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

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Chasing the WELSH DRAGON

In the midst of a sunny valley in Wales nestled an old coal pit and forest of Mynynn Du, was the venue for the third round of the Welsh Dragon Series. M-Dawg sent me a txt earlier on in the week seeking a travel n race buddy. I wasn't too up for it as I have been run off my feet of late, but the prospect of wasting a weekend when I could be racing wasn't too appealing!! I gave in late on Thursday, packed my shizzel and we hit the road late Friday. It took us 5 hours from my home to the delights of our hotel in Abergavenny!!
Welsh Wayles was beautiful this weekend, the sun was just scorchio, the track was wicked and the company was side splitting!! We hooked up with the Oirish crew Rory and Greg O’Keeffe, a laugh a minute. Rory wasn’t riding because he nailed his finger last week, and by nailed, I mean it, NASTY NASTY compound fracture and torn extensor tendon. I went with him to get it redressed, it looked so nasty, bent, bruised and stitched up like a tapestry. I nearly puked and he nearly fainted, it was pretty comical thinking on!! We went for T in the oldest country pub in Wales last night, Greg was on form, telling me all about his travels and spooking me out with ghost stories. We had seeding on Saturday which was super cool as we did it chain less! The track was harder and steeper then Dunkeld, roots bleedin everywhere and rocky as hell! It was pretty long too and super twisty so almost impossible to remember! Pedalling on course was minimal, so a chain less run was not too detrimental, and it was only seeding after all! Riding chain less certainly sharpens you up, especially when you know the clock is ticking!

I crashed loads all weekend, I tried to take it easy and just have a fun weekend, but Edna (my bike) seemed to think we’d entered a game of buckaroo and kept pitching me over the bars! I hit a tree stump so hard on my first run, I came clean off and scorpioned over the bars smashing my hip on a rock, I managed to rip a tree stump out of the ground, no kidding!! My hips are bruised, so are my legs and my thumb is wrecked!! I finished 2nd in the Elite Women, way of the pace of Calamity (Clam Box) but in one piece!! Win some, lose some hu! Still smiling and refreshed from the beauty of the Vallleeeeeeeeeys!! Not sure what was going on with the hicks-ville hand thingy, guess its the 'in' thing in the valleys, pretty infectious!!

Jim bob. XX

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tribute to the Wrinklies

The World Masters Champs was this w.e. in Pra-Loup, France. It just dawned on me that I hang with the wrinklies, because it seemed that quite a few of my friends were out there battling away!! It is all gravy though, because not only are they still riding, they are all still kicking ass WORLD WIDE!!

Big respect goes out to: Petra and Nigel Page. WORLD MASTERS CHAMPIONS 2007. JC for her Bronze, Glyn (tee baggin master) O’Brien for his silver, Paul Braithwaite for his 5th place and Tim Wilcox for making me giggle at his new Worlds Chump title (puncture, smuncture!!). You are an inspiration to us all, a far cry from zimmer material, but I think you are all wicked!!

It isn’t easy staying at the top of your game, and there are always hurdles which we have to jump to stay there, the fun police, work, illness, lack of time etc. I admire you all for achieving so much for so long. Don’t ever stop!! XX

I found this for all of you:

We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humour every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. There are so many people who are dead and don’t even know it.

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If I you are 31 and stay in bed for a year and never do anything, you will turn 32. Anybody can grow older, that doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change and have no regrets if things don't quite go your way. You will never achieve anything unless you try. People don't have regrets for what they did, but rather the things they didn't do!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Willies Fort

After the Champs, I headed up to Fort William with Ganje Rees Jones Brickle Head (Team GB!!) We landed super late and set up camp for the night. I worked in the morning and busted Edna out on course in the afternoon.

The track is riding really well, they have improved the top section, berming a few of the rougher corners and filling with concrete the areas where there is a risk of mammoth Billy style braking bumps appearing.

