Friday, 22 April 2011

Buttery smooth

A bit of a cliche when it comes to suspension. Pretty accurate description of how my forks feel after a service from Loco Tuning though. I can't recommend the company enough. Posted the forks to them on Friday tea-time. They were posted back by Simon on Tuesday. Just got around to putting them on my bike and taking it for a round the streets/down the local steps test.

The forks glide through their travel and are wonderfully active - far more than they ever used to be. Supple.

Next time I round the mountain bike it'll probably with my back to the Sligachan Inn, heading over to Camasunary Bay. Little bit excited.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Skye road ride

Think I'll do this loop. It's 95 miles, but with a few extra miles for to get from Fiskavaig to Sligachan, it should take me nicely over the 100.

(Image taken from who run a sportive following the route every May)


  • 1 x pair of mountain bike clipless shoes
  • 1 x pair of road clipless shoes
  • 1 x pair of fell running shoes
  • 1 x road bike
  • 1 x mountain bike with 1 x gear
  • Lots x various combinations of lycra
  • Lots x waterproofs (more you bring, the less you need)
  • 2 x merino tops
  • 1 x Finisterre Etobicoke
  • 1 x Compass
  • 3 x OS Explorer maps
  • 2 x books
  • 2 x issues of Rouleur
  • 1 x digital SLR and mini tripod
  • 1 x teeny sketch pad and pencil
  • 1 x ipod shuffle
  • Maybe some "normal" clothes if they fit in the car...... but then I could maybe bring my cyclocross bike.....

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Skye must-dos

I'll be arriving on Saturday evening, leaving on Thursday. Staying near the Talisker distillery. So, 4 days to have some fun.
  • Sligachan Loop on the mountain bike.
  • A decent road ride... need to get the map out and work something out. 100miles or so.
  • A decent 20 or so miles running... again no route planned yet, but if the weather is good, it would be criminal not to get up high and take in a Cuillin or two.
  • A rest day. (Another) visit to Talisker? Something totally different? Bit of time with the family?
  • A few drinks in the Stein Inn. Love it there.
  • The Three Chimneys for an evening meal (already booked for Wednesday evening).
  • Read.
  • Take photos.
  • Maybe even update this blog.
  • Drink a whisky night cap each evening.
Only a day and a half of work to go. Cannot wait.

3 Peaks Fell Race preparation

I've done more running over the last 6 months or so than I have for the year before then. I've re-discovered the pleasure of pounding out mile after mile. A totally different feel to cycling. I still have a general love-hate relationship with running on the road. Unless I'm giving it beans, it is just plain boring much of the time. An ipod helps with the monotony. Searing lungs and an utter focus on maintaining pace helps too, but doesn't always motivate one to get out the door and actually run.
Running to work has helped. I only live around 5km away from the office, so I usually extend the run. Anything from 10km to 10miles. Carrying a change of clothes and some spare gym kit creates a pretty good work out, and has been a great start to the day, given the unseasonably good weather recently.
Mid-March. Feeling reasonably in shape. Running legs are definitely there. Time to try them out. Day booked off work. I wanted to familiarise myself with the full route. I've walked and run the 3 peaks before, but have never competed in the race, and haven't done the full loop for a good number of years. My uncle, and regular mountain marathon partner, Rog is also racing, so we met at the Pen-y-ghent cafe in Horton for a cup of tea and toast before taking on the 24 miles, under blue skies, warm sunshine and barely a breath of breeze. I was surprised how easy it felt. We took our time, particularly going up Pen-y-ghent and the long leg over to Whernside. My training was showing, as Rog and I are usually a similar pace, but I was feeling light footed and within my comfort-zone as Rog needed to ease off. The difference told as we headed up the steep side to Whernside. Again, nicely in my comfort-zone, I hit the ridge a good few minutes before Rog, and had time to chat with some walkers on the summit and soak up the hazy blue views. We completed the full loop in around 5 hours, including a 30min rest stop while Rog necked a pint of coke to try and combat nasty cramping in his legs after the descent of Whernside. A relatively small oversight of forgetting any high-5 powder took it's toll as we sweated miuch more than either of us expected. Our skin and jerseys had white salt tide marks, despite never being more than 80% exertion. It was warm.
I genuinely had no idea what time to aim for on the race day, but will now set myself against the 4 hour timings, and I reckon if things go to plan, I should be able to push harder in the second half of the race. We shall wait and see.
I won't have ideal preparation, as I'm on Skye for the entire week before, and if the weather is good, I want to make the most of my time there with some big rides and runs. A lack of tapering and tired legs come race day migth be the price I end up paying, but, hey, I'm never going to win. The experiences on Skye will be worth a slightly sub-optimal preparation.

I'm still here

So, it's been the longest time since starting the blog that I haven't updated. Lazily, I've written a few posts, but never got round to actually uploading them.
There are a few reasons for this tardiness. I guess I've been feeling less reflective generally, and have been "getting on with things". I've been busier with work, busier riding and running. I've thought about things to write, but never felt the burning desire to get them typed out.
One thing I did want this blog to be though was a record of some of the races I'm doing this year. So, with under a fortnight to go to the first major one of the year, it isn't a bad time to start hitting some keys again.