Monday, 22 September 2008

Winterberg .... August 2008 (Mal's 30th)

I was invited to Mals 30th B'day bash in Amsterdam and during the weekend we went off to Winterberg in Germany to the epic Bike Park they have there.

This weekend was part of a road trip for me also seeing some friends from the GR20 on-route, but I have poasted about that seperatly.

I took the S Reg Brava, risky shes an old girl, but as it turns out she was legendry and even took on the might of Mals beast cometh the race total running smooth for 1200 miles this tour...

There have been some awesome things happening to me this year but this trip has to be one of the highlights and I am going to struggle to find the words to authenticate the trip but for me it was mind blowing.

Whilst in Dam we also did the flow boarding at the 'Dutch Water Dreams' centre, what a marketing slip and it would have been Dutch wet dreams ha ha ha..

This was awesome albeit hard, when you bailed you bailed hard well did anyway, whiplash comes as standard and I had the whiplash standard for sure, you need to practice this at least 3 or 4 times, but what a laugh its so wobbly, the smallest error is exagerated fully....but what a trip...we were in a small group of goofy people so we got more runs...a choice day, the we relaxed in the sun at the beach bar with real sand, but we knew the whiplash would revisite us in the morning and it did. Just in time for Winterberg NICE....!!!

Anyway as always the best way to show these things is through picture and video and there is all of that below.

But the thing id like to remember about the Bike trip to Winterberg is the sheer balls I had over the weekend in fact the balls we all had on the day, we basically arrived after a late night out on the beers and whiplah from hell from flow boarding an early start and a 300 mile drive (race), we then had to get the bikes sorted, I had an awesome downhill machine when we were ready we hit the practice jumps which to be fair were to me huge enough on there own.

After a wobbly start Mal then just took us off to the downhill berm run, you cant see anything from the top you have no idea whats coming if you did you just wouldnt bother!!!! but fuck me by the time you hit the bottom and youve emptied your pants out I was awake alright let me tell ya.......the fucking smile on my face was hurting it was that big....and my heart was in my arse....lost and confused but happy to be alive and still beating....

Struth the best safty measure they have there is by default the chair lift to get you back up as that gives you the break you need...seriously after the first run I was on the chairlift thinking what the fuck have I just done, coupled with the fact that when your a group of male buddies your all competing and looking to impress...its a mind blower let me tell ya. Just dont forget lots of spare pairs of pants, and that you have a brake....I was getting air before id even seen the fucking jumps....not good but woooooohhooooooo....awesome..

If that wasnt enough and Mal wanting us not to miss a trick, he sent us all down the bloody race track a at full pelt, what you forget though is that this is winterberg and whilst your trying your hardest to stay ahead of your buddies over the whoops you forget that they stick motherfucking massive table top or 4 in your way immediatly after the berms with no time to react, but you soon wake up mid flight normally way to late IMHO....using the brakes middair doesnt work??? !!!....but my word after a few runs your in the ZONE...and my riding days from back in the day came in to play...time to get serious, then he takes us to the park as if I hadnt had poor heart was thumping...drops? me, eh what...your having a laugh..your not, your serious....oh ok then....ride ride wobble....fall off drop land...scream!!! - Im 40 surely this will end in tears.....

Thats basically how it worked. by now id got to grips with it and that was only after 3 runs, then to make sure we'd not miss anything he took us down the World Class Black downhill run me old..!!! I dont really remember much about this route except...that once your in your in for good come what may...and the drops and the slamming your wrists get as you drop thud thud thud down drop after drop again again and again...I mean you have a brake so you could use them, but I tried that and I didnt stop at all well not enough anyway...i was just whispering fuck fuck gonna die fuck fuck....really im dead...and then you make it and flow out of the end off a little jump and after you check all your limbs work you sail to the back of the lift line, to lick your wounds and to empty and change your underpants for the 3rd time that day (and its not even 2pm yet)...phew...see its hard to put into words...but this is how I remember it.

we carried on untill the last run I even then got a cheeky last run on the practice jumps as they were calling for our bikes back....just couldnt let go could I, Nope guess not...

