Thursday, 31 December 2009

NYE 2009 - I Would Ride 9000miles

2009 had been an eventful year, my first season as a sponsored rider, lots of great rides and exciting races, more podiums than I dared hope for and many hours in the saddle and riding with good friends. I also clocked my largest MTB mileage for a year, at just over 9000miles, a total I would complete on the end of year New Year's Eve 2009 celebration ride with my friends. 

I can't wait for 2010 now. :-)

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Riding 'Cross

Suffering, up a muddy track
in a field, yup, I'm 'Cross racing!

So, there I was, on the start line, doing the one thing I said I'd never do: I was about to start my first cyclocross race. Despite not owning a cyclocross bike, I had shoehorned some 700C×28 knobbly tyres into my Kaffenback touring bike, not really your ideal racing snake, and here I was. Time to brace myself for an hour of pain, I was about to start racing at the latest round of the combined Sussex County and London 'Cross Leagues!

At the end of the hour I had confirmed to myself what I already thought I knew. I suck at 'cross racing. It was kind of fun though ;-)

Monday, 5 October 2009

Happy Birthday To Me

Ready for both winter and the hills in the background
As a birthday treat and I have rewarded myself with, maybe not the most original brithday present for a cyclist, but one that scratches a few itches that I've been meaning to have a go at for a while. 

Careful use of classified adds and eBay and I have an 8-speed Alfine internal gear hub plugged into a frame with sliding vertical dropouts, including the rear disc mount (in this instance I have managed to get hold of a lovely 20" Voodoo Wanga) and up front I have plugged in the upside down, braceless Maverick SC32 fork. The tyres are set up tubeless. All of this is meant to represent the best in winter/mud bike solutions for a no-hassle, reliable-shifting, mud-clogging-proof wonder machine. to add an extra element of durability I have a Surly stainless steel chainring up front and a steel sprocket on the rear. The single gear cable runs a full length outer, 'natch ;-)

Can't wait to ride the pants off it!

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Dusk 'Till Dawn 12hr Pairs 2009

Waiting on the start line.....
Pic: Joolze Dymond
After achieving more than we could have hope for in 2008's Dusk 'Till Dawn, I once again lined up with my good friend Gavin for a second crack at male pairs. The evening didn't quite turn out as we hoped, but we finished third and, once again, on the podium and were very, very happy to have made it there in the end.

Another great weekend's great fun racing, success snatched from the jaws of disaster and yet another 12hrs racing in drivetrain and rider ruining rain.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Cutting A Dash in MBUK

My Sleepless In The Saddle 24hr Solo victory made it into MBUK in the October 2010 issue of MBUK - untold fame, woo-hoo! Getting into MBUK for the first time was a boyhood dream, I was pretty excited when I saw it, and it still makes me smile (click the pic to make the article big enough to read):

Monday, 7 September 2009

A Hard Day In The Office - The First Kielder 100

Yes, that's 100miles, not 100km as these events have been previously. This weekend the UK welcomed it's first, single lap 100mile endurance race, the SIP events organised: Kielder 100.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Morvélo at TwentyFour12 - The Hurt Business!

Big smiles after a great weekend
When the Morvélo team was first spoken about last October, before Morvélo existed and when it was just a team, this was the event Oli and I had in our minds. the aim: To go out and race as hard as we could. No excuses, hold nothing back, no what ifs, just ride as fast as we could to a man and leave knowing we couldn't have tried any faster (once we could walk again!). Fast forward nine months and there we were, the Morvélo team at TwentyFour12, and what a great weekend; a fantastic result, happy podium smiles and all out expectations exceeded.

Friday, 3 July 2009

South Downs Double Attempt #2 - Success!

This article (by me) originally appeared in HERE, but here it is again:
Rob Dean got round in 19hrs 59mins 13sec (pic: Rory Hitchens)

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Mountain Mayhem & Leisure Lakes

Leisure Lakes Endurance RT
So, this was it, my first race as a sponsored rider. I was at Mountain Mayhem, the biggest race in UK endurance racing, and riding for Leisure Lakes. This was a big deal and I was about to meet the guy who had put the team together for the first time. I needn’t have been worried. Matt, the engine behind the team and Dave, his friend and fourth team rider who would join Gavin and I for the weekend, were both as enthusiastic and friendly as they were fast. Matt and Dave were also looking to Gavin and I to lead the weekend’s logistics using our previous endurance racing experience. The weekend turned out to be a complete blast, a few tricky moments to overcome, were overcome and we were more than happy with our first showing. I think I’m going to enjoy “being a sponsored rider”, I loved the added pressure and excitement it brought. It made the satisfaction of finishing and success even greater.

Monday, 1 June 2009

2009 Race Equipment - Exposure Lights

With the full 2009 season stretching before me in Morvélo kit, the lovely guys at Exposure Lights, who are always suoper supportive as well as making the best lights out there (essential for race day with the CFD, battery meter, light weight and QR bracket features) have come up trumps with a set of "Team Issue" lights; chromed ends and personalised for each of us with our lames laser etched on in the factory. Woo-Hoo!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Lea Quarry XC Race (DNF)

This was my first official outing as a Morvélo rider, although I was doing it in neutral kit. It didn't go to plan. My event of choice was the first Brownbacks Hope XC Series race at Lee Quarry

Friday, 27 February 2009

South Downs Double Attempt #1

Enjoying the nocturnal  outward leg
Pic: Rory Hitchens
This was my first attempt at something big, the South Downs Double, and I discovered just how hard this endurance thing can be.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Setting New Targets

After achieving all my goals in 2008, and exceeding my own expectations, I decided that, in 2009, I was going to use my new found form and raise the bar. I set myself 3 goals:

  1. Complete the South Downs Double
  2. Give it my all in a 24hr team race, death or glory, with a carefully selected team
  3. Complete my first 24hr solo race

    The 24hr Race I chose to challenge myself at was SITS