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Long distance is where it's at - fact!

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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:11 pm

Here's a few pics from yesterday's ride with BGW, Ian and Jes. Was much fun. Think we did about 20 miles in the end???

BGW trackstanding like a pro *is not worthy*
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Was a bit wet in places though!
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Sunday - Racer's Guild at Stile Cop

What can I say? Despite the horrendous (and I mean horrendous) April weather (4 degrees, gale force wind and persistent heavy rain) we headed up to Stile Cop for the Racer's Guild timed sessions. To race a track that neither of us had ever ridden (CDL).

I was soooo pleased at how well I learnt the track and got a couple of cracking lines sorted. Pleased at how much I now enjoy riding in the mud and rain and pleased at the fact we even went :D

I was NOT AT ALL pleased that I negated all my good work doing so by making a persistent basic error on the finishing straight of drifting wide and ending up trying to pedal though a swamp, thus loosing me a lot of time :x

This is Ian getting the right line to the finish:
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Ian did well on his new Trek Session, much better than the Orange 5 - DH bikes ftw! He still managed to look super grumpy though ;)
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Was the only girl again and am waiting for times so don't yet know how I compared to the guys. I really want to see my times move up to around average of the senior men, but this is not going to happen if I continue to make stupid mistakes!
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:26 pm

Still don't know the times from yesterday - will post when they are up!

Monday - very gentle cruise round the hills

Being a lady kicked my arse again leaving me weak-legged and tired. So pootled round the hills in granny gear and cruising the descents.

At least I got out :)

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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Tue May 01, 2012 8:21 pm

Tuesday - Gym
Struggling with being a lady this month, sorry for the graphic detail, but feck moi you'd think I'd burst an artery with the amount of bloodloss :x

I am feeling weak and tired from the cramps which are still bad tonight and which painkillers wont touch. :x

Went to the gym, but had to accept it would be a limited session. Just took it easy, did some bench, some formwork (light) squats going down controlled and then trying to drive up as fast as possible. Bit of lat work, and that was it. Nothing heavy. Got an important race this weekend (well, for me anyway) and I want to be 100% by then. I am hoping it will be on a steeper track than I have raced so far, so my lack of pedal-power wont be such an issue. Guess it'll be crunch time for my technical ability instead....I feel I'll be able to hold my own on a steeper track.

Got the results from the timed practice on Sunday and I am most pleased:

I was the only lady out of a bunch of men, most of whom were locals with regular practice on the track. I only had four practice runs to get to know the track and it was very muddy (my worst type of trail) and yet:

I came 16th out of 32 (woot halfway up the pack of men!) and my best time of two runs (01:13.2) was above the average of all the best times (01.15.7). I'm pretty pleased tbh, that's good going. :mrgreen:
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Sat May 05, 2012 6:52 pm

Wednesday - Rest Day

Thursday - Still struggling to recover from a heavy month and a long, very stressful workday I wasn't really wanting to head out for ladies ride. Got home with just enough time to run the dog, get bikey kit on and head out in the torrential rain. Got to the Brewers busstop and sat watching the rivers of water streaming down the road whilst thinking "cor, hope no-one turns up, I'm so tired and cold"

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Sarah turned up.....and we both agreed that neither of us would've come if we hadn't said we were going to. BUT, we also both decided to get on with it and head out anyway, and how glad am I that we did? It was a brilliant ride, sploshing through puddles, chatting, climbing out of colwall, heading back through the cloud enveloped ridge. :D

Friday - Test Ride on an Orange Diva

Finally, finally I got to test ride a wee short orange Diva 5 http://www.orangebikes.co.uk/bikes/five-diva_So I finally got a test ride on the short Diva and it was a real mixed bag, but overall I did indeed fall in love with it and am gonna get one....when I have decided on spec. Input welcome!

The short is a perfect size when out of the saddle. Sitting and spinning it was small, but fine with the saddle back on the rails.

Some things were componentry issues that would be easy to remedy (wider bars, get rid of triple set up, run SRAM, put on some proper pedals as the flats the bike shop put on were the worse I have ever ridden). ADvantage tyres performed much better than I was expecting. Loved the X2 brakes - I've always run M4's and was surprised at how good the X2's are.