We all went out for a meal at the local hotel and we were alone, we ate well and drank well, too much for me I think. It was really nice to see James as well...

We camped on site and I slept under me Tarp by me car, I actually got a good nights sleep even though me inflatable mat went flat on me, and the french man had issues... but all good.

The next day we rose early (due to french man again)and knew a more mature approach was needed as injuries my be coming to hunt someone down, well that what I was thinking anyway, we headed off and did some nice Northshore stuff on wooden bars and see-saws, loved this stuff but some of it was high and tricky, but it was all a bit slower, we did do all the same stuff again and I went off many more drops on routes and went faster on things my speed on the berm runs was matching Mals which was a bum twitcher for an old boy for sure but I was there on his arse, next time time..

Theres not really more to say except that its something that must be done again and again and Mal siad he was amazed but so happy that we had all -

'STEPPED UP TO THE MARK' on the day.

But then so did he as he went off the highest drop, I guess giving himself a Private Birthday present...awesome Mal.

lastly Thanks for inviting me.....what a memory. TC...

I think I need a Labotomy after that....

Video to come....TC style.

Trans Peak challenge...(Completed)

On Sunday the 21st of September 2008 I was amoungst a team of 6 athletes from Amscott hoping to complete and even compete for the first 3 places in the Trans Peak Challenge. This event was for the British Heart Foundation who work in the office below us. The event covered no less than 30 miles approximatly and 8 miles of that would on bike on tarmac roads (albeit very hilly) and ending with steeplchase of sorts at the finish at Chatsworth House.

Am I awake....not sure, but somethings glowing..!!!

We (I) awoke at 3am, to get ready and pick up Liza at 4:50am...simply wrong..just too early..we drove to meet the rest of the team at heath and headed off to the start location. it was still dark at this point but we would get to see the sunrise as we ran on the first stage, an awesome sight and experience. it was all very exciting I thought and couldnt wait to get going...we were Team 8 out of 13 and started each stage in that position 8th...

The team getting ready at the start....

Off we went and within 2 miles were huffing and puffing as expected on these hills well I was anyway.....we then went the wrong way, but not as bad as team (1) as they were never seen again ha ha...we readjusted and did a very respectful first stage all ran well and we cruised passed one team...the veiws and the exposure added to the experience but as always only the pictures will show it as it was. I landed in some deep bog at times and the going underfoot was the main challenge.

On our way Stage (1)

The funniest things was the team back at the office hoped theyd do this section in 45 minutes...oh how I laughed at that ha ha ...we did it in 1:30 min...not the same on that terrain.

We finished the stage to mini applause and then in the truck sort the bikes out we were off. for stage two....this was the operation stage after stage, i did all stages except the ride through Ladybower which was stunning this time in the morning with the steam rising off the waters as it was...really stunning.

The Machinery.....

Belted around this corner and just like the shot...

Suffice to say the best way to see this challenge is through the lens and the video and so you should take a look below at the pics and the video. The challenge was tough and although I escaped having to run at full pelt as the girls were slower and only the slowest persons time counted it was still tough....the most enjoyable thing for me was the veiws which were stunning with that hot sun on our backs all day and the water run at the very end of the steeplechase...loved that.

The competition, it was close...he looks a bit serious though eh..

Liza catching him up...

If im honest it was a team event, a style of event I was not used to and I had to control or real in my competitive spirit for the good of the team, I tried to help and give tit bits of advice and felt that i did my bit....but at times I felt like whizzing off...thats me though...

As challenges go this was a good one, in the end we finished 5th, in a time of 2:54:00 if we had had a stronger bike section we would have competed for the 2nd or 3rd place, as it was it was a team event and thus making it all about the slowest person in the team not the fastest, the winning team were all men....probably with small penises as they seemed to be the type that needed to win, every team should have to enter a girl at every stage to make it slightly fairer.

Navigation needed near the end....

I didnt use the camera on the bike sections which was a real shame as the veiws were exceptional but you cant win em all, also at the end but i am sure i will post them if I can get hold of them.