The majority of the GB DH squad were on course with various helpers, doing timing and video analysis. They have been looking into every time saving technique, line choice and death grip opportunity with the aim of securing the fastest possible race run for all the riders on the squad. The work and preparation that goes on behind the scenes is mind blowing. I managed 4 valuable runs on course, sectioning various lines. I achieved everything I wanted to in order to leave with a positive mind set. The guys watched me ride a few sections and I picked up some valuable tips and useful feedback. I had a really great, action packed day. We all walked the course after training, it took us all 2 hours. Between gassing and larking around, we managed to find some BLINGING lines! The whole venue is taking shape, the team are putting in the spade work for the race, literally. Monday was eerily quiet, like the clam before the storm! It was nice to ride up there, pressure free, I got to grips with the course and found my feet on the most physically and mentally gruelling course IN THE WORLD. The finish arena looks amazing, and they are building a cycle track of the spectators from the town to the race site!! I know now exactly what I need to brush up on in the remaining 2 weeks before the most illustrious event on the DH MTB calendar this year.

It all sounds horrendously serious, but don’t be fooled, we still had a giggle!!Here is a link to the official Wirld Champs site. If you haven't planned on coming to watch and support us all. Then make plans NOW. This event will open your eyes to the best mountain biking in the world, some of the best riding terrain in Scotland, the most amazing atmosphere, scenery, beer, scrummy guys and a whole host of crazy shizzle!! X


Scottish Championships 2007

I ventured into a dry pit area on Friday arvo with a spring in my step, some funky beats blasting out and a big ole smile! After a cool evening at home with the Braithwaites, I retired for some much needed RnR and was rudely awoken by the belting lash of rain from ootside.

With the babble that is the SDA MTB circus stampeding into the pits on Saturday morning, the race site could have been mistaken for a chameleon! The lush green grass morphed with a blink of an eye into a festival style mud fest!! Practice on Saturday was a washout! Everyone brave enough to embrace the weather was rewarded with a reassuring soaking through to the tighty whiteies!

After 6 hours of being cold and soggy, M-Dawg and I went on the hunt for a warm meal, a shower and the ultimate luxury of a springy, soft, cozy bed for the night! We landed in a BnB just outside of Ae Village messed around racking up the scores on the BopIT and watched a movie. Lights were out early, but we were blasted away from the sandman with big bangs, floor shuddering shakes and hollers of ‘BOOM BOOM, YOUR DEEEEEEAD’ echoing shiveringly from the room next door. My first reaction was that there was a girl next door on the knuckle end of her drunken partner. Mark and I whisked on our detective hats and leaped to the rescue, PJ’s galore!! After a not so brave attempt to conjure up a citizens arrest plot, we went and got the manger. It turned out it was two guys, beating each other to a pulp!! Never a dull moment hu!! I was really surprised how many people chickened out of racing this weekend. I am sure the weather was a big deciding factor, but it seems a shame that the guys stay up until crazy o’clock to enter online and guarantee a slot in the race, get totally excited about the prospect of racing then shy away at the first sign of rain and mud. I have always adopted the ‘seek a challenge, not a chore’ motto and can’t understand why people give up so easily!! It is Scotland after all, the natives should be used to it!! :) X. It was commendable to see the racers riding out the tough lines and battling it out in the squelchie mud, no matter what level. I guess it is dedication and motivation that separates the racers from the Sunday riders.

After sinking my feet into my cold wet shiver inducing size 4s, we all went up for a few polishing runs bright and early on Funday Sunday morn. The course was really good, Ae is never really wet even when it is wet, only a few sections crack at the sign of rain which was great, as it was torrential on Saturday. My first race run was terrible. As usual, I was sat gassing away, completely oblivious to the time and nearly missed my run, I literally hauled ass to get into my race slot and rolled off the line. I felt so strong and up for it, I set out sprinting on the top section, caught my pedal on a rock and high sided down the off camber, away from my bike and landed, punter stylee with a gargantuan thump!! I got to the bottom 20 seconds back from first place and the rage set in!! The stern race head voice played over in my head for the next few hours until my next run. I set off up the hill with one aim. To win. I shadow boxed the ghosts from my first run and shook the monkeys off my back. Thankfully, I pulled it together and made up enough time to take the race win and keep hold of my Scottish Championship title from 2006. Delighted and relieved that the trophy is home to roost for yet another year, I relaxed up on course with the Youngster who made it down for the day and took a few lessons from Big Bill Machechnie in the fine art of Scottish caber tossing!! Splendid!!

