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 10, 2009

Sleepless in the Saddle

The Salsa Ladies were victorious at Sleepless in the Saddle. It would have been difficult not to be, as we were the only Expert team entered ! We decided to do it properly, did all our laps and beat all the Enthusiast Ladies teams, which could have been quite embarrassing if we hadn't. And Anna won the Queen of the Night prize with a stonking 45 min lap at 10pm. Great race, and the boys got second in Expert Men. The course was bang-on, the mud if anything made it more interesting, and the weather stayed sunny. As you can see from the pic, the maximum height requirement still applies on the team, 5ft 2 and under only for us Salsa Ladies. The drive back was a bit challenging, 5 hours up the M6/M74 with no sleep for two days. After 3 double espresso stops was down to 50mph on the Moffat road, so little did I trust my reactions. Good prizes too, some pink Enduro tops, not really my color but will be good for road commuting as you can see them from the Great Wall of China. And ACTUAL CASH !! Woohoo...

As you can see from the picture of George multitasking like a woman, it was bright and sunny and the secret to getting on the podium in the mens is to take any chance of sleep you can get !

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Selkirk Merida

Here I am all smiles, back from what felt like a very long Selkirk Merida 85km on sunday. It was climbier, but also due to aforementioned increasing oldness and fatness, felt a lot harder. Course was great and once I figure out where they all are will ride the best sections again. Might find my computer which fell off at about 40km, so hard on your head when you don't know how far you have to go !

Have had a great time racing this year, Mountain Mayhem was absolutely brilliant, was so nice to be in such a professional set-up with the Salsa Team. Paul and co grabbed the bike off me after every lap, delivered the standard lecture on my poor bike maintenance, and fixed it for me. The bike came back running better than it had started. The team were excellent too, we all worked well together and kept it going, finishing in 3rd on the Expert Ladies podium. So thanks Sara, Anna and Faith a great team. The course was pretty untechnical, but at 4am I was thankful for that.

Managed to get myself on the top step of the podium at Ten Under K'tree, due more to a lack of competition than anything else. That was an interesting race, the course on the face of it seemed dead easy and boring, but by lap 8 I was really toiling over all the rock steps, and taking the new cut stuff faster and faster. Took third at Ten Under The Ben in another tough and hot race.

Have been really busy organising the British XC Champs on 19th July with Steve and Dan, and Rich from Glentrails helping. It went off really well on the day, apart from a stuff-up with the Commentary. Loads of the Scottish kids won medals and we have had heaps of good feedback. (There was some moaning from forum twats, which I decided to ignore, especially when I looked at the results of the biggest moaners who almost all came dead last or sacked it after one lap. None of whom had the decency to approach us directly. And the biggest stirrer was the chap who has tendered for the event 3 years running and can't provide a DH course as well. Agenda anybody ? Most unprofessional). We were very lucky with the weather, the course held up well and all the campers had a great time at Walkerburn Rugby Club. And I have NEVER seen so many spectators at an XC race, barring World Cups, when I finally had five minutes I went and watched the end of the Downhill. So if I haven't thanked you already, THANKS HEAPS to all of you that helped, marshalled, set up the barriers, attempted to make generators work at 7.15am, all those little things. Dougie the Moto X guy seemed to be enjoying himself too, and when I have time I will photoshop a high-vis vest on to him !

I will leave the last words to Liam Killeen, who won the men's race: " In terms of technical courses this has to be up there some of the best World Cup courses like Mt. Snow."

Next up iXS European DH Cup, May 29th next year. I'm off to Germany in 6 weeks to meet with the organisers at iXS at their Bischofmais race.

This weekend it's Sleepless in the Saddle, really hoping the weather forecast contains some actual facts, its big suns all the way to monday at the moment....