A great day out though and one of which I am duly proud of. There will some aches and pains...and we were gifted by an exceptinaly rare blistering sunny day....a day I will remember.

Well done Team Athletico Amscott. !!!!

Video of the day...

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Loch Ness Marathon

Why oh why am i doing this?????

I enetered this whilst doing the training for the Edinburugh Marathon which i completed in May of this year it has its own blog, but i was told that after a marathon you need a new challenge and the best way was to book another i did.

I am regretting this now, as i have done little or no trainingat all, i am knackered when i get to about 8 or 9 miles and struggle to do a half marathon.... this is going to be murder and even if i finish it i will be in alot of pain....why do it?

A good Q - my only answer is i have paid and the entry fee is non refundable or exchangable and i want the medal ive heard its very nice....not really the best reasons to put yourself through such a trauma but even so flights and accomidation is booked so im going now.

I ran Edinburugh in 3:50....respectable first attempt, this one could be alot slower possible an hour slower coming in with the old ladies in about 4:50....3 min a mile slower....mmm

i'll post on completion its in 4 weeks and i havent ran for about 3.....what have i done.


Trans Peak challenge...

On the 21st of September we will be running a team event for the british heart foundation, I have done other events for this great charity but this time its going to be tough, its about 27 miles across the Dark peak in Derbyshire and will involve 9 stages involving cycling running and a steeple chase at the end, as if we wont be tired enough....

I work for Amscott (Scott Wilson) and we have a team of 6 people but only 4 need to be doing anystage at any one time, so others can rest. there are 4 blokes and two girls, the sections are timed and your team only has the slowest persons time recorded for positions, which i am hoping is a good thing as it means i only have to keep pace with the slowest person in the group on my stages,

We have a charity (Just giving page) here, if you wanted more info ....

Now i am supposed to be fit as i have ran a marathon this year and have another one in 4 weeks, but i have been very lazy and have not trained at all, and the other day a few of us went out to check the terrain out and we came across Bolt hill....mmm, well lets just say i never bolted up it...this was a son of a bitch of a hill, a steep long and drawn out beast which stings on the legs whatever your choosen position on the bike and it never seems to end, only two of us made it to the top....and we had suffered.

By the end of the day i was really tired, and we had achieved only a 5th of what will be expected of us on the day....this is not going to be pretty or easy....i think all of us will be caught of gaurd by this challenge, i will post again on completion.

laterz, im off for a run...!!!!

Cornwall trip 2008

I used to live down there in Cornwall, I used to surf the breaks of Perranporth and Newquay as well as many others, and I thought as I approach me 40th I would get me old surf board out and Id try to reclaim some of that surfing and cornish majic of old, with stephanie in tow. We were also going because we had Jack Johnson tickets he was playing at Watergate Bay on the cliff there.....nicely exposed.....NOT GOOD eh Jack..

I remember from back in the day as do most of us, such rare things as long days of sunny weather, sunset surfs and sweet bright blue dawn patrols....ahh awesome, with that in mind surely a bit of camping in the middle of summer would be a delight, surely....what fun, lets get packed and dont forget the frisby - er cos well be using that on the beach wont we. NOT.

We decided to stay in a campsite i knew from the old days, as i used to work there and knew it would be quiet, we got there we set up camp (in the dry) and then we got in brewed a cup of tea and BA BOOM !!!!!!! crash thunder .....wind... etc etc,....the rain started and with some force as well, i looked at the camp site and with its exposed area and open fields and with the wind and rain having a 20 mile run up before slamming into the side of me tent we were in for a hiding and we got one, for 9 days solid.....9 fucking days.....!!!!!!!!!!!

Not looking to happy eh after another night in the car!!!

yes yes i know it rains, but as it turned out it rained for 9 days solid, with howling winds slamming at us all day and all night....we had to sleep in the car as the tent was not standing up to this incessant rain and we could not sleep in there, even a few hours to dry would have done but no it kept going. The Jack Concert up there on the hill was destroyed and cancelled and im sure from looking at it nearly blown away into the sea....what a fucking joke..

with the concert canceled we were struggling to put a good face on it all....we did surf, Stephanie did enjoy it, we did go to the Eden Centre which i can highly recommend as awesome site if anything, we did make it to Perran sands infamous waterhole on the beach and watched a rowdy grung band do there stuff, and we saw as many sites aswe could from within our now stinking car...looking out as the rain dribbled down the windows, after a while it gets to ya let me tell ya.

