Three Peaks Cyclocross 2018 – The “twenty” edition

As you may know, I’m a glass half full type. But we all have our limits.  Yesterday was a tough day. The Three Peaks Cyclocross is always tough. If it wasn’t, we’d just ride / run / walk faster until it becomes tough. It’s a flipping race. But then, yesterday had its own special place in my memory for extra toughness, but, significantly, extra satisfaction.  Continue reading “Three Peaks Cyclocross 2018 – The “twenty” edition”

Mini adventures and the spice of life

Parenting can be quite a drag sometimes. Asking young people to put phones away. Tidying up after young people. It could get quite a drag. But then, of course, you can sometimes subvert things – make use of these little people’s sense of adventure and fun – and go and create some memories.  You just need to remind yourself that it’s there to be harnessed. Continue reading “Mini adventures and the spice of life”

A return to the summits, with a score settled.

The Bob Graham Round initially beat me, then I beat it back.

I thought I’d put it to bed when I completed it back in June.  It certainly felt that way.  In one very big sense, I had indeed put it to bed.

One of my helpers on that fantastic day was Dave Ward. A fellow Rossendale Harrier, Dave was one of the people who immediately offered his services to come to my help even if, truth be told, we hardly knew each other. Those type of things are normal of course when it comes to the Bob Graham – helpers come out and help. Continue reading “A return to the summits, with a score settled.”

The Bob Graham Round

It’s been a long path to here. When I first heard about the Bob Graham Round in my teens, it was the type of thing that was simply something that other people did. Special kinds of rare people. An immense, fantasy-level tour of the most beautiful hills in the country. I started to do a bit of fell racing in my late teens and occasionally I met someone who knew someone who’d done it. Wow.  That’s all I could say. It was just incredible

Continue reading “The Bob Graham Round”

2017 Three Peaks Cyclocross – a family affair

A stellar year for the Haygarths

It’s a fixed date in my diary. My 20th start in the 3 Peaks Cyclocross was, like other years, just another year of ‘of course I’m doing the 3 Peaks‘.  But this year’s 3 Peaks stands out in a lovely way in that it not only saw the return to the race of my brother Phil after a 5 year absence, but the next generation of Haygarths took to the race. My nephew Matt was what I think was possibly the youngest of the 650 entrants and I was gushing uncle-pride when he’d entered … never mind actually competed. A real landmark for me. Continue reading “2017 Three Peaks Cyclocross – a family affair”

3 Peaks cyclocross 2015: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

Photo by Adrian Nichols / SportSunday.co.uk

I’ve never read The Tale of Two Cities but that incredibly well-known opening line from a novel sums up my 2015 3 Peaks.

Okay – it wasn’t quite the worst of times – far from it – but when things are going really well, it seems to emphasise the problems when they come.  And they came.  But more on that later.  I wanted to gather thoughts whilst fresh in my head as usual.  The next few days will be absorbed with the 3 Peaks just like the previous few weeks have been, but it’s good to write these things down whilst they’re fresh on my mind.  Continue reading “3 Peaks cyclocross 2015: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times””

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 etc. seemed right for a holiday. The accommodation – a couple of miles outside of Potes – was really lovely. Spacious  self-catering agri-tourism and a pool too, to help us cool down after a long morning out and about.   We also enjoyed a trip up the Fuente De cable car and a rather longer-than-eastimated nine mile walk down in the building heat. It was ace though.

Lasting impression, apart from the sheer beauty of the place, was that of a nice mix of tourism / services and proper unspoilt tranquillity. You can get the balance right in some places. Heartily recommended.

So, from the ying to the yang. We needed to go to the beach. That’s why Brits go to Spain, after all.

The 7 hours of driving across a whole load of Spain was a real treat. The topographic changes as we coasted from coast to coast were dramatic, exciting, rewarding, and spectacular. Coast to Coast

Even the girls tolerated the driving quite well, really.

The second week was in an apartment in Tossa de Mar, Costa Blanca. Gorgeous pebbly beaches, impressive waves for the med, lots of swimming, nice pools, friendly campsite, cramped apartment, and lots of wine. It was fun.

Oh, and I grew a beard.

Photos here

Video here

Harriers v Cyclists – one of those little classics

Had a truly great day out on Saturday at the Harriers v Cyclists.  It’s a very special event.  Unique, light-hearted, but serious and brutal for the shortness of the course. It also covers a load of different topography in the  It’s my fourth time there on the course that crosses farmland, ancient woodland, heathland and open moor in the 5.3 mile out-and-back course onto Baildon Moor from Shipley Glen. Continue reading “Harriers v Cyclists – one of those little classics”

The 2012 Three Peaks Cyclocross:

Penyghent Lane

I’m tired. It’s probably not the best time to do this, but it’s important to try and gather thoughts fairly soon whilst still fresh in the head.

My 16th attempt at the three peaks Cyclocross yesterday was a tough one. It was the same for everybody who took part. The weather forecast had been bad, and it turned out to be a very accurate forecast on the day. Everybody was mentally prepared for a hard one. Still, no matter how much preparation you make, it doesn’t stop it from being hard. Yesterday was hard. Continue reading “The 2012 Three Peaks Cyclocross:”