…pretty much defines the last month, even if not in that order. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. started off with an overload week… which was pretty harsh. In the middle was Hit the North, a race I would prefer to forget! OK, that’s not strictly true; Jason Miles organised a superb event and if I hadn’t been shattered from a stressful week of training and family troubles, I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more. On the first lap, I lost about five minutes to a bizarre mechanical and soon passed weekend companion Ian Leitch on the sidelines with an even more bizarre snapped seatpost that totally put him out of the race – must have been very frustrating as he was leading. I, on the other hand, was nowhere near a threat and just plodded round the course to finish a very disappointing 16th. Even without the mechanical, I was way off the pace.
After the race Ian and I headed to Keswick with the intention of an 8hr epic on the Sunday. We started on some classic Lakes trails in horrendous conditions…. horizontal freezing rain and icey cold winds. I was determined to see through my overload even if it killed me (climbing to Matterdale End nearly did) but after 4.5 hrs we binned it – this was not an 8hr hour kind of day… I felt distinctly Southern cutting things short but it was probably for the best as I was shattered – Saturday had hurt and I was up to around 25hrs of riding already….
The ugly bit – my mum, who lives in southern Spain, is unwell and I went out on an emergency visit. As things turned out her operation was postponed so, on the positive side, we could spend some quality time together (I had anticipated playing nurse). We spent time doing what she does best – sitting in the sun outside a bar with the odd shandy or two and having a good old natter…. Fingers crossed all will be well over the next few weeks.
Now then. The other good bit. When my mum had her afternoon siesta I nipped out into the hills behind Benelmadena for some super steep and techy Spanish nadge-tech. (Glad I took my high volume Continental Rubber Queens - perfect for this type of terrain, as well as the Lakes). I managed to sneak in a 7hr epic as well…. here are some choice pics. You’ll get the idea…