Was crackingly accurate with the 140 mm on the front, like, the front wheel went where I put it (a novelty for me). Went round bermed corners like (for want of a less cliche saying) it was on rails.

Wasn't as great at climbing or on the flat as I was expecting (but then I'm not great at climbing so I suspect I was expecting miracles and it still hurt!). Pedalling over rough stuff wasn't great, but I suspect that may have been a lot to do with the awful pedals.

Absolutely came to life on the descents, more than I imagined it would, but the air can on the back was poor. The bike shop set it up and said I might need to let a bit more air out, I ended up putting an extra 20 PSI in and was still blowing through the travel, even on the relatively tame verderers. The air fork performed better than I expected, although I did have to run it hard to stop it diving.

Felt a little undergunned with the 140 mm up front on more DH orientated trails, took it down the DTV race track for Sunday and it struggled on the steeper bits. Ski run is hardly full-on DH either...but saying that it was fine for 90% of it.

Best thing of all - felt awesome to jump on. Well balanced and responsive.

So, I'm gonna get one but have NO IDEA how to spec it.

160 mm up front or stick with the 140 mm?

Go with coil forks even though I promised myself what I needed was a nice light 140 mm trail bike?

The CCDB doesn't fit so I'm likely to keep an air can, but maybe get it pushed.

And then the hardest decision of all......what colour scheme to go with?!!

Saturday - Race Practice
Hmm, interesting day.

Good things - got a difficult fresh top section sorted-as-best-as-I-can, felt quick (but out of control) on some stuff, trail is rapidly drying out, got some nice pics with my bargain £20 compact camera :mrgreen:

Bad stuff - wasn't 'on it', failing to look ahead, a bit intimidated by the standard of ladies (much higher than I have ridden against so far), barely staying on the bike, unable to hold the quickest lines, feeling rather sub-standard, can't believe I take better piccies with a cheap camera than the posh one I got from crimbo :|

This is a cool pic - this guy is pre-jumping to completely cut out a double berm and take a rapid-but-loose line to the road gap.
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Wed May 09, 2012 9:00 pm

Sunday

Two pro WC riders turned up so they took the top spots on the podium! But how AWESOME to ride the same course at Tracy Moseley, and Jess Stone and manage to knab the third spot :)

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TBH, I made a bit of an arse of Sunday's race, it's just the field was pretty small (7) so I got away with it. Did have a good clear, but relatively slow first run and then was gonna pin my second....except ballsed-up at the top and then didn't bother pedalling to try and catch up the time I had lost. Probably should've really tried harder on the second run as I may have made up some time.

It was such a stressful weekend, I felt kind of empty at the end, even though I had landed the best result I could've hoped for. I think it may have been partly sleep deprivation as I didn't sleep all Saturday night....I thought I'd make the best use of the time lying awake by visualising the trail and remembering my lines. But got to the top Sunday to find everything had changed because of the number of riders down.

Still not sure this racing thing is for me!

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Pic by Loz Webb :)
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Sat May 12, 2012 7:27 pm

Monday - rest

Tuesday - squat day - churned out 5x5, chins n lat pulls

Wednesday - rest

Thursday - ladies evening ride. Finally the weather started picking up.

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I'm loving riding with my (now regular) companion Sarah who is similar pace uphill and happy to chat. Between us we always seem to cover a fair few miles, probably because we spend so much time chatting we don't realise the miles disappearing under our wheels :lol:

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Friday - bench day at gym plus some shoulder work

Saturday- Malvern EPIC. Biggest Malvern ride I have done for a while showing round some friends. Great day - fantastic company, sunshine, perfect trail conditions, felt 100% at home on the HT. Knackard now! :mrgreen:

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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby Mr. Cleetus » Mon May 14, 2012 9:35 pm

wow, well done on another podium! As always, your pics and results are inspiring.
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby Orkje » Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:13 pm

Great pictures and riding! Good to see you headed out in the downpour. It's only water falling from the sky after all :wink:
Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it's impossible to turn back. - Henry Rollins
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:21 pm

Ah cheers guys :)

Update, finally. I have officially retired from racing. Feck moi it sent me loopy and turned me into a devilwoman. One horrendously stressful miserable weekend too many sent me over the edge.

