we had a few other hardy souls joining us.

His demo Giant 650b sat proudly in the rain whilst last minute faffing was done and we were off.

It was cold and I quickly realised that my winter gloves need a little bit of thought, 10 minutes from home and I was already losing the feeling in my fingers.

Getting to the wood the rain returned and so did the mist, it made it ethereal and I was soon enjoying my legs moving again, no point dodging puddles, it was too wet for that and to try was simply wasting energy.

With my arse perched on a Selle Italia SLR and fit clipped into Shimano XTRs for the first time I was in for a voyage of discovery..

Loved it though, my night riding set up is finally as I want it with decent lights on both bar and head and good company with great mates.

The descents were hard earned and techy, stuff ridden countless times takes on  new challenge when the water is racing you down hill and even the most innocuous roots have turned wet glass slippy.  My riding felt good though and I was pretty chuffed with my fitness even after the illness.  I'm a fair way off century fit, but I've a few months of turbo to work on that ;o)

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Name Change

I've been unhappy with the blog for a little while, maybe that is one reason why I just haven't kept it up to date.

During the past week, I've swung between closing my account and quitting the world of blogging and starting anew.  I sat and thought about it though and I decided that to be honest, a name change to something which is a little more accurate would be a good starting point for refreshing mojo for sitting and writing. 

So, Velo Addict it is, that sums me up, I love bikes and biking, whilst I may not have the biggest collection of bikes there isn't much time that goes by without me thinking about rides I've done or am planning on doing.

Maybe this is the digital equivalent of having kids to save a marriage, but I'm willing to try and make it work.. are you?

Friday, 1 November 2013

Catch Up

A lot has happened since the last blog post, I'm busy and struggling to sit in front of the screen long enough to finish off the half written post about the Malvern Mad Hatter.

That's a shame because the ride was fantastic and went utterly to plan.  As a natural self critic I am perpetually disappointed in my own performance, able to find the smallest issue and honing in on it until all other good stuff is lost.

Not so this time, the 104 miles of the Malvern Mad Hatter passed under my wheels in 5hrs 49 minutes and I finished feeling bloody great.  The last 10 miles were a bit of a slog as my nutrition plan of stopping only once and being self sufficient for the remainder
of the ride saw me moving on when the group I had happily stuck with for 40 miles pulled in to take advantage of the generous feed stations, that coupled with a few stinging climbs and a bastard headwind meant I was in a head down get there mindset for the first time all day.

My stretched goal of achieving a gold medal worthy time of 6hrs 30 minutes was obliterated as I rolled over the line 40 minutes ahead of it and I didn't suffer the normal issues I get from long rides thanks to a little care and the excellent products on offer from High5.

I've enjoyed the increased fitness I've gained over the course of the summer and my regular Wednesday night rides in the exceptionally hilly Symonds Yat area were all achieved on a singlespeed, not only that, I was storming away from my mates in the process up the
steepest of hills.

My last post of exile appears to have been written just before an important tipping point.  On the last of my wednesday night mountain bike rides before I set out to attempt the Malvern Mad Hatter I found myself at the top of what I considered to be a nasty little drop in on a downhill trail, I reasoned that after investing heavily in both a new bike and higher levels of fitness, smashing myself up to
simply prove a point (to whom I wasn't sure) only three days before my first imperial century was a little foolish to say the least.  The result of this was that I just wheeled down the chicken run and watched whilst my riding buddies ummed and ahhed for a while.

That's been an epiphany for me, rather than battering myself mentally I accepted I didn't want to do it, my mates didn't immediately dis-own me, the world didn't implode and I wasn't denounced as a coward when we walked into the pub a few hours later.  Since then, my off road riding has seemingly come on, my jumping is better, my descending better and I just have my mojo back.  The crisis of confidence has left these shores, at least for the time being.