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, March 19, 2007

Take a walk on the wild side!

Last w.e saw an invasion on one of the most notorious 'rider munching tracks' in Scotland; Dunkeld. It is the rockiesT most knarly track I have ever ridden. The place reeks of fear. I have a love hate relationship with it, I've won on it and hurt on it, I've spent numerous times with friends in hospital after being defeated in battles against it.

Luckily, some bright spark followed his nose round the far side of the fell and sniffed out and built what has to be one of the sweetest tracks I have ridden on in a while. The difference between the old track, and the new one is light n day. We spent two whole days this weekend piling up the hill in vans/trucks and bombing down in convoy. Nobody stopped smiling all weekend, even tho we were riding in snow storms and were freezing!! Thats Scotland for you, and thats why we love it!! Variety is the spice, but Scotland sometimes aint nice!! I felt strong and fit and attacked it. All the guys I ride with are cool and super helpful, esp with encouraging nudges to spur me on over the hard stuff, mostly tho, thats them being friends. When they comment on your speed, its different, if they think your rippin, they'll tell you, thats a pinch of respect for you as a rider and that's a big compliment! I made the grade this weekend...thanks guys!!

The highlights of the weekend were hanging with the old skool crew, lounging out at night watching MTB vids n suppin on that social lubricant we call BEER!Unleashing on Edna in Scotland. Telling old tails from way back when. Riding freestyle on the top of Cookies pick up, with the emergancy light on in the snow with Cheese n Pickle. Seeing Danny n Stimp-Dawg looking like something out of last of the summer wine with old man beards. Watching Willycox bomb down the hill chainless, still at warp speed. Waiting for big Mac to turn up with a bag full of bike bits at 4pm ready to ride...and still waiting!! Finding out how to make a crazy fountain/bomb with Mentos and Coke! Forgetting my camera in the Cookie jar....dumb ass!

Check out this site peeps. CharityMix. Its a new site set up so you can get cool info on your fav extreme athletes, the music they listen to, tips to get into the zone and there fav products (food and sunnies). You can buy our playlists and the proceeds go to charity. Its a really cool idea! My stuff should be up soon, have a browse. X

Feel da rhythm, feel the vibe, get on up...its DH time!

Have you ever thrown caution to the wind and followed your dreams?

I sat back last night with a tired humph, when I get that feeling, I usually wack on a bit of a motivational Rocky movie to perk me up. Last night, I stumbled upon 'Cool Runnings' n stuck it in the player. I don't usually watch films on my own in bed, so the start seemed a little strange. After about 10 mins, the Caribbean humour had me chuckling n cheesin away, by the end I was in tears, n my P.J.s sleeves were soaked!! I forgot what a cool story it was! I took a bit of inspiration from that film!! As the only international DH competitor representing Barbados, I felt a little alience with those guys!
For the first time, last night, the reality of the scale of the 2007 World Champs hit me. I have 6 months before I have the honour of riding with my countries flag on my back, and I am more determined than ever to bring home a good result. There are few people who ever get the honour of representing their own country doing something they love, and I am lucky to be one of them. I have felt proud to be able to race in two World Championships so far and tonight, watching that film brought back that feeling. It's the most emotional race a cyclist can ever be involved in. There is no prouder moment than when you parade out at the opening ceremony of a Championships, behind a flag bearer holding your national flag. On the start line, you feel the biggest fear you could possibly feel, every1 steps it up for the Champs, and you know, from somewhere, you have to ride faster than ever. With tens of thousands of people littering the course, T.V cameras everywhere and helicopters buzzing around your head, you have to stay focused on the track, your lines and your run. Crossing a finish line, looking back at the clock with your countries initials next to your name is an amazing feeling. This year will be 10 times more meaningful as it is not only going to be held in Scotland, but I will have the support of my friends and family.
Its sometimes hard to get motivated, but if you know something that will drive you, even if it is only for a day, then grab it by the horns and got for gold!
Kiss ma egg! x
The photos are, from the top. Livignio, Italy. World Champs. 2005 and Les Gets, France. World Chmapionships, 2004.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Its not how far you fall....its the way you land!

This weekend was pretty cool. I went to a Brit Uni Athletics Championships with work and saw some amazing GB athletes performing to a really high level. I'm working from home at the mo, which is ace as I get to partake in extra curricular activities in between beavering away!! Mondays activities consisted of ripping open a long awaited package from THE. My helmets are here! They are awesome, snug fit and they come in a swish mat/silk finish. I took a wee photo of the 'before' spray job look! Its on its way as we speak to Al from MFXAirart to be sprayed all funky like!! They should be ready for the first race!

