Sunday, December 20, 2009

EPIC

I thought today's London League at Herne Hill was pretty epic, what with the ice, snow and mud we endured, then I saw this - the highlights of the World Cup at Kalmthout. This is brilliant...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Polaroid #1 Self


Polaroid #1 Self, originally uploaded by Andy Waterman.

I recenlty bought Geoff Waugh's old Bronica SQ, along with a 150mm lens and an additional polaroid back. So far I've only shot one roll of film with it, which I got back from the developers (genieimaging - £1.50 per roll, E6 or C-41 - bargain) only to realise my scanner doesn't work with Windows Vista. To make up for the disappointment I broke out the Poaroid back to have a play.
As I was home alone I was limited to a self portrait (this blog is getting way too heavy on photos of me, for which I apologise), but despite the limitations of the model, I can see why polaroids are so addictive. It is like magic. I love it - expect more soon!

Turbo Training


Turbo Training, originally uploaded by Andy Waterman.

It's been so cold this week, I've barely left the house and I've been conducting this week's Rocky training on the turbo trainer. It's boring but effective. When you live in the city and the first half hour of any ride involves getting cold riding through traffic and when the countryside you're aiming for is covered in ice, you're not going to get any quality training in on the road, so you might as well stay at home.
That's my theory at least.
On Tuesday I did Tabata intervals, then went for a 30min run (outside!) straight away after, a sure fire way to induce jelly legs, but a good workout. I've realised that while I'm an ok runner, I'm crap when I have to get off the bike. These "block" sessions (to borrow from the triathlon world) should help.
On Wednesday it started snowing, so there was no way I was going out. Instead I did 2hrs on the turbo with the first series of Curb Your Enthusiasm for entertainment, and a session of 2x20mins just below threshold to tire me out. It wasn't even that boring. Training indoors is only boring wheen you're trying to do steady miles, when you throw some intervals in the mix the time passes pretty quick.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

National Trophy Cyclocross Bradford

I had a bad day at the office. Crashed three times on the first lap, twice because I stupidly decided to put more air in my tyres before the start (beginner's error - I was getting panicky about the squirminess of 20psi in the Vittoria XM's) and once because I got squeezed into a tree. I ended up 51st or something. A day to forget.
Still, I'm now free till the week before the National Champs, so I've got lots of training and racing planned - hopefully by the time Jan 10th rolls around I'll have the sort of form I had back at Ipswich.


D32_3529, originally uploaded by britishcycling.org.uk photos.

This is what I missed out on up at the front of the race. You can see me getting lapped about 5mins in - that could almost have been real time unfortunately. Jody was smashing it, God knows how someone so small can create so much power and get so much traction to put that power down. I don't understand it. Well done to BC too for putting up video reports of the race, they're a bit dry but it's good to see them using the web in this way.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Two weekends, two videos

One of the best things about the burgeoning US cyclocross scene is that the racers and the spectators are all mega tech savvy, and what that means is that after every race there are hundreds of photos and videos to look through. We Brits are still playing catch up in this respect - don't believe me, search Flickr for the word "cyclocross" on a Monday morning and all the most recent photos will be from the US.
With that background it came as a surprise to find videos of the last two races I've done on the web. This first one is by Geoff Waugh from the South-East Regional Champs (I DNF'd - had a cold and kept crashing painfully...) and the second one is by Mike Beasant from the mud race I did at Hog Hill last week. It's not got such high productuon values as Geoff's but it's still really good to see. Cheers Mike!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Mud, inglorious mud


lx207, originally uploaded by LondonCycleSport.

Sunday's London League at Hog Hill felt like a World War 1 re-enactment. The mud was so deep for large portions of the course, that riding was not just impossible, even attempting to ride was unwise, and would likely have resulted in a knackered rear mech. And while we battled our adversaries in the quagmire, organiser Michael Humphreys cheered us on from the sidelines with only a hint of menace in his voice, as if you'd be shot for desertion if you dared to complain that the conditons and the course were not conducive bike racing.
As it happened, the racing was actually pretty good. The usual suspects of Darren Barclay, Taylor Johnstone, Hugo Humphreys, Matt Holmes and Gary Lingard got away on the first lap, behind them was a group containing Phil Glowinski and Felix English, and behind them was me, in about 10th place. Having not raced for a couple of weeks I was going with the tortoise and the hare approach, and it seemed to work well in the conditions. We only did five laps as the course was so long, but by the fourth I was beginning to get into a rhythm and the guys ahead were beginning to tire — a winning combination.
lx293
Over those last two laps I moved up to fifth and finished the race just 2mins behind Darren who won, which is probably closer than I normally finish when I start faster. Interesting.
The one really good thing about Hog Hill was that I could get off my bike and jump straight in the shower to warm up. I reckon I would have got ill without it.
This weekend it's the inter-areas in Ipswich and then after that I'm off to Bradford for the National Trophy. I think my Vittoria Evo XM mud tubs are going to be seeing quite alot of action over the next few weeks.