Jaymie Mart - BARBADOS NATIONAL DOWNHILL TEAM - one of the most colourful and well loved athletes on the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup tour today.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Working Gal!

Days on earth....9619...and counting!!
Days laughing...all of em!!

I've started my new job, and it is wicked!! So far so cool! I got to go to a rugby match on Saturday, it was Leicester Tigers v Northampton, and the atmos was live. I found out after the match that an old friend of mine from home plays for the team! I've been in Londonsville for the past week-ish, and I'm feelin the love! This town, rocks! I've managed to pack in loads in between work and info overload, and have spent the past week tarding out with friends in the cool sub-burbs.

I've not been doing anything active apart from stretching and basic stuff in my hotel and the occasional jog, so am totally looking forward to playing hockey later on in the week and letting loose at the weekend n letting loose!

The good news is, the UCI W.C Circuit has picked up Nissan as an official sponsor. The series will be fully televised again for the season. That means 6 x 30 mins programmes of the best live riding in the world. Its good news for the sport, our sponsors and folks who want to keep up with the season from the comfort of there arm chairs!!

Not much to repo really! Ciao munkeeys. X

P.S....Why didn't the lobster give to charity? Because it was shellfish! Ouch.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Surpise Race

I got a sniff of this race from 4000 miles away! News travels fast let me tell you! Anyway, I spread it back across the water and hey presto the crew were together at Inners for the weekend. Well, it wasn't quite a s simple as that!! Our bikes and the various bits we need to put em together with are still in transit! So, Fionn set about adapting her Norco 4xxx for herself and her cross country rig, the Norco EXC for me.

We landed at the race site on Friday after an amusing trek up the road. We had two pit stops in the Griffiths Racing Camper, the first, at the Moffat sweetie shop, cheekily hedging our bets on the off chance of a free graze on the sweeties! Not likely!! The second stop was a short one at a cool Waterfall on the way upto Peebles. We made it to the Hub in time to fettle the MRP chain device onto the wee XC rig that I was riding.

Saturday came and practice started at 9.30. We made it onto the hill at about 10.30. The guys behind the sketch were having to try a new uplift system, which worked a treat, it was a little slow tho due to the shortage of buses, but we managed to fit in 4 runs on what turned out to be wickedly fast open course at the top with a semi technical bottom half, a medally of loads of old courses. To be fair, I struggled a little on the first few runs, but once I got used to the bike, I totally got into it and my speed and confidence picked up!

On Saturday night, Greg whisked me up and out to one of the most best kept secrets in Scotland. The Sunflower! Its a wonderful restaurant tucked away in the back streets of Peebles, owned by my mechanic from last season and his wife, the Chef-ess and inspiration behind the place. I swear to god, the food was more than divine, and the service was not a pinch less than first class. Both Greg and I eat out a lot (Greg more so than me) but both of us concurred that that meal was a hard one to top! Lip smacking goodness!

The day wasn't quite over for us at that point! Greg had been working flat out on a wee project to get his van licked into shape to camp out in, and Saturday was its test. The van is pimp supreme; lights, heaters, a funky bed, hooks for helmets/body armour, you name it, and Greg was one step ahead! I had such a cozy night, I missed the first half hour of practice! Greg will tell you its because I'm a lazy sausage! I'll tell you its because the bed was so COZY warm, I got distracted looking at the inside of my eye lids (I ain't no dumb ass, I'll choose a hot bed over a battle with frost bite any day!). Anyway, Herr Ball (Chris Ball...race organiser extraodinaire and general all round nice guy, with a panchant for rural porn) kindly brought us two coffees in bed and a nudge in the direction of the uplift cue. This is a photo of my crash...click here for a larger version!

The race was over before you could say 'Boo to a Goose!'. I surprised myself this weekend. I was up against Helen Gaskell and my teamie Fionn, both of who are top 10 in the world. With Fi and I on small bikes, I knew it wouldn't be easy. Before I went to the Caribbean, I read this book called 'Mind Gym' Its basically a sports psychology book, but it is a great read, it helped me loads this weekend. I had a bit of fire in my guns off the start and just made the most of my rig by pedalling my ass off...Forest Gump style! I screwed up in a few places and had a big stack-face plant as a result of maffing up a tight corner, but got straight back up and kept driving.
I finished 2nd. Gaskell took the lead and Fi came in 3rd after puncturing in the top half of the course. Even on our small bikes, with a crash and a puncture, Griffiths Racing stood high on the podium! Good show!
Greg and his fellow Vibe Teamie, Robo, pulled in a storm too. Robo lost his shoe half way down the course, but mounted back up and crossed the finish with the biggest smile ever! Greg rocked in 17th on his new bike, in his first race as an 'old man master' setting a standard which he will easily smash.What a cool weekend! It was lovely to see everyone, ride a cool course, fart around with my teamies and spend some Q.T. with ma man! Happy Days!
Check out the repos:

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Shower cap in the rain?!