If you haven't already seen them around, you should keep your eye out. They are a really great lid, shape to the D2, but better fit/padding and a deeper cut around the nape of the neck. On the team this season is Chris Kovarik, Sabrina Jonnier, Andrew Neethling, Bryn Atkinson, Fionn and lil old me, so check em out! Deep inski zee box-ski were some grips, frame protector and bum rest! I also found a wee note of encouragement from Sabrina Jonnnier for the season (Thanks girls!!! x). So, after work, I headed up to the local woods to shred some, it was mint!

As the evenings are getting longer, my friend Helen and I went down to the lake to throw some skimmers. Spring was poking its head out, it was beautiful down there, mini daffodils everywhere and crazy lambs with pogo stick legs bounding through the fields. I haven't seen spring in the lakes for 6 years, and I'm just loving it. There is life everywhere!! This is a photo of my friend Helen down by Lake Ullswater. I have had a mammoth day today, up before the birds and round my 3km loop, a la pied (running!). I took a break for lunch and took Edna up the trails, it was cool. My local trails are dry and sandy with loads of roots and 2 big sandstone sections! I can't tell you how excited I am to ride again. I love summer! I have a massive weekend planned with all my fav Scottish homies who I haven't ridden since last summer...so, a big can of whoop ass will be unleashed this weekend for sure! Tonight I set off for hockey training, on the way down to the astro pitch, I got collered by the Mac Lads, they are like my brothers, we've known eachother from day 1!! They are CRAZY, 3 brothers, a lot of lovin and whole heap of mad shinannigans! They piled out of the car, swept me off my feet, threw on the bonnet...gave me a public dry hump and we went to the pub for a sneeky one and a catch up. Those guys can tell stories like no-one else, I was crying and holding onto my chair!!. Needless to say, an hour late for hockey, stick to ball connections was a mission and a half!! Thats one way of getting out of the warm up!Peeps, I got DOG DOO on my shoe today when I was walking up the trail, it wasn't cool. If you have a dog...pick up the shit, don't be a doler, there is nothing more gagging than the smell of DOGGY DOOO. I had a photo shoot with Warner a while ago, I stood in dog doo and have never seen a full grown man so disgusted...he was in such a hurry to get away from my smelly shoe, he rode off down a set of steps and stepped in some human poop at the bottom!! If that's not funny...imagine a 6ft 4 plus guy trying to run away from his own foot!!

On that note...I'll leave you with a splash of reFRESHing colour and a link to a cool site I found on my quest to find the theme tune from BBC Cricket (Sole Limbo)! http://www.themes.kitjunkie.org/. Scroll down to Cricket.BBC and wiggle your hips! The Cricket World Cup is in the motherland!!
P.S. A few wise words. Be careful who you open your heart to, make sure they are brave enough to learn how to hold it and strong enough to never let it go.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Shrewsbury. With two days off it was time to smell some fresh air, and get used to a full, progressive 8 n a half inches, twiddle the swizzle, pump the spenshon and get the Sheila’s prepared for racing.

Many of you will fondly remember Tony Tonka, Captain Scarlet, Mr Jones, Gertrude, Percy the whopper chopper, Ralf and Mick Slick? Well, its time to raise your glasses to Edna! She is a peach. From the top, Norco 2007 DH frame (small), Foes curnut forks (complete with blow off valve….plush, plush, plush!) Hope factory team issue MOTO V2 brakes, bulb hubs, headset, bar end plugs (in Barbados team colours) Hope factory etched Foes discs. Halo rims on Hope rear, foes front. Kenda team tyres, Funn bars, MRP chain device, THE grips and bum rest.

