Friday, 22 November 2013

new blog site

Moving over to

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Be a Finisher

Completing the triathlon in Portman was a great feeling after lots of training and some serious worries about the sea. The week previous it was 14º and very choppy. Luckily the temperature came up and the sea calmed.
I also adding a charity run a week before to get some training. Great fun here are the results. 

I hired a neoprene swimming suit from ciclomania and was amazed just how much you can float. I swam the 1000m in 21 minutes however I have some training to do to improve as I was almost last.

Taking part they say is the important part and to be honest it's true there is always some one faster than you. But it's nice to get a good result. It was great to finish as it was a hot day and all the 216 athletes suffered from sun burn.  I finished 184th my best result yet.  But I really was happy to cross the line and have no major problems.

I mentioned the Ironman Josefe Asram doing the The RedBull seven island challenge in the previous blog. He started the same day as us but the following day suffered heat stroke and was sent to hospital. luckily he is ok, but it is a reminder that finishing is not always possible. 

There are a two more races coming up and I hope to do the same enjoy the event, finish and get the T-shirt.

  Next race Duatlón 26th May I hope it's not too hot !
June 10th  Santa Pola Triathlon-Cross - With the mountain bike ;))

Friday, 27 April 2012

Second Triathlon

Thinking about combining twelve years of running, plenty of riding bikes and in the last year and a half swimming; into one two hour effort is and interesting mental challenge.

May 13 will be my second triathlon and the longest distance, 1000m swim in the sea, 30k riding up and down hills, then finishing with a 6k run. I have trained all of these distances so I'm hoping to finish and not last however the people that do these events are very focused and spend a lot of time and money.

Training the last few weeks has been before work, in the pool at 8am or spinning the wheels of the light-weight race bike as the sun comes up.

Reading and listening to other cyclists and triathletes, the focus of these events is to finish to get the satisfaction of a result, to see how your mind and body react to the, efforts and stresses. To be honest it's very enjoyable and there is nothing like the crossing the line at the end.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Run for your Life.

Sometime back in 2001 I started running and it wasn't long before the bug took hold. After only a few months I competed in a Boxing day 5Mile run. I have always adopted the start steady and build up. I started last but didn't finish like that. My time then was 38 min

Running became apart of my lifestyle. Cycling too. But it depended on where I was living. But I feel very natural on two wheels. In my mid-twenties I was riding to and from work 12miles in about 50mins.

Now I am 36 and every year I like to do a new challenge; running in other countries, Northern Ireland in the snow, Sydney Australia, different terrains from the rolling hills on the Isle of Wight to the streets of Madrid. They all have their challenges.

Last year 2011 another new area, the triathlon. Benidorm was the location. Swim, Ride and Run is the format. I had to improve my swimming and I still am. Even though I only competed in the Popular race not the Olympic distance it was a great day. Swimming in the sea in October with red flag warnings elbow-to-elbow with a hundred others was amazing. Pulling myself out the water and running to the bike and trying to make up some time.

The season in Spain runs from May to October so I felt like a long wait. However it gave me time to improve and study my times and techniques. I was again riding the bike to work clocking 400k a month swimming 1000m a week and keeping my running to a tight 12kph.

I was surprised to see how serious the competition was in a local Biathlon, 6k run, 32k bike and 3k run. Most were wearing tight-go-fast superhero outfits and ran at a sprint. I finished almost last, 2h 5min, just beating a one legged man – no joke. But I finished and there were many that didn't. When I looked at my times it was actually a very good time for me.

Next challenge is a another local race in Alicante, 5k run 20 bike and 2.5k run. The bike has had some modifications so lets see what happens. I know what times I what to achieve so I hope I will work out.

Scott MT with road tyres, different bars and gearing changed

Other challenges to come, Trail, cross running and triathlon cross. There are also some kayak, run, ride.

Some racing History:

2009 Auatralia city 2 surf times video
2002 isle of wight

Some other links to races or runs that I have done and Ironman special.

2011 Vancouver Canada, grouse grind

Monday, 20 February 2012

Jerez Test Moto2 and Moto3

The New season of racing is about to start, the Moto2 (600cc) and the new Moto3 (250cc) had perfect conditions in the south of Spain.
Track temperature around 20º, dry and clear. The talk of the paddock was the Kalex chassis that have the edge on stiffness allowing the riders more control. The 600 were lapping at about 1.43 and the 250 four-strokes at 1.47 which is not bad considering this is the second test.
The two-fifties and the six-hundreds were on track together; there was a huge difference in top speeds but through the bends the smaller machines used every centimetre keeping their speeds high.

Moto3 has a rev limit of 14,000 meaning their reliability is good. The manufactures like KTM are using normal valve springs keeping the development of these completely new bikes lower and more sustainable.
Along with the top classes this going to be the season of the small bikes. listen to the sound of the Moto3 bike in this video followed by the 600.

Monday, 30 January 2012


We all like to explore, whether it's a city or the countryside both require a bit of knowledge to make the most of your day.
Heading out into the hills in Spain to do some hiking is beautiful side of the country that most overlook and head straight for the beach. Spain has more mountains and hill than most other European countries, Switzerland aside. From Sierra Nevada in the south to the Pyrenees in the north.
the coast of Cartagena, south east

If you like to just pull up to the side of the road and start walking you won't be disappointed with the views and landscapes but if you want to really enjoy what an area has to offer try and get some information first.

Maps, the detailed topographical maps issued by IGN Instituto Geografico National have a good terrain fetchers but don't always have footpaths and tracks marked.
Other tourist maps like Editorial Alpina are better in this sense and there are also local maps that mart some 'suggested' routes. All this is very nice but most of the time you will find that things on the ground aren't the same.
Spain has a system of markings, yellow and white pequeñas rutas / small routes, that means from two hour walk to a day and red and white, grandes rutas that cross much larger areas.

Unfortunately there are so many they are not all indicated on the maps and when out in the open although the signs are visible often the route numbers aren't which is confusing if there is a crossroads in the middle of a wooded area.
the cross means wrong way

So some pre-planning will help you get to your destination and allow you to get the most from you walk.
There are also many books that cover different walks and mountain bike trails however you will need to find them for the region that you are in there is not a singular book that has them all.
Some areas have good sings but it's not the norm

Also if you like technology the hand held GPS, Garmin for example can help you plan your day out, but pre-installing a marked route, from Wikiloc or one that you have created from Ozi explorer can give you the right track and you can soak up the views without worrying if the path is properly marked.
Granada marks Mountain Bike routes with clear red arrows

Ozi explorer screen shot and track marked and used.
GPS courses to learn how to get the best from you gadget are available in Sierra Espuña; Murcia click to see what you could be doing.
isbn: 84 96396 04 5
rutas por murcia para bicicleta de montaña

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Cowboys and Mountain Bikers

Ever wanted to be a cowboy, out in the wild riding alongside your trusted outrider? In the 21st century the lonely life dressed in denim and herding cattle can be found. However it's much easier for you and me to text our buddies put on our cycling gear and jump on the mountain bike. 

The same companionship; freedom, wet, wind, heat and cold; unlike a motorbike, where helmets, higher speeds and norms of road use can restrict the connection with your fellow riders. On the mountain bike, we chat and joke, off road, or through urban areas stopping not for whiskey in a saloon but coffee or a swig from the water bottle and a power bar. 
pictures taken from google images
It seems that no matter how different we may feel from each other, our lives are often amazingly similar.