Saturday, 29 December 2012

Mud and rain is the best way to describe 2012, with two 24 hr races two 12 hr and a 4 hr it was a quiet year for me. Fatherhood, work, holidays and life in general has been mental busy and i did what i could, but with a few good results and lots of experience gained its been a pretty good year on, and off, the bike.


I finished 4th after a real battle against myself. The weather was wet, muddy, cold and all round miserable! Although i am disappointed not to have bettered my 2011 performance, i was happy to have finished. This was the hardest race all year!

                                                             European 12 hr Champs

 7th this year - which is pretty strong. I was not in the best shape but i  rode well and actually had loads of fun.  This race was probably the one i enjoyed the most and i cant wait to race again next year at Wasing Park

Mountain Mayhem

It rained and rained AND rained a lot.  This for me was an awesome race, i loved it. Never have i been so muddy and tired and still  happy to ride. It was not about having skills, it was all mental, it was about keeping going. I was gutted not to podium but was happy with 4th.

                                                                      Dusky Valley 12

12 hr race 30 mins from my house!! Perfect! I have won this event in the past but this year i had to settle for 2nd  after leading the race for around 8 hrs. Still 2nd is good, and the competition was pretty high. I would love to see more people doing this event as its a great race and great course.

Brass monkey rd 1

A 4 hr race is not something that i usually do but i needed to do more to make me a better all round rider. So i headed to Aldershot in an optimistic frame of mind. I commute around 25-30 miles a day, so this was my training for this event. After a good start i started to fade and within 2 laps i had lost any sort of form and just tried to finish. Eventually i came over the line in 15th position (not bad for a long distance rider).

Monday, 9 April 2012

British & European 12hr Championships

This years 12 hour British/European champs is over, and what a race.

As the weeks got closer and the entry list started growing, I could see it was going to be a hard race - most of the usual 24hr riders had also chosen to enter the 12hr this year, along with the country's finest 12hr riders and a few Europeans thrown in too. Nevertheless, with 6 weeks of road riding in my legs and a can-do attitude i headed to Scotland.

As midday drew near, riders and spectators all gathered ready in the square in Newcastleton. As the Bagpipes began playing, signalling the beginning of the race, we set off. Riding near the front, I waited for the lead out van to clear, so the anticipated ballistic start could begin. We rounded a right hander and BANG -everyone's legs snapped into action, with Matt Page leading the way up the 1st climb. I crested the hill in a good position and went into the 2nd climb with my lungs screaming for help. This became a familiar feeling over the next few hours..

With 1 lap in the bag I was riding well, but the pace was unbelievably fast. Once again i was struggling to keep up, and watched as other riders pulled away. But i was still feeling OK, and happy with my position. I told myself I would pull them in a lap at a time but after a few laps I had done the exact opposite, and dropped down to 13th! I was getting frustrated with the short, sharp climbs in first quarter of the course which was making my legs cramp mercilessly. Thankfully after around 6hrs of riding I started to find my legs, taking it easy on the 1st quarter and pushing hard for the rest. It seemed to be working, and I started drawing people in and moving up the field. Now I was having fun.

As the race moved into the final hours I was well place in 8th. My Dos Niner was riding amazingly, and fuelled by WAY too much caffeine I was still riding strong. With one more pit stop I was told I was still in 8th and moved on to the final lap. I'm not sure of my lap times, but I felt really strong, and chased down everyone in front of me in an effort to get 7th position. My mind was playing tricks on me and in the darkness every light became a reason to pick up the pace. Riding down the last decent I was really pleased to be finishing. I rounded the final corner and was greeted by my friends, and the great news I had moved up to 7th!

I am really pleased with this result, especially with the high standard of riders this year. Having raced the Strathpuffer in January, I was unsure if my legs were up to scratch, but now I feel I am in good shape for the next few races (with may be a little more attention to training this time!) and getting really excited about Mountain Mayhem, which sounds like its going to be even  more competitive!

A big thank you to Katie and Simon for helping me out in the pit, and everyone who was cheering me on.

Next up:

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A week later.

I came fourth - the most frustrating position there is, and I was soo close!! Last year I finished 3rd, and this year I just wanted to match or better that but ah well what you gonna do... The race itself was a bit of a mix for me: I started really well, doing my first lap in 37 minutes, and riding for about 5 hours feeling good. At this point I was completely covered in mud (as was everyone else) and the course was holding up really well, it was a lot faster (without the sheet ice to contend with), but during the course of the day my legs lost their spark.

