Monday, 28 November 2011

Saturday Shopping trip

Took a run out to a flooring shop on Saturday which just happened to be near the local cross country. Arrived just in time to watch the men's race. The course had been altered from the last time I was at Blaydon. I'm not sure if it was the modified course or the 400 strong field that made it such a good visual spectacle but it was an entertaining half hour. Took a few snaps with the phone.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Moving on

I've heard that old cliche countless times before...'all
good things must come to an end' and as the chilly winter weather enfolds
around us it's goodbye to the mild Autumn. I've finished the hefty Game of
Thrones and have moved swiftly on to a novel by Hans Fallada. My good spell of
health has also been dealt a cruel blow as I've succumbed to the lurgy that's
going around. Nose tripping me, bleary and as sprightly as a soggy turnip. Perfect
timing for the sporting double bill I'd arranged with the local cross country
on Saturday and TLI cyclo cross on Sunday. May still do these, but my rasping
bronchial death-rattle will not make me many new friends around the course.
-However, its not all doom and gloom.
The SC Gothic concept has now sprouted wings (ravens wings
actually) and a new blog site and email account is up and running, as is the
natty design from the designers at Velotec - the jerseys are going to take
around 4 weeks to delivery and the quicker I can get the order in the better -
still need to get the club registered at a suitable cycling organisation and
get the membership forms knocked up but that won't take long.
If you're interested click the link to the site

Sunday, 20 November 2011

SC Gothic

Saturday was 4 miles in the woods-the rest of day spent savaging the garden. There's still a lot of leaves and debris on the grass at the back.
This morning I was keen to get out and about.
Seems to have been a fast weekend for running with super fast times at the Abbey Dash and Brampton. So why was I at foggy Durham slogging around the mud with a bike for fifty minutes? Truth is I had already done 8 miles on the road with the lads this morning and Claybank and Livingston were just too far away. So Durham it was with the vicar (bike).

I also joined the TLI. That's the organising federation which runs parallel with and is an alternative (sort of) to British Cycling so to speak. So I find that on the basis of me writing out a cheque for £20 just before today's cyclo cross that I'm into next weeks TLI British Cyclo Cross Nationals. Exciting! I've never been last before. Seventh last, yes, but not right at the back.
When filling out the form I put down my club as 'SC Gothic' (sporting club) for some inexplicable reason. It's when these subconscious thoughts, this one of a web -based cycling club, drop out of your head onto paper that ideas take shape, where new clubs and ideas come to fruition and are created. It might be like vc Moulin or Vicious Velo perhaps: or perhaps not. I guess now I better see if I can get some members and some club clothing pdq. Anyone interested? -(just add comments)... The nationals are to be held at Gateshead; which is nice and handy.

Today's race was at Meadowfield where I've ran the North East Cross Country Champs previously so I had an idea of the terrain. Around 100 started and I as ever just grafted in a small gear all the way round. Fell off once and spent most of the second half of the race chasing a Hetton Hawk. Two good muddy hills, a short, steep dodgy drop (they call it the 'technical' bit-pictured) and a mental spiral made of tape that made you dizzy. Finished 55th and pretty good craic for a fiver.

When I got home I lit the Chiminea which I bought early in the summer. I shovelled a pile of old leaves and sticks in there and filled the air and my clothes with that autumnal burnt smoked aroma. Time for a bath.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


I've taken my foot off the gas since Ben Venue and Langdale. I ran out of time last weekend with one thing and another so had to ditch the cyclo cross in Durham which would have been a laugh. It's not the hour it takes to ride the event its the time cleaning everything in sight afterwards that's a drag, not just a case of throwing on the trainers and out. However, the dearth of activity has been mitigated by some short runs through the woods with the mist down and trees throwing leaves at you as you go. Most of the running has been done in late afternoon in poor visibility as I leave it too late (again) and spend half the run stumbling over the hidden roots.

A tin of seasonal Quality Street arrived last week after I took advantage of the store offer. I told myself to put it away and out of sight, but it became strangely opened and full pre-Christmas snacking has been evident. Wrappers scattered all over the joint. I drew a line under it, however, today. Apart from the fact that all the brown, red and purple ones are gone, I got back down the weights. I have to find a new target race to aim for. This worked a treat last time for shaking me out of my flabby condition (both mentally and physically). Nothing like a bit of mental flabbiness. Its the North East Cross Country Champs on the 10th December so that's local and no excuse for me not to run. I think it might be time to try and lay a late claim to a place in the 2011 Rankings. The performances and race choices have conspired to keep me out of the dizzy heights of the top 200 m45's so maybe I'll have to have a go at a road race or two. That's if the cyclo cross doesn't get me first. Nice to have a choice of sports events.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Field Day at Eston

It’s said in Eston that in the 1930’s you could hang your washing out in the morning and, by lunchtime, it could be covered in soot, so was the heavy industry around the Teesside Estuary. Today there was very little wind blowing in off the coast but plenty of heavy industry in the fields and woodland in the Eston foothills.

It was another instalment of the North East Cyclo Cross League. My road mileage has taken a bit of a hit of late. I fancied the Templetown 10 but the cost of diesel has stifled my wanderlust and, instead, it was something abit closer to home (-still, I shoe-horned in a sub 18 minute Parkrun yesterday so all' not lost.

Today’s course was a challenging mix of grass, track and woodland at the Flatts Lane Centre. Thankfully it didn’t have the impossible cambers of last weeks course. Armed with a new yellow Gore top (£10 from Steel's sale yesterday – thank you; kerching!) I was all fired up and belted out 51 minutes of hard cardiac effort in the slippy but mostly grassy conditions. It took a good 22 minutes before I was lapped and I only crashed once, so that’s progress. As I tired towards the end some of the steering became abit 'iffy' and I nearly impaled myself on one of the plastic pegs that holds the route tape, but with a quick adjustment I rode straight through it showing it no mercy. There are no extra points for this anyway.

I may have to join or start a club before long. Getting home with a bootful of muddy wheeels, tyres and bikeI had thought ahead and borrowed a pressure washer. The bike was clean and ready for more before I could say ‘Where’s the cowbell...?’ (thanks to the team photographer for these images)