3rd – not even first loser

I joke of course as Andy, Lee, Nige and I were over the moon to come 3rd vet team and break the top 15 at the Bristol Bikefest. The tag of I am a roadie tester has now worn quite thin so although we had no real aspirations it was obvious we were going to hammer it round as much as we could. Conditions were against us yet we were riding faster than we did in October. Actually come 8 hours in we had done the same amount of laps we had in the 8 hour :¬) With 4 hours to go 1st and 2nd were out of sight but 4th was hot on our tails. By this point the weather started to turn again and of course I had some crashes and threw my chain, Andy started to tire and Lee/Nige just kept being Lee and Nige. We had worked out that I would have the “glory lap” this time and with 2 hours to go we had a few minutes. This all changed in the last 3 laps as the team in 4th had the big dogs chase us down and as Nige arrive I was 40 seconds down. So much for glory it was time to suffer. Common sense meant I rode easy through the first tech section and much to my surprise as I turned right I could see the target. All I needed was a target and I hammered it up the hill and into the next tech section. By now the head light was a godsend and I pulled the rest of the gap fast, asked for line and he moved over. Knowing he would try to go with me as I had light I pushed hard, stupidly lost the bike on an uphill corner but remounted still clear. Climbed hard and rode the flat rocks as fast as I could, no drama which was great. As I climbed the rocky hill the first thing I heard was Em telling to get a move on and then the confirmation from Andy that I was clear in front. From here it was a case of common sense through the rocky section and then 3 mins of all in pain. Even had a little race up the hill with someone else. All good as it kept me pushing. In the end we took 3rd by nearly a minute HAPPY DAYS.

Of course this was just the start of my weekend, meanwhile over at Endure 24 my team was doing a great job of covering for me. Lots of EM chatting on messenger confirmed I would be running 3 straight laps around 0115. We arrived just be Teresa ran and I met people and got my instructions. Lovely in Berkshire so there I was in shorts and a vest to run for 2hours at a controlled pace. The first lap was strange as my body adapted to running whereas the 2nd lap was just easy. On the 3rd lap the reality of my day started to show as the lumpy terrain played havoc with my hamstrings. I had been told to ask for Barry as I finished and came in asking for Brian(I am an arse). Fortunately Barry realised it was me :¬)  Good job as there and then I didn’t want a 4th lap. I woke Tracey and headed home for a shower and 2 hours sleep. We got back at 8am and I did another lap and also spent some time socialising with the nice Tadley runners. By 0945 we were on our way, maybe I should have offered 2 laps, I know after speaking to Teresa later I wished I had but……. What a great team, hopefully next year I can do more.

So Em Fenn is never getting a bike? Actually not true as we tested her MTB which was then ordered along with some clothing and a helmet. Isn’t life strange? Well at least she will not be able to blame me for ALL the bikes.

Now it was time for the last part of my exercise weekend, 2 games of roller hockey with the Arrows. I love seeing the guys and no matter how frustrated I get it is brilliant and I hope to play my part next year as well. The lads had played once and not great so the next game was about getting some balance to prep for the 3rd game which we had a chance to win. I know you have a chance in every game but they were better than us and it showed. That said we pulled out some great points and as I did the team talk for the next game I was able to draw on the day we had been involved in. We flew out the blocks and in a game that was played in good spirits mistakes and good things were seen. We got a draw. I had played 2 complete games and now my body was sore.

What a weekend, same again next year ?


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June 2015
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The Dark Lord Speaks


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