Foot Out

Earlier this year Kate and I attended the British Cycling Awards dinner.
Our good friend Geoff Beetham was being awarded with his MTB Masters National Champs award, and along with his Missus Fern, we were his guests.

Among the prizes for the well-known disciplines; mountain biking, road cycling, track cycling and cyclo-cross were a host of prizes for another discipline that in my ignorance I was barely aware of, grass track speedway.

Everytime an award was presented for grass track speedway they were met with shouts of ‘foot-out’.
Well they were from our table, and soon the neighbouring tables too were joining in.

But what am I trying to say? Apart from considering taking on ‘foot-out’ as a nickname.
I like the sound of Dave ‘Foot Out’ Johnston.
Well apart from the whole ‘foot-out’ thing that still makes me smile, I noticed that the dozen or so awards and National titles were spread across 2 clubs, and no more than half a dozen riders in total.

The point of this, yes there is one. Thank you for your patience, the point of this, is that if you want a National Champs jersey maybe grass track speedway is the way to go.
I don’t mean to belittle the efforts of the current holders of these titles but, hey, there doesn’t seem to be much competition.

So maybe next year, it’ll be me taking to the stage to receive a National Champs jersey from Hugh Porter, as the assembled masses scream my name,‘Foot-out’.

In the meantime here is a picture of my teammate and friend Joey Partridge very much ‘foot out’ at last weeks National Points MTB race at a very wet and muddy Dalby Forest.

And a picture of me fighting my way to a top 20 finish in the Sport category at my first National event.
Damn that hill was hard.


A Recession – 2 quarters of negative growth

Now I don’t pretend to understand what causes a recession.

And that’s what sets me apart from economists, bankers, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
They do pretend to know.
Thankfully that is not all that sets me apart from the very select group of people listed above.
Not that I have anything against economists. In fact some of my best friends don’t have anything against economists.

What I do know, is what it feels like when you get a puncture whilst riding your bike.
It feels bad.
It feels worse when you are racing your bike.
And it feels even worse when you are having one of those occasional ‘good days’ on the bike.
The rare kind of day when you feel like you can go faster, further and quicker than normal.

There is a French saying for one of those days when you have empty legs and can’t ride for love nor money.
They call it a ‘jour sans’. Literally a ‘day without’.
I don’t know if they have a saying for the opposite a ‘jour avec’ or perhaps just a ‘jour’.
Either way, on Sunday I was on a good day. I felt good, strong and quick.

And then….’….ppppppsssssssssssssttttttt’

The sound of air escaping from my back tyre.
That was part way through my second lap of four.

I managed to carry on riding, cringing as my rims banged and crashed against rocks.
I got a quick blast of air from a CO2 canister just before the end of lap 3 that just about saw me through to three quarters of the way through my last lap. When I finally succumbed and shouldered my bike and set off on foot.

I wasn’t alone in puncturing.
Several other Dirtwheels riders also punctured including Dieter who was looking good for the win in the Expert race.

Even with the puncture I was over the moon with my ride and with my result.

It was a brilliant event, with a great course. Great support, and a huge turn out from Dirtwheels, with riders in every race.
Highlights included:
Neil picking himself up after a crash to get 8th in the Male Vets and Nicky getting 4th in the Female Vets. Terry getting a top 10 in Grand Vets.
And 5 of us in the top 14 of Male Sport.

It was also a good event for our friends Ryan (1st Elite) and Emma (2nd Sport Women), Geoff (1st Masters) and Fern (1st Sport Women).

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Welcome to Hoogerland

Any fan of cycling has seen the footage of Johnny Hoogerland being catapulted into a barbed wire fence, after a French TV car ‘clipped’ Juan Antonio ‘Norman Stanley’ Flecha in last years Tour De France.

I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t replayed the footage several times in my head before Sunday morning.

On Sunday morning I was fortunate enough to drive my new car at the first round of the Yorkshire Road Racing League.
The event was hosted by Dirtwheels and so myself and several teammates volunteered to help out by driving lead cars in the road race.

I was fortunate enough to be selected to drive the Chief Commissaire in the 3/4 race. This meant that my car was fitted with CB, P.A. system and speaker, and a box on the roof warning of a Bike Race.

Driving the Chief Commissaire put me in the prime position of driving at the head of the peloton and dropping back behind the inevitable breakaways.
I had perhaps the best view of the whole race, and thankfully there were no Hoogerland incidents.

So a huge thanks to all the brave folks who raced, to Neil and Nicky for organising an excellent event and to Ruari for joining me in ‘Race 2 Com 1’.

I was also visited this weekend by my good friend ‘The American’, A.K.A, Michael Faretta, who is actually from Surrey and now lives in Australia.
Hence the nickname….Obviously.

We made the most of the Australian style, sunny and hot weather and got some really good miles in on the MTB’s on trails that Michael hadn’t ridden in a couple of years.

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