Thursday, August 31, 2006

A bit of an update

It's been a while since I last said anything. Over the last couple of weeks we raced most of them and had two weeks with no races. Aside from that, I watched a couple of movies and series 1 of “Six Feet Under” - which I liked. I have ordered series 2-5 now on dvd :) A group of us went to the International Comedy Club on Saturday– go to it, it was great. Two and a half hours of great comedy for €10!

First off was NPS 5 which was being held by MBUL in Killaloe. On the way to the race I had to pick Mel up from Limerick as she took part in an Adventure Race the day before. We arrived at the venue too late for Mel to take part in the Ladies Sport event so she would has to ride elite for the day. I started out on a practice lap and at the end of the very long climb on the lap, the heavens opened up. I had to then do a steep, very slippy descent on the worst rain that I had ever seen while on a bike. The course had started dry, so I had dry tires on, in a scramble before my race started I switched the front tire to something that could deal with mud a bit better.

A few minutes later, the race started for Mel and I – the course was quiet simple to describe. A long climb followed by a flat section followed by some more climb, then a steep twisty forest descent, a road section and a climb back up to the start/finish line. This race proved to be my best result this year by finishing 3rd. Mel, of course, had to ellipse me and finish first in Elite. Although to be fair, there was no 'real' elites in attendance.

Two weeks later Mel and I had a double bill! On the Saturday we would take in a two person team adventure race called the Annacurragh Adventure Challenge. It was basically a 17km MTB ride followed by a 6.6 km run (with almost 500m of climb!), followed by a 22km MTB ride (with a river crossing where the water went above my knees!) and then another bike section of about 16km. Mel and I made it back in about 4 and a half hours which placed us as the second fastest mixed team but unfortunately I missed two way points that we had to stamp our sheet at...

The next day, with tired legs, was a return to Castlewellan for the 6th round of the NPS series. The first round of the series was set in the same venue and I really enjoyed that race (It was my first race). Mel's race was on first and she finished first sport lady but more importantly, she finished 12th in Sport men. She had a great battle with a few of the guys around her during the race. My race started at a frantic pace, a pace my legs could not handle so I decided to take it a bit easier on the first lap or two. At the top of the first climb I was probably sitting in about 8th or 9th place. As the race progressed I started to feel a bit better and I started in increase my pace. I would say my last lap was the fastest of the race. I ended up getting 4th in this race which I was well happy with. This weekend of racing was the hardest on my body yet - my calves were sore for about two days afterwards. It was a good bit tougher then the Wicklow 200 earlier in the year.

Last weekend Mel and I rode around Slade Valley on the Saturday and on Sunday went on a long spin together. We had a rolling time of a little over 5 hours and stopped off in Enniskerry on the way home for pastries and drinks :)

The route Mel and I did on Sunday. It was about 63 km with around 1700m of climbing

In other news, Edgespace turned two years old :) I've also decided to go back to Spain for some more mountain biking in a couple of weeks and I'm still undecided as to where I'll be going for my big holiday this year... Africa, Central America or some MTB holiday... New Zealand maybe?

Me cutting our second birthday cake

Ahh, one last thing. I was riding along Sally Gap on my road bike last week and I felt something hit me on my forehead. Somehow, a bee flew through a vent on my helmet and stung me at 55km/h! The pain (and adrenalin) started and I removed the stinger. When I woke up the next day my forehead had started to swell. By 3pm, a doctors appointment was needed as I started to look like something out of Star Trek. After some antibiotics and a few days of looking strange, I'm back to normal again. I contemplated putting up a picture, but I think it's best not! :)

Friday, August 04, 2006


Two weeks ago Mel and I took a 5 day trip to Paris. The weather was beautiful although really really hot (I could hardly sleep in the first room we had). We basically walked around and had a look at the various sites and ate lots of yummy food.

One of the days we went out to the Palace of Versailles. I was actually quite disappointed with it. The best things about it were the gardens. One of the trips highlights was a meal we had in an Ethiopian Restaurant called Addis Ababa. Mel had not tried Ethiopian before and it was all cooked to perfection.

We met up with some of Mel's friends for coffee one evening

On the Sunday we got to watch the final stage of The Tour de France. We had to wait around for about 4 hours in the heat but eventually all the bikes rode through a few times. They were going by quickly over the cobblestones and it was reasonably difficult to figure out exactly what was going on.

Photos from Paris are here and there are a couple from The Tour here.