Rolling with the punches

A typically eventful week.

‘The Quattro’ finally started really falling apart, so I needed a new motor.
Cue a smaller, ‘non Quattro’ Audi A4.
Until the garage called to say that the Valet had driven it into a wall amd scatched the paintwork, and it needed repairing, but it wouldn’t be ready in time to allow me take part in the National Cross Country MTB Series first round at Sherwood Pines, on Sunday.

Our central heating boiler stopped providing hot water this week as well.
This meant lots of post ride visits to the in-laws to use their shower.
Thank you Mezza and CG.
It took the plumber 5 visits with a new part required on each occasion to fix it.

On Saturday in the lovely sunshine, I visited Buck Woods Skills loop with BC Cycling Coach, Ian Thewlis of Bradford BMX Bandits and Leeds Mercury to learn how to roll.
Under Ian’s watchful eye I learned to use the terrain to give me free speed.
It sounds daft, but eventually I was riding the whole mini BMX track without using a single pedal stroke.
Getting quicker without pedalling? It has to be a good thing.
I wish I’d known how to do this before the Midlands MTB race at Hicks Lodge though.


Man vs Tree

“It’s just the place,” he explained, “for an Ambush.” “What sort of bush?” whispered Pooh to Piglet. “A gorse-bush?” “My dear Pooh,” said Owl in his superior way, “don’t you know what an Ambush is?” “Owl,” said Piglet, looking round at him severely, “Pooh’s whisper was a perfectly private whisper, and there was no need—-” “An Ambush,” said Owl, “is a sort of Surprise.”
“So is a gorse-bush sometimes,” said Pooh. “An Ambush, as I was about to explain to Pooh,” said Piglet, “is a sort of Surprise.” “If people jump out at you suddenly, that’s an Ambush,” said Owl. “It’s an Ambush, Pooh, when people jump at you suddenly,” explained Piglet. Pooh, who now knew what an Ambush was, said that a gorse-bush had sprung at him suddenly one day when he fell off a tree, and he had taken six days to get all the prickles out of himself. “We are not talking about gorse-bushes,” said Owl a little crossly.
“I am,” said Pooh.


I was ambushed today.

I was ambushed, not by a bush, but by a tree.

A big bloody tree.

It leapt out in front of me, they move quickly you know.

Still, I came out on top.

Although I am a bit bruised.


Oh and this all happened at the 2nd round of the Midlands XC MTB series at Cannock.

It was a tough race, made tougher by my argument with a tree.

As usual I was very well supported and I enjoyed the day.

We had a good Dirtwheels contingent there today, Neil & Nicky, Jane, John, Dieter & Helen, and Joey; who came down with me, Kate, and Milo, our dog who was resplendant in his DWC jersey.

It was also great to catch up with our good friends, Ryan & Emma, and Geoffrey & Fern. 

It’s just a ride

Alright then folks. This is it. The start of my ‘blog.

Not sure that I will keep with correctly calling it a ‘blog. I think that pretty quickly it will become a blog.

Ah, see it has happened already.

This blog will aim to track my progress throughout the year as my wife and I race our bikes, walk our dog, work, travel and generally fill the hours between waking and sleeping. 


So strap in, here we go……


Few people have managed to put it all into such good perspective as the late, great, Bill Hicks:


The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we … kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride.