Helen Findlay

My adventures in Middle Europe and The Colonies. This blog contains my own views and opinions and does not represent those of my employers, or any other organisation with which I am involved. Remember, just because it isn't Singletrackworld, doesn't mean it isn't shite !

Monday, August 08, 2005

Edinburgh - London safely negotiated

Finally away on my trip, after feeling like I have been hanging about Edinburgh for weeks.

Has been an eventful couple of weeks. Boring part was packing up everything I own to leave my flat tidy for my American tenant who arrived last friday. Fun part was that I got a couple of days work mountain bike guiding.

My two clients were called Scott and Chett, a couple of American guys. They were good cyclists, and really funny, interesting to talk to. They came from Florida and are more used to flat boggy riding, so took a while to get used to the hills. Although apparentely having to bunny-hop over an alligator wouldn't have phased them !! They wanted to see about Glentress and Innerleithen, as they had read about the Seven Staines. Was the best two days work I have ever had, well paid, fun, and they even gave me a tip at the end. The highlight for them was definitely the Spooky Woods section at GT, they had never seen a "beam" in their lives (now I know how a kiwi accent sounds to Americans - "choice bikes, bro") but by the end of the second day were launching off the exit of the berms and getting noticeable air on the jumps. I decided to finish with a highlight and took them down the Caddon Bank descent at Inners. They couldn't believe we do that in the dark in winter... I wish every day at work could be like that !!

Eventually left on thursday to drive to Sherwood Forest. Figured as I was in the area I might as well do the NPS XC race. Had a few trips up to the hospital in Edinburgh, in fact that was my last stop before hitting the road. Nothing serious, just took a chunk out of my ankle with the chain ring on my road bike t'other week, and it was festering. After threatening a while it isn't infected and the nurse (aside from telling me not to wash for a few days, will be disobeying that one) told me to stop worrying about it and enjoy my holiday. Just a bit paranoid about getting an infection and ruining my holiday I guess.

Anyways, back to Sherwood Forest. Less said about that the better, here is an excerpt from a ranty email to a friend of mine that kind of sums it up:

"Was cruising along in third yesterday, could see girl in second, warmed up and feeling strong. 3rd lap was trying to put some space between me and the south african lassie in fourth. In the Zone roadie time trial style, then realised I couldn't see anybody in front of me, or behind me, and there weren't any tire marks on the track, and the fireroad didn't look at all familiar. BUGGER.

Turned around and went back to the marshall, who said he tried to yell at me, and that "3 or 4" girls had come past since I took the wrong track. In my race thats half the godamn field. I am ashamed to admit that the whole tough wee kiwi act deserted me at that point and I burst into tears, was crying too much to even attempt to chase the race down.

I'm such a twat. Keep telling myself that it's not the Olympics, nobody actually died or anything, but it was important to me. Am gutted, feeling really fit at the moment, and in the last three races have either crashed, drowned in mud, or took the wrong path (I can't believe I did that what a egg). My friends in Epsom have been pouring wine down me which is helping a little.
Perhaps in a few days I will see the funny side. Everytime I leave the room somebody yells out directions. Very f**ing funny..."

So anyway that was that really. Gritted my teeth all the way down the M1, in fact found myself in a line of traffic nudging 100mph at one point, Go The Van !! Am in Epsom for a few days before I catch the Ferry to Calais on wednesday night. Chilling out, went for a cruise on some trails with Jeremy yesterday while poor Janine was ill in bed. Ended up spending 45 mins cycling and 90 mins in the pub - superb ! Had a BBQ last night, will head off on the road bike for a few hours this avo. Meeting Chris McMillan tonight at Waterloo station. Hopefully head over to Leith Hill for some offroad action tomorrow, then drinks tuesday night with J9 and Di.

A Bientot.