The merry merry mad manic month of May

It’s been a hectic week and a bit. Me and Dave popped (if you can call a 700 mile round trip a ‘pop’) up to Fort William to test ride and help Spook and Frazer with the layout of the course for October’s World 24 hour champs. Things are shaping up nicely and the course is going to be memorable…

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While we were there we went out for a couple of rides on the West Highland Way (not all of it!), saw plenty of deer and had our eyes popped out by the breathtaking views up there. It really is an incredible part of the world and a properly inspiring place to hold a World Championship race.

A massive thanks to Frazer and Spook for looking after us while we were up there 🙂

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We then came back in the middle of the night a couple of days later and then met up again a day after that to race the first MTB race ever held on the Isle of Anglesey.

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 (photo: John Davies)

Anglesey is a place I know very well – it was practically my second home in my childhood and early teens and to this day my parents spend half of their time there, so it would have been rude not to take part.

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The race was held at Parys Mountain – a disused copper mine and while the field wasn’t the largest I’ve been part of, the potential here for some quality racing is huge. Dave and I raced around the course and quickly opened up a gap to 3rd place. We were both getting ourselves ready for a final ‘all or nothing’ lap and Dave hit a rock and punctured both tyres. It didn’t matter though, we both received vouchers for our efforts and finished in 1st and 3rd place.

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 (photo: John Davies)

After the race, Dave dashed off home and I spent the rest of the day with my folks, Debbie and the kids, building sandcastles and eating barbecue food. A quick drive home and then we’re off again the day after to a mayday festival in the weird old village that Deb grew up in – I rode there and demonstrated my “having a babywipe bath in the back of the car” technique on arrival.

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They’re got a maypole in the village that’s so tall, they can’t use it as a maypole. They’re dead clever in Yorkshire 😉

Then the day after that, we dragged the caravan back up to Scotland for a few days relaxing, playing on the beach, flying the kite and toasting marshmallows on a bonfire. Luckily Scotland appeared to be one of the hottest and sunniest places on earth last week so we struck it lucky. I even managed to fit in a few bike rides, including 4 laps of the incredible red route at Kirroughtree. The only negatives in the whole week were my rear brake suddenly leaking fluid all over the place (resulting in a 5:15pm search of Stranraer for tools) and one of my fillings falling out after an altercation with a dangerous Murray Mint.

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The fun doesn’t end there – next weekend is the Bristol Bikefest. On Saturday, Dave and I will be racing in the pairs category (we’ve not raced a 12 hour pairs since Gisburn) and then the day after I’ll be one half of a tandem pair in the 6 hour Sunday race with Guy Martin, in front of a TV camera. Neither of us have ridden a tandem before so it all promises to be exciting and unpredictable. Up to now there’s a couple of other tandems in the race, the riders of those do know what they’re doing.

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The tandem belongs to Chipps and he’s very kindly pulled out all the stops to get it built ready for us to race on. It’s MEGA. Hope Technology have supplied an amazingly-powerful set of M4 brakes for it too, which is probably a good thing…

 

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