So, the last few days in the Caribbean were just magic, Monday kicked off with a hulla baloo of a havoc mission to board the ferry to Bequia, I got a wee guided whizz bang tour with my cousin, then spent the afternoon pottering on the beach. Bequai is seriously cool, it sees an invasion of tourists in the yaughting season and the seas were inhabited by a variety of massive, exorbitantly expensive water vehicles! Including the most expensive 280ft Yaught owned by the guy who established amazon.com
One of the days, I took it upon myself to spend some time on a mission with my camera to capture some ras-omis (rasta/homie) moments! I was so busy trying to make my eyes believe what they were seeing, I forgot to shoot the action. It started raining, so I jumped on a bus, not like a bus we know, these things obey no rules, anyway, I digress...this lady jumps on after me, shorts and t shirt and a shower cap (practical?!)!! Later that day, I attempted sun bathing, not a favourite pastime I might add, I got ants in my pants and struggle to lie still, so when I heard this bomb-shaka-loom, I lifted my head to see a guy casually walking down the beach with a full sound system and generator on a box trolley (one of those wheelie things you see in super markets to lift boxes) just pushing it through the sand groovin away! I swear, he was pumping out to the massif. So, thinking I'd seen it all, I made my way back to base, every day I have to pass a building site which has been entertaining to say the least! I look up to see a guy, a little too hydrated, looking straight at me about 30m away, relieving himself out of one leg of his shorts?! My last day on the island was spent on a beautiful catamaran, cruising the Leeward coast. My cousin was doing some filming on for a program on the tourist channel, so I got to go along for the ride! We got told about the history of an ancient leper bath, saw a fruit bat cave and hung out on the film set of Pirates of the Caribbean.
After a few tearful goodbyes and a shonky short plane rider later and I was on the island of Sunny Barbados! I was met at the airport by one of the guys who runs the Barbados Cycling Union, and who is responsible for all of my International racing admin! These guys are seriously cool. I hung out with the 'officials' and a few of the riders in one of the sports bars on the island. The following day I was escorted on a guided tour of the island. We stopped for lunch in an area called Basheba at a world famous surf break called the Soup Bowl. The surf was a little soupie I guess, but there were some hotties rippin up and smackin da lips big style, it was inspirational!
Really not diggin being home. I've been home now for 48 hours, I have moved out of my flat, with the help of my buff boyfriend!! And am now in the process of locating some lush digs in the Lakes for the summer. I have had shoes on for the majority of the time and my feet are seriously not happy. I HATE SHOES, THEY GIMME DA WALKING BLUES!! I want my 'go forwards (a.k.a flip flops...well, you struggle to go back-wards in em!)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Full throttle

I was up before the sun today, in a boat with a line in, patiently (or not so) waiting for the biggest catch of the day! We had a wager going as to who was gonna bring the first fish home. I lost!! Between the 4 of us, my two cousins and one of there friends, we caught a tonne of beauties, butterfish, red snappa, pig fish and grunt. Cutting up some of our catch to make into bait grossed me out big time, but it seemed to work the trick n make the big fish nite!! We cooked a few of em in a big pot with lime and green banana's and made a traditional West Indian dish called 'Boilin', the rest we grilled with garlic butter and scoffed down for T just before!!

Straight after fishing, we went to my Great Uncle and Aunts place on the South West of the Island for a 3 hour 'comedy hour' brunch. These folks are just tops, never a dull moment, I have not laughed so hard at a joke session in a loooooong time!! My Great Uncle is now retired, but in his prime was a formidable actor and had roles in loads of shizzel including the 70's film 'Shaft'. Here he is before and after...not much difference in 40 years hu!!
This afternoon we ventured to a charity fashion show where a friend of the family was showing some of her clothes! Apart from a few hic ups and strange walking styles, it was a pretty class affair. I even bumped another friend of the family. Its crazy, everyone here knows everyone else and what they are doing. Its a great atmosphere!

Another early start tomorrow as I'm off to a wee island south of SVG called Bequia. Its full throttle!!
Ah jus wan' a melon!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Reef inspection!

Last night, a few of us were meant to be going sea fishing, but that fell through and we ended up on a little resort island call Young Island which is just opposite mainland St Vincent. Lets just say the cocktails were wicked, the rum kicked me hard!! Its an awesome place, typical idyllic Caribbean style!

Today I had the pleasure of going out with my cousins dive master from the indigo dive center on a glass bottomed boat to check out a few of the local reefs. I've had a bad experience with scuba in the past, so just snorkel now..but hey, it was cool out there today. I saw loads of weird n wonderful shizzel, squirrel fish, trumpet fish and loads of others, wish I know their names!! We also saw an iguana perching in a tree and a few crazy big birds swooping in and catching fish, it was breaths taking.
Its been a long day, I think the constant buzzin around in the heat is catching up with me as I passed out for a long while this arvo and am feeling totally wacked! Early night in for me!

Peace out peeps. X

Thursday, February 01, 2007

La Soufrier.

The early bird catches the worm!! It was a 7am-er this morn, total shock to the system let me tell you!! I met up with Ozzy from Sailors Tours and to hike the only active Volcano on the island; La Soufrier. (The french word for sulphur). The weather was pretty bad when we set out, overcast and wet, but this was a bonus as it meant the air was fresh which made exercising easy. It was an hours drive to the north end of the island, thanks to Ozzys PhD (Pot hole dodging) the ride was smooth. He told us all about the local history, info on the plantations, coconut and banana, and loads of other really cool bites of local knowledge. For those who know me, you know I ain't so hot on the old walking shizzel. As my Grandfather said the other night...'Hiking a mount-in, why you wan' go do dat? Walkin'z fa donkeees!!' .

Us Brits know already, lucozade is available in all good shops in general! I didn't expect to see it in the supermarket in St Vincent!! Or at 4048ft upto the top of a Volcano!! Bob on!

Lunch was a massive finger licking portion of kingfish with loads of crazy Caribbean salad, as soon as it was done, we skooted along the coast a little further to the salt pond. We passed loads of crazy villages on the way, life there is basic I tell you, most of the land in the north is inhabited by the Caribs. Almost shanty townish, a total extreme from town living. The salt pond was breathtaking, it's surrounded by lava rock which traps in the sea water, creating shallow, salt dense ponds for swimming.

So, I saw 2 football games where half the players didn't have shoes, a woman with a bleached afro, and a bleached afro beard to match!! There are humming birds everywhere and I got myself a lovely bunch of juicy coconuts!!