We also went to the Minnack Theatre which again is so impressive, and to be fair to the weather we got a slight restbite allowing us to chill on the beach for a while, but come show time we go nailed, we lasted to the end of the show but many did not they could not see the point, the theatre which is outdoors of a cliff edge is famous for not stopping a show regardless of the weather, but even these hardy actors were suffering a tad, there was ven one bit where a guy had to strip off to his underpants for a bit....he must have been frozen...a crazy night...but we got lashed on there as well for the whole show....!!!! bloody weather....

what a performance..!!

yeh yeh we could of gone into a pub and got wasted but hey were not big drinkers and i wasnt with the lads.

suffice to say that when it rains down in Cornwall its a shite hole to be avoided at all not do it....i have spend nearly £1500 on British holidays this year and got pissed on everyone...i am sick and tired of this piss poor grey rainy dam Island.....ahh fell better now....

next year im off to Europe or the states.....

Eden Centre

To be fair though id thought the Eden Centre was superb, there is so much you can learna bout the plants oround the world and what they produce, it is very interesting, they have two main areas one really humid and tropical and one cooler witha more European tempreture, inside when the rain fell on the bubbles the noise was incredible, it really is an architecs wet dream, and a great succes story in my veiw.

Highly educational and very entertaining.

some pics, sorry theres alot....

Stephanie with the ''Seed''

The show must go on.....really?!!

Hoping next summer will be better....

Monday, 8 September 2008

Greenman Festival 2008

I have always wanted to go to this festival after having heard such wonderful things about it, i first heard about it in 2005 and it has taken me this long to get organised. I took my now special freind Stephanie expecting warm days lazing in the sun tanning ourselves to the tunes of some cool folky dolky band.....and generally chillin. the event this year was in the Brecon Beacons at Glanusk park Wales, an aweosme natural ampitheatre.

with tickets bought well in advance we were so excited cometh the day, we packed whilst eagerly watching the weather and although there could be rain and we packed for that it looked like a reasonable clear weekend.

for this festival we set off on the Thursday night, tight as we are to get the most out of the weekend tickets, and we arrived as the sun was setting, it was along walk from the carpark but it was dry and grassy, i point that out for a reason as it was nearly the last time we see green grass again.

we camped bought program and went for a stroll around the quietish areas, no-one on stage but the lighting rig was being tested, the trees were all lit up and the smell of different food was all around. we ate we romanced at it all and slept.

The Duke of Yuke.....

we awoke to new neighbours? hi there....a bit close (as in using each others pegs) but even so its a festival, it was still dry and we headed out to lay on the grass at the main stage. To be fair the music was okish, in the early part of the day we thought some of it was filler, not that good at all, the cider was good and going down well and then crash BA BOOM....!!!! the rain came and it came down hard real hard.....a quick dash back to get water proofs on and out weekend was already getting a dampner....

within 6 hours the site was looking worse for wear, and within 12 it was muddy chocolate soup about 6 inches deep with lakes of crappy stew to contend with, the look on peoples faces said it all, check the video to see...the organisers did nothing and even though some of the music was alright and i did get to see my fav - Iron and Wine plus others no-one wants to watch there fav band in a pool of shitte....

ha ha we survived the weekend, gettinga s much out of it as possible but in the end the weather destroyed it completely, i posted a thread on the Greenman Forum called - ''brownman not greenman'' it got alot of hits form people expressing there thoughts and concerns a funny read and can be seen here.

''Brownman not Greenman''

Anyway the food was good-ish evn though we both got a dodgy tummy, the film tent was awesome with some weird porn late at night and science rock classes in the day ha ha but no generally the weekend was destroyed by the weather.

will I go again, not without getting a weather degree first.....and then watching it like a hawk.

Mini video below.