Wednesday - Short nightride Thursday+Friday - Rest days after lots of surveying
Saturday - DH day at Stile Cop. No real boundary pushing, but was pleased to tick a few more things off the list, including the step-down I have, until today, treated as two single drops rather than one big jump. Much better and much smoother to hit it full pelt No pic unfortunately!
Also got to see some mental racing lines courtesy of a rather good riding buddy. Blimy, I'd never have even thought about some of them, was awesome trying to tag along and follow him down. Learnt so much in one minute run!
Did get a few pics of me on a not-as-easy-to-clear-as-it-looks double and the guys on some fun stuff. Ian was test riding his Orange 5 with a still-not-right shoulder, and yet still hit everything full on! Mentalist
Sunday - FoD - 14 miles XC with lots of photo stops. Fun fun and more fun swoopy, non-technical but rapidly-fast trails. Gawd my legs are crap at pedalling atm. They were sooooo sore by the second 7 mile lap, shameful!
Still, the climbing speed was unimportant when the weather was so amazing and the descents sooooooo much fun
Squats - got my 3x3 with 60 kg after a million warm-ups and then did 40 kg for 2 sets of 10 reps. Cor I'm gonna have sore legs tomorrow and the next day and the next day.....
Then did bench and got 5x5 with 35 kg - right arm still weak. Found if I really concentrated on driving with my right arm, the left one sorted itself out. Didn't have a spotter which probably drove me through the last set, but it was close to failure several times with my right arm
Friday - had a brilliant work day - mainly because surveying in Cinderford was over by lunch which let me head off to the Verderers for a lunchtime ride.
It was probably a bad idea tbh, my legs were still sore! But being on my own I steadily pootled round....it's only 7 miles and took around 50 minutes of steady churning. Was such an amazingly gorgeous day, it was well worth it.
Saturday - another day I couldn't resist riding even though I knew I needed a rest day. Still, it was only pushing about......
Dry trails at Ribby though? Awesome! Sooooo fast there in the dry. They've rebuilt some of the jumps. Here's a short snapshot of a kicker/step down thingy. Very difficult to clear as the section before the road is quite techy and saps a lot of speed so was pleased to nail it on the second attempt.
By Saturday evening I knew I had proper overdone it this week, what with a lot of work too. Knew I'd have to do some serious WTFU to do, as Sunday was......
Sunday Cwmdown Buffday Day
A few of us have birthdays around the end of the month, so we organised a celebratory buffday uplift at Cwmdown. Brutally fast, knackaring and with nasty jumps at the best of times, I was proper feeling the tiredness from training the week before. Still had a great day though! Didn't really hit any of the jumps at the bottom full on, mostly because I didn't really feel strong enough to hold onto the bike for a lot of it, but made sure I stuck it out for the whole day as it was beneficial none-the-less. I find that, if I can force myself to concentrate and look ahead when I'm tired, I know I'll be able to pin it when I'm firing on all four cylinders.
There may be some vids later
I am now resting! For at least three days I think, feel like I need it. Got a whole week off next week, just to ride, ride and ride some more, so have to be supercompensated in time for that
Ok, as promised here's a bit of Cwmcarn footage from last Sunday. Need to be faster! Need to hit the table properly at the bottom and not suck it up. One day, one day.
Thursday Did as I promised and had three days off, then, as luck would have it, was working in Merthyr Tydfil yesterday. Ian came down with me and then we got to ride Gethin DH for a few hours. Neither of us had much mojo, but it was such a gorgeous afternoon we sessioned bits n pieces on the lower section and generally had a great time. Gethin is a funny place, even though it is only just outside of the industrial-heritage-hell-hole that is known as Methyr, it always seems really ancient, almost spiritual. Weird.
Here's a vid of the rock garden. I had forgot my knee pads, so was a bit concious of coming off as it could result in a fair bit of damage.....well, until I got going and then didn't think about missing pads again until I stopped
....and here's some pics
Friday I have my baby back - Dillon, my gorgeous Chammy all built up
Oh boy, I soon found out my HT skills have totally disappeared over the last 6 months
Still, he's still the most fun bike ever, and I can't wait to get back out and practice and get my flow back
bob_summers wrote:The vid is seriously fast, one of the best I've seen. What is this mlehworld thing, I've seen that jersey somewhere else?
