Sunday, 18 November 2012


Lots to catch up on so go get a snack or cup of tea or something, it could make this read more enjoyable!

First of all I'd like to say how proud I am of the DUMRCC boys for hiking up the Sidlaw hills to do a naked calendar photo shoot for charity! (Put down your cup of tea NOW) As traumatising as it is a fantastic picture and well represents what the club has to offer. Nice one boys ;)


The Sidlaws are a small collection of hills just outside of Dundee. They have some brilliant single tracks trails that are pretty steep and rocky and make some fun local riding. Spent an afternoon up there a fortnight ago in the coldest, wettest conditions I have ever experienced but it was still an enjoyable trip.

Charlie and I - freezing but smiling
I've also been enjoying a bunch of local single track across the Tay firth at Tensmuir Forest. It's quite a spin along the roads on the XC bike but it is well worth it. The combination of pine needles and soft sand makes the trails challenging resistance training plus the little home built cuts through the woods are narrow and fast. Great for night riding (when you don't have a cheap dodgy imported “bike lights” on your bars that plunge you into darkness every 10-15 seconds).

The local downhill tracks across the bridge have been getting hit hard too. I finally managed to hit a rather large gap double - with a fallen tree raised between the gap making it bigger! I chickened out of it last time we were riding there but turns out (like most trail obstacles) its actually very easy and it was just doing it that first time that was the challenge. My confidence is improving so much on the downhill bike and I'm loving getting out on it again even if short day light hours make it tough.

The fitness side of training is still going well. The university club have started attending a weekly class held by the ISE (our student gym) known as “conditioning”. It's fantastic! The best way to describe it is “hilarious-day-time-sweaty-night-clubbing-minus-the-drinks”. Picture about 60 students in a sports hall carrying out 45 minutes if intense “knee lifts”, “spotty dogs” and skipping from one side of the hall to the other to loud music. AMAZING. There is actually a lot of running involved as well and you can make it as intense as you wish by pushing yourself harder. We are a lucky club to have such a reliable sports union that all happen to be a great laugh and good fun too :)

Road riding!!! New addiction! Chain-ganging is one of my top five favourite things to do now. The speeds you can reach and the miles you cover without even noticing them fly by make me want to ride until someone physically removes me from the bike. I don't have a road bike of my own yet but hopefully once I get my old downhill bike (Devinci Wilson) and cross country bike (Kona Caldera) sold I can get my hands on something. Looking forward to checking out the road race scene next summer. E-mail me if your interested in more info about either of those bikes for sale!

The Sports Union held their annual ball for the university clubs last Friday. The DUMRCC attended all looking swag and a grand night was had by all! The ball consisted of a three course sit down meal which was epic followed by a combination of ceilidh dancing and disco dancing with those old school flashing disco lights and massive d-j set up at the back of the dance floor. It was like being in P7 again!

Sports Union Dinner - cycling club
Finally and most importantly...

This weekend was my first bike competition after two years out of racing. The “Dudes of Hazzard – This is Enduro Now” was an all-mountain bike race consisting of three timed downhill stages and two large ascents of the Glencoe hills in between. All three stages were very muddy and very rocky. Stage 1 was particularly rocky and steep towards the end. Stage 2 was short but very pedally involving lots of quick gear changes and stage 3 was just simply FUN down a hill, pretty flowy and a few steep turns towards the end. During the race at stage 1 I managed to hit a bomb hole with my front wheel (covered by a puddle it didn't look as deep as it apparently was) this resulted in a few stitches across my knee cap at the end of the day but I still made it to the finish! Very happy with my result making it to the podium in 3rd place only 15 seconds behind Lee Craigie who rides for Lapierre. Katy Winton who rides for Kinesis Morvelo Project did super fast times and won the women's race by plus three minutes (Iv'e got some challenging catching up to do!). I know I have written this about five times now but seriously...2013 downhill season – SEND IT!

Women's' Podium
The photo gallery has a few from this weekend and keep an eye on the video gallery as this week I'm going to put together a steezy strength training film with a mate which will be a good watch.