 Altough I was still lapping ok I only had one speed, I had to grind out the laps rather than attacking them. This lasted for hours - it was infuriating, and every lap became harder. Every little pain became massive and I began a race with my main competitor: my head. The constant battle of pulling out or not pulling out distracted me, I started to get frustrated and my technique and concentration went out the window. I kept eating and plugging away at the course and after 16 hrs I began to feel better and was getting close to 3rd. I started racing, pulling 3rd in closer all the time, after each lap I was closing in, then on my final lap I had done it (but i didn't know!) and for all my efforts lost it again. Only one thing to do: get a burger, get out of my kit and sit down. This really is an amazing event, its so tough, it just rips you to shreds, and I'm really pleased. Even if I did miss out on a podium! It was a good start to the season and my enthusiasm is still there. As for next year, I will give solo a miss but will return as part of a team, and in a couple of years have a crack at solo again. Its really hard to put into words what this event is like - you should try it and see for yourselves.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Goodbye 2011

2011 Ends Time for 2012.
First off heres a quick review of my year:

Rode the Strathpuffer and finished 3rd. Really pleased.

Rebuilt my body and bikes after the Strathpuffer.

Goshawk 50km I got lost, snapped my chain, had a puncture, and managed to finish in the top ten! Think something may have gone wrong there.

Went to America - shot a gun, visited Disney, drank lots of Coors and ate at 'Chillies' a lot. Definitely no riding.

British 24hr champs. Pulled out due to going to America, shooting guns, visiting disney, drinking Coors, eating lots of fast food and being Lame. MTFU.

Erlestoke 12 (set to rise) 1st place in singlespeed 6hr.

Mountain Mayhem 6th place

Gem and I had our new little boy Reuben, took some time off.

Spent 3 weeks in the Pyrenees with my family, rode all the major climbs - Tourmalet, Aubisque and more.

Had to drag myself back to work but couldn't wait to get on my mtb. Came 1st at insomnia 12.

Entered Dusk till Dawn 12hr.Drove from Cardiff to Thetford, raced for 5 hours in the rain, hurt my back pulled out then drove back to Wales, bought a McDonalds breakfast all before the event had finished.Put my bikes away for a while.

Started training for the Strathpuffer.
Raced Brass Monkey round 1 and finished 13.

Trained for Scotland. Had a cold: Cured with Gin.

That's about it! (I did other races, and lots of riding, but for me 2011 was a great year!). I need to say a huge thank-you to my girlfriend for supporting throughout the year, looking after the boys when I'm not there, and being the best team mate i could ever ask for. Thankyou!!

Thanks to Patrick and all the guys at

Thursday, 8 December 2011

As part of the 'puffer training i decided to enter the first Brass Monkey race held at Porridge Pot Hill.

The start.
Lining up at the start I looked around to see a lot of fast competitors, and got a funny feeling this was going be a little harder than I'd anticipated. As the horn sounded the mass sprint began. I'm awful at starts - I usually go off as fast as I can, which is usually not fast enough, my legs burn and I feel nauseous - and this was all true again (although I think the pre-race cinnamon latte did nothing to help the sick feeling). As we approached the first climb a lot of traffic had built up and I waited for my chance to pick my way through the other riders. The pace was very fast, faster than a 24, but I was loving it.

The middle
The course so far was up and down and the el Marachi was thriving in the fast flowing single track. Every lap I found something new - a jump or a new line up a small climb. It was really interesting and kept my mind on the course instead of on the screaming noises coming from my legs and back. As the race went on something didnt feel right and after a quick look down I realised that my saddle was slipping and had dropped about 3 inches, enough to effect my riding although the downhill sections did become alot more fun - I even did a sweet HUCK! But it was no good on the uphill, or the rest of the race. I pulled over and sorted it. Once this was done I cracked on, over-taking people and pulling a few places back. I think I was placed at 19th after the 1st lap, and had moved up to 14th by lap 4, which I was well happy with.

The end
With an hour left I was feeling good and was up to 13th. I picked up a final energy gel and set off, determined to finish strong. The course had calmed down and I hardly saw anyone, so I could have a clear run on the climbs & descents, which i took advantage of...until I decided to jump off a steep drop and landed in a heap at the bottom. I dragged my sorry ass off the floor, pulled the mud and grass out of my teeth, and headed for the finish. 4hrs 15mins and 13th place. I was pretty pleased with that.

This race was great, an awesome course, everyone was happy and friendly. Will defininatly do it again.

1x El mariachi
4x caffeine gels
3x energy gels
6x bottles energy/electrolyte
0x puncture
1x crash
1x lost tube
1x lost gas canister
1x ripped shorts
1x bruised shoulder.
6x branches to the face.

Monday, 31 October 2011


Training starts!!

So, I've decided to enter the strathpuffer again. 24hrs of ice and sore-eyed misery - cant wait! Last year saw me finishing 3rd after riding for a body breaking total of 24hrs and 37mins. Rain, snow and solid ice tracks gifted a dented frame, 3 punctures, dented frame, destroyed brake pads, dented frame and a worn drive chain...did i mention a dented frame? Bad times. And when it was all over I said I would never enter again...but, as the year went on and time helped me forget the cold and the pain, warmer memories have prevailed (excuse the pun) and I've actually managed to convince myself to do it all over again! Not sure if its the challenge, the time off work, or the Haggis, but entry opens in November and I'm counting down the days. So i guess this is my blog for this event and the up-coming season.