The Cwmcarn vid? It's a fast track, that's for sure....but that wasn't the fastest we've been down it. Was definitely an off day. It's not particularly technical so it really is a case of holding on and going as fast as you dare. Excellent for DH endurance training. Even though you only get about 40 minutes or so of riding in a whole day of uplift, the next day feels like you've been on the bike for hours!
Mlehworld is a slightly off-kilter forum set up by some STW outcasts. Strange place, not for everyone.....but the people there are some of the nicest bunch I have met in real life. Funny how forum persona's and real life don't always tie up!
So Saturday - Molfre uplift day! Woot!
So I got a few midge bites at Gethin on Thursday. By Friday I knew I was infected, but got convinced it would be fine and anti-histamines would take down the swelling. What a fucking idiot I am.
I now have cellulitis, again. Am on double dose of penicillin and flucloxacillin. And it's not touching it.
FFS I'm on leave this week to ride my little heart out and, as it stands, I'm gonna loose at least two days riding and, if the AB's don't kick in soon, it'll be even more as I'll be on intravenous AB's in hospital.
I'm so fucking annoyed with myself for not going to the doctor on Friday and catching it earlier....but everyone makes you feel like a hypochondriac for going to the doctor with an insect bite and I just hoped it would be ok.
So the tablets started kicking in yesterday *breathes BIG sigh of relief*
Obviously I couldn't risk riding or any serious exertion, but we did make the most of the time and headed to Cheltenham to have a look at some dirt jumps I have known about for a while, but never managed to get to. First impressions were, erm, that it was a 'compact' site. But actually, with a bit of spade work to fix up the run-ins, those 7 wee jumps filled an afternoon in the sun.
Blimy, it took several runs to get used to being back on the HT, but eventually found myself nosing it in and landing smooth. HT's require a different kind of pump to get airbourne (longer and I have to stand up into the jump much more) because there is no rear-sus to kick the back up for me. My skills coach totally disagrees with this mind and says the technique is the same.
Got some shots and then ran some of them through newly updated Picassa for some fun effects
Also did a wee edit of the afternoon (I spent a fair bit of time with the camera trying to stay off my foot!)
Monday - Bredon.
Woke up to the news that my sister had died in the night. We were pretty much estranged, but it was still sad to hear.
So an afternoon of soul riding in the sunshine at Bredon was particularly appreciated. Nothing techy, just wide bridleways and bone dry singletrack with beautiful views.
The antibiotics are knocking me about a bit. Because I am on double doses four times a day, and have to have them on an empty stomach, I'm struggling to get in enough calories because of poor timing on my part. Have to do better tomorrow and eat like a maniac the hour after taking each dose to make sure I have legs for riding on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday AND Sunday.
Wednesday - Birthday Ride at the Forest of Dean Feeling rather rough from the antibiotics, lack of sleep and lack of food (due to having to take the tablets on an empty stomach). I struggled to keep up with the guys on the climbs n pedally sections (especially as they were on sussers and I'm back on my very stiff chammy), but kind of just kept ploughing around and had much fun on the descents. 2 laps (14 miles) followed by a play on the DH.
Took a while to get confidence on the DH trails with the HT and I had a few dry runs at the big table before committing fully. Very dry + light HT = Totally overshooting table and nearly missing the berm - cor blimy I wasn't expecting that!
Thursday - Malvern Epic day of XC in the Malverns showing round Woody our guest for the week. It was SO warm, like an alpine summer with a gorgeous warm breeze. I can't believe how tanned I am at the end of March. Global warming eh?
We did a lot of pedalling (were out for 5 hours!), and technical descending. Death Valley was blummin hard work on the HT if I am honest, but mostly I refound my HT mojo and enjoyed the challenge (and the chips at the pub!)
Friday - Ribbesford
How long have I been back on the HT? Three rides? Well it's already made a MASSIVE difference to my FS skills. Had a fab day at Ribbesford with great company and perfect trail conditions. Dry, warm and fast-as-you-dare. Jumping was feeling good and I was really pleased to put together the top section of rib tickler including the rather large gaps (see from 2.27 in the youtube vid if you can't be bothered to watch the whole thing!). The vid is an edit of my headcam footage and a wee bit Ian took on the camera
It was just such a fab day's riding, one of those where you know exactly why you are a MTBker
Saturday - Racers Guild! Friday night, whilst eating curry, the three of us made a last minute decision to go racing at Stile Cop the next day. Well, I say 'racing' although technically it is termed 'timed runs'....like a local 'mates race'. Except we aren't very local so it was an early start to get there for 9 am and get the course dialled.