We took full advantage today of the fine weather and piled up to Hopton Castle (Shropshire) for bedding in session. The tracks were dry and fast. We sectioned a lot and my first impressions on the bike were good, I felt comfortable at the helm and got a good feel for the technical stuff. At the bottom of the course, we hooked up with Bob, Fester, Bruan and a whole load of crazy welsh way-ells boys from the valleeys. They were mental, we found this massive flood and the guys drove through it, but Fester, in his £60 van de-valued it by £15 when his number plate fell off in the water!! Duck tape is good for MOST things Fester, but evidently, not number plates!! We piled into the back of Bruans pick-up and headed over to Caersws to do uplift on the new Nationals track. It was wicked, fast, really gloopy, rooty, off camber and steep as hell! I wasn’t real prepared for a full on DH sesh tho as I hadn’t been home for over a week, so all I had was a biggles style lid n goggles combo!! Looking good!! No kidding on this one, I had a fight with a terridactile up on tract, it bashed me into this tree, the colllision smashed my shoulder and it tore my arm out of the socket, my arm fell off, dissolved into the mud and I lost it!! I got over it pretty fast and was back up for more in about 5 mins! The aftermath bruise is the biggest thing since sliced bread by the way, Ouch!! By the end of the day, as the sun was setting, we had a jump jam on the table top at the end of the course!

I had a really fun day aboard Edna and recon we gelled pretty well!! I left feeling really happy and headed off in search of an Indian and a beer, all we could find late on was a Chinese and a chopstick, can't have it all hu!! A perfect end to a perfect day!
My first race is the SDA in April, I can’t wait, I sent a thunder cats ‘HO’ out to the usual suspects on the World Cup girl train and in an hour, the Elite Brit girls collaborative entry doubled! I just can’t wait to catch up with everyone and introduce Edna to some dry, fast Scottish trails!

So, is what I have learned this week, so far….Great times with great friends are plasters for the sole!! When it rains, look up, when it falls, look down, puddles are fun. Losers are people that are so scared of winning that they don’t even try. Slurp chocolate fountains (make sure you don’t get caught tho!!) Sometimes, the last thing you want is exactly what you need. After an important presentation, leave your lap top open, there is nothing quite like a photo of your friends bottom on the big screen to brighten a critique session and lighten a hungover day. When in doubt, seek a falafel out! Oh and did you know, there is a small village in Shropshire called Knocking, it has a village shop, its called the Knocking shop! K, and if thats not enough, I learned this week that you can buy meat balls in gravy here too, they are called Faggots!! I didn't believe it, until I asked a guy in the supermarket to show me where the faggots were. Hey presto! .

Keep on truckin,
Long distance Clara! XX P.S….Check out my new van!! It could be yours too…dig deep now, £15/hour!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Quest for Fun...........

Wow, what a full scale week in the life and times of me!! Are you sitting Comfortably? Good, then I shall begin!! It started last Thursday in a funky wee bar in the depths of the metropolitan city that is commonly known as Manchester with the chaps and chappesses from work and a lovely meal (too much wine / champagne / cocktails…) to toast our new jobs. AA few blurry days passed and I headed down to Chez Griffiths on Friday to see my teamies and race family, check out all our 2007 kit/bikes and large it in Shrewsbury town!!
I was so blown away by it all, by Saturday arvo, I was safe in the Wes’ Coun’-ree with Mr Samuel Mansfield himself!! A few bottles of chilled cava brightened the sunset over sunny Bristol and we headed to a swish bar for the remainder of the night to celebrate one of Sams friends 30th Birthday. The company was wicked, the countries finest wildlife film makers/crew/presenters, and a surprise visit from DJ Crusty…if you know who he is, fair play to ya, I still don’t have a clue, but he was a riot!! We all spent a good 20mins outside inspecting the lunar eclipse then busted some grooves on the dance floor. By the end of the night, my head was in the chocolate fountain. Not sure what came over me, but it was seriously yummy!!

Work on Monday in London was manic, so I totally welcomed a tranquil G n T and a chew on the fat with one of my best mates. I headed up to Manchester on Tuesday for the day with work and decided that since I was in the vicinity, it would be terribly rude not to have a night in Chester avec mes amis, Monsieur Newton et Mademoiselle Irwin (aka, KT nTim) fellow Alumni from the Deen and part of the old skool surf massif! We ate the finest french nosh in this quaint French restaurant. Chester is a cool city, full of old Tudor buildings. It is surrounded by a river which Tim sometimes potters on in his canoe!! Like everything in the past week, the same applied, instant fun, just add alcohol! The restaurant must have known we were frequenting, because, as if by magic, they doled out, one bottle with EVERY meal!! Granted, it wasn’t too dissimilar to vinegar, but it was wet, and look what it made us do....lummy jeez, oh the fun you can have with a couple of scarves, some over sized sunnies, a tinsel wig and camera?!! I'm so entering Kt and I into the World Gurning Championships..recon we've got a pretty high chance at the win with faces like that?!
Ola. X