Year: 2013

A proper season off

A proper season off

It’s the first cyclocross season I haven’t raced a single race since about 1994. If someone had told me a couple of years back that I was going to miss a whole season I’d have laughed at the unlikelihood of it all.  But things happen. I was repeatedly dislocating my shoulder and, inevitably, things caught up with me and I needed to get the root cause addressed.  That meant not on ...[Read More]

The final bicycle-made-for-three commute of the year

Bicycle Made for Three

I go in for my shoulder operation on Monday, and will be in a sling for the rest of the year. It has been a lovely day here, and Lily capped it all by saying “We’re just ace” to me, as we flew through the village. I know what she meant. Heads Turn when you ride along on a long, long vehicle like this. Some young people would get paranoid and not enjoy the attention. We don’ ...[Read More]

Lily’s Eleventh

Chocolate Fondue

Don’t get me started on the ‘they grow up quick’ thing. Lily, who was a babe in arms the day before yesterday, was eleven yesterday. Lovely quiet but perfectly formed day including a day’s leave for me bit of tolerable shopping for Converse for both girls Ten pin bowling with Elsie and Lily Lunch for us all at Pizza Express Picking up Lexie and Leah, and a visit from Lucy t ...[Read More]

A change of direction.

A change of direction.

It’s 4 weeks now since I dislocated my shoulder (for the third time) and had what I now see as an epiphany. I was unceremoniously dispatched to the tarmac at the Colne Grand Prix about a week after hearing that I needed surgery on the shoulder. It was inevitable in hindsight that it was going to pop out when my next crash came.  Anyway… that’s the physical. It’s the mental ...[Read More]

Summer Holidays 2013 – a Spain of two halves

Summer Holidays 2013 – a Spain of two halves

We tried to combine the needs of parents and children this year – mainly to success. The first half of the holiday, having flown into Bilbao and driven from the Basque country to Asturias, was a week in the Picos de Europa. The Picos has been on my ‘must see’ list for about 20 years and the wonderful blend of real, rugged mountain stuff and pretty, rural streams, gorges, villages ...[Read More]

Colne Grand Prix 2013 – Marginal pains

Colne Grand Prix

Last night was my last race for a bit. Colne Grand Prix is a race I have ridden loads over the years. It’s a great race. A very simple town centre criterium on a very simple course. The corners are fast and flowing, and it always has a great atmosphere with the course packed full of people on either side.  I’ve ridden there the last nine years and only missed one, and still felt I had ...[Read More]

Codeine brings relief

Codeine brings relief

I’ve written a bit before here about how mountain biking is a lovely antidote to the routine of training for road and cyclocross racing.  It’s a busy life and with a lot to pack in (read:compromise), a direct consequence is that bike time is training or racing time.  I tend to ride criteriums in the summer but have had the nice distraction of a few summer ‘cross races this season ...[Read More]

When it all goes wrong – an apology to my brother.

When it all goes wrong – an apology to my brother.

After more than 3 weeks of reflection, all I really know is that, sometimes, very small things happen that have very big consequences. To set the scene, simply put, it’s a day of joy and fun.  I don’t get much time to spend in close quarters with my brother, Phil. Acting from my own selfishness and attempts to put that right, I’d planned a mini trip away, where we’d meet wi ...[Read More]

Lily’s Gone to the Dogs

Pesky Husky

It’s normal for a ten year old to have a bit of love for animals.  Lily’s always been very enthusiastic about dogs, big cats, and horses in particular.  They’re definitely her thing.  You can feel the enthusiasm glowing from her when near animals, and it demonstrates itself quite a lot when you try and chat to her about them (and generally get corrected on your inaccuracies ̵ ...[Read More]

Elsie’s 5th

Elsie's Fifth Birthday

Another year older… my littlest girl enjoyed her 5th birthday on 24th May.  The last day before half term, Elsie’s return home from school was a double-treat, and we shared a great day with close Grandparents and a few local friends. The day was slightly early for the first batch of spring weather (I’m writing this a couple of weeks after – bad dad), so the idyllic spring p ...[Read More]

Strava: The film

Strava KoM

I recently wrote about a love hate relationship with Strava.  The app that bikes back doesn’t want to go away. Some try to sue them, love, some hate, but it’s not quite like Marmite – as we all seem to love and hate it a little bit. A little bit like real racing, we love it when it goes well. We hate getting beaten. But perhaps most significantly, it does seem to change the way t ...[Read More]

Time Trialling: Ten Years Gone

Circuit of the Dales

It’s almost exactly ten years since my last time trial. I had ups and downs in my against-the-clock racing between the ages of 17 and 33, but on an April Sunday in 2003, I rode the local Hilly Time Trial (the now defunct Circuit of Holcombe) and didn’t realise quite how long I’d be hanging my time trialling wheels for. Ten Years After: I’m going Home A lot have changed in that ten year ...[Read More]

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