So I've been riding the HT mostly, getting out there, and re-finding my love of riding......and got fitter in the process. Not massively fit, but certainly better than for many a month. Loving the HT with the forks set at 145 mm rather than 160 mm.

In the last month I have ridden some of the best single track I have ever found, ridden in many a new place, nailed some pretty techy stuff on the HT and generally chilled out massively :)

Few pics:
Nanty
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Off-piste
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Malvern
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Before a crash
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Me after
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and the aftermath (actually the concussion and whiplash was the worst!)
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:10 pm

Update:

Went to the Alps

It was AWESOME :mrgreen:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1PrvnXyVaI[/youtube]

Am possibly considering racing again....
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby Orkje » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:42 am

[quote="downhillingdemon"]Update:

Went to the Alps

It was AWESOME :mrgreen:


How could it not be :shock:
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:34 pm

Yesterday - went for race practice at the FoD. Had a good time, felt chilled.

Today - raced.....had a great time.......was so chilled and laughed all day :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Oh, and came second out of 10 riders and pretty much stormed it. Second was the best I could have wished for with a World Cup rider in my class so proper pulled it off :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Pics will follow :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby Mr. Cleetus » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:58 pm

Awesome! Well done, impressive as always. :)
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:51 pm

I didn't post pics did I? Sorry!

Anyway, have been back doing a bit of XC and some racing since.

Oh, hang on, did I tell you all about 'missy' the new Diva? I can't remember. Well here she is on an 'old school style epic' a few weeks back:

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She needed some serious tweaking, even from new....but after getting the fork and shock tuned, she now feels like the ultimate trail bike. Brilliant. Went to Cannock with Johnstuff last weekend and she flew down, up and over stuff, much more capability than I have!

Right, also have been down to Devon for a bit of sessioning on some brilliantly fun local-style-DH and practice on the race track for the SW Champs.

Here's a bit of video from Devon:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI8vzteDsLg[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_v6rdUTHf_o[/youtube]

Also did another 'Racers Guild' - no direct female competition. Was useful practice to be against the clock though. Struggled to keep flow or speed or look up enough. Very frustrating feeling like you can go quicker, but just can't do it!!

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This weekend I raced the 'Urban Downhill' charity event in Plymouth. It's very different to normal - it's gonna hurt a hell of a lot if you stack it on a load of steps, but I'd rather take my chances with that than roots....so thoroughly enjoyed it! The most fun on a bike ever! It felt proper naughty blasting the bike through a university rather than a MTB course! There was a rather sketchy looking drop in the middle that needed a lot of work for me to pedal uphill to on the big bike, but I hit it first run in practice anyway...OH YEAH 8)

There was only three of us ladies racing, but I took the win easily, by a significant margin...got lots of positive feedback, even from the commentator! Shame there wasn't more ladies there though.....just not enough racing DH.

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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:53 pm

I am a mostly skint at the moment so can't afford to buy pics from the race, but there are a few nice ones on roots and rain which you can see here:

http://www.rootsandrain.com/photos/378695

http://www.rootsandrain.com/photos/378956

http://www.rootsandrain.com/photos/379023

So, current latest injury is:

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Went down hard on Sunday on the way back from a little XC pootle round Woodbury Common. How bluddy annoying? Race urban DH on the saturday, fly around off-road trails, boardwalk, between trees etc etc on Sunday, and then come of on a bit of ultra FLAT tarmac road after colliding with the OH five minutes from home!! :|

So the knee was bad when I first did it, but I cleaned it up with antiseptic and kept it clean. Had to work on the Monday and Tuesday and the swelling got worse but by Wednesday the pain was unbelievable. The area beneath the joint was red hot and no amount of R.I.C.E. was helping. Didn't want to go to the docs as knew I couldn't go in a cast if it was fractured/ligament as I'd not be able to work (or earn, therefore or pay the mortgage) so figured I'd have to deal with the pain. But by today, after discussions with others, I realised it was probably infected.........and yup. On those antibiotics yet again for yet another trauma injury. Still.....the doc was really positive there was no need to x-ray etc and so I have all my fingers crossed that I'll be good to ride again in a few days (rather than a few months as I was beginning to fear). The frickin pain is sooooo bad though, when I stand up it makes me want to puke!
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