They didn't open the course until later though, so only got a few hours to get some runs in an pick lines, without getting totally knackard out for the race runs. It wasn't enough to be honest....so many mistakes! So many places I could've gone quicker! At least I can huck so I didn't have to mince the drops n jumps. Just waiting for the results to come in - although I do know my second run was quicker (I had four runs in total due to offering to be a marshall - marshalls get run privaledges!) as I was too unfocused on my later runs.
I really need to work on the following:
Flicky corners and corners with ruts
Changing gears during my runs - I normally pick a suitable gear and leave it in that gear as I find it too much risk (of chain jam/sticking/slipping) when descending at speed. This isn't a problem when I am milling round DH trails for fun...one gear is normally more than adequate. Both races so far, however, have had a sprint off the line and I have been pushing a big gear which has left me slow off the mark. I did try changing down on my last two runs, but ended up slower and distracted.
Still - fingers crossed for the results. I'd like to come halfway (down the pack of guys), but I suspect I'll be nearer bottom third. Of course I came first in my category....because I was the only girl. I'll post the results when they come in.
I like this shot of the guys waiting for their time - the one at the start has been track standing for ages ready to sprint like mad...proper skills that!
Too slow, too slow! Although I do try and console myself we were riding against locals who know the tracks really well
Sunday - Daisybank (again!)
Headed over to leckhampton to ride some trails on the HT, but I was just too tired after 7 consecutive days of riding so left Ian and woody to ride DH trails whilst I headed over to daisybank to help with building jumps in the sunshine.
Five hours later I was tanned like summer, practised at jumping and even more shattered from shifting dirt! The guys came over too and joined a whole crowd of riders, of all ages, who had turned up to make the most of the fast running unseasonable conditions. What a stunning end to a fantastic holiday
Thursday - Ladies nightride in Malvern. I am now an official committee member of the MCS and have offered to lead regular ladies rides on Thursday evenings. Like usual, no-one turned up
50 minutes on the best ever trail conditions - worth getting the bike out for, that's for sure!
Friday - Downhill day at the FoD Proper day of DH at the FOD - really working on carrying speed and pedalling rather than coasting. I am reasonably good at most jumps now - no style, but I can normally clear most stuff on everyday normal DH trails.........however, this racing marlarky is already highlighting my inability to carry speed and actually ride trails well. SOOOOO much to work on.
However, even though I was using the day as a training session, it was still a really fun day! Good company and super dry trails meant flat out fast fun. Johnstuff was there too. Here's a wee vid of the day
Saturday - Few hours on wet rooty trails at Stile Cop. Practice practice practice. Must get faster, must pick better lines, must not brake unnecessarily...*repeats constantly in head*
Got a race in two weeks. It was marketed as one 'suitable for mid-travel' bikes and those that can carry speed.
I don't have such a bike.
And can't carry speed very well either.
Still, not one to be easily beaten, me n Maggie-the-Glory went up for some pedalling, line-choice study and training (AKA punishment). Physical punishment it was, but thoroughly enjoyable none-the-less. We met up with some race-buddies from teamidiot who are always a great laugh, and from whom I always learn so much.
I can't even tell you how knackard I am today from keeping the power on constantly for 2 min runs (and then pushing back up) on such a flat course with no real gradient.
I didn't get the course perfect, I need to pedal SO MUCH MORE....some of the doubles in the centre were hard to clear and the mid-section is the hardest of all to keep flow....you can't really see on the video, but not only is it flat, it's also pretty rough with wheel swallowing holes, roots, and ruts which will only get worse over the next two weeks as the local riders continue to practice through the forcasted rain.
There was also a gap jump which would save time round a corner. Some locals had built a pallet in the landing to bring it closer, but even with this it was almost impossible to get the speed for it as it follows a tight technical rock section and there is only a few meters of flat trail to sprint for the jump. Not many people were hitting it. I did clear it, but only just!
Later in the day one of the race organisers came and took the pallet out, so that's my quick line gone. It's frustrating to have the skill, but not the power (or lighter bike!) to take the short cut options. I hate having to take chicken lines, it does no good for women's riding if we have to ride round jumps all the time.
Still at least the course ends with a drop that will make being on the big bike all worthwhile and, even though it is pedally, it is one of the most fun trails I have ridden. I had such a fab time just riding it on Sunday and can't wait to get back.
Cor blimy I wish I could get back up there and practice again before race weekend, but it's just not going to happen!