Wicked weekend all round!
Singing out, mission accomplished.
2007 Womens Scottish Champion.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Like Brummy guy randomly said to the camera in Waynes world 2..... 'Didn't you think it was a trifle unnecessary to see the crack in the Indians bottom.....'

Probably not, no!! But are many things in life necessary? Take weddings for example, obviously, you don't want to see bum crack at a wedding if you can help it!! But is the extravagance you see at modern day weddings necessary? Some choose the big, glam, wham bam thank you Mam and Dad for taking out a mahoooosif loan and financially crippling yourselves for my wedding, some choose to elope, others choose to put their heads together and come up with a dream. Helen and Rich opted for the latter, and like all good dreams it came true! Wellie and Richs wedding was totally unconventional, beautifully unique and effectively simplistic. She spent weeks gutting her Fathers farm, ridding it of years of cows pat plops, rubble and general farm clutter, with a little help from her friends, she transformed her farm into a countryside wedding venue with a twist.
Rich and Wellie gathered bits from all over the world on their travels last year, cool lanterns from India and floating fire lanterns from Thailand. They gathered kegs of beer from Hesket New Market microbrewery (alright, so that's only up the road!) and meat from the animals reared on the farm. There was a monster BBQ with loads of lush meat, funky salads and veg medallies. The cake wasn't a traditional wedding cake, it was about 10 different cakes made by the fine hands of a school of crafty bakers!! Yummy!! The alchol literally on tap too. Helens Bro was flexing his guns pulling pints of fine ale from the local brewery for the masses, I think after a while the novelty wore off as we all seemed to helped ourselves!

Helen and Rich decorated the barns with hay bail seats, tree stump tables, tea lights and beautiful white swags of material hanging from the walls and ceilings. The in flight entertainment consisted of a full scale ceilidh! They played mostly english folk music, but the temptation got the better of them eventually and they succumbed to a sneaky Strip the Willow and a few other Scottish lovelies! Everyone at some stage was seranaded by Big Aurther...and as the night progressed and the rentals retired, the funk was boomed and the hangovers were doomed!! There was a firework display and a peaceful floating fire lantern display too!! The lanterns were awesome, big phallic shaped paper domes with a wire mesh on the bottom that you set fire to. The heat from the fire rises and lifts the lanterns high in the sky like teeny, weeny little UFOs!! Watch out cows!!
It was a really chilled affair, pretty civilised for us lot, all things considered!! It was lovely to be able to rise up from the tent in the morning sun, after a wicked night, a little muddy and bedraggled with memory still intact!! I don't know why I call Wellie Wellie, I just have done since I could remember!! Anyway, the dress code for the Pongwiff girls was FROCKS and WELLIES...and boy, we did good!! It rained later in the night and the wellies worked there wonders and saved us all from soggy feet and pooey toes! Function before fashion...nae danger Texas ranger...fashion and function all in one!
On a wee tangent, speaking of rangers, let me introduce you to FARMBOOK. It's going to revolutionise dating in Cumbria as we know it! Kath spent most of the weekend recruiting sexy young ladies and affluent hard working farming MEN for her online farming dating agency, ironically, she got the majority of the guys at the Sausage Fest!! (Tirril Pubs annual Beer and Sausage festival, and it is just that!!) So, if you are young, looking for some prime beef, and good breeding stock, ladies this could be your lucky day! Go online to http://www.farmbook.co.uk/ (ok, so just bear it in mind for now, the site isn't quite up and running, but when it is, go and see the hotties the girls have rustled!!) EEE IIII adio, the farmer wants a wife!!! There are prerequisites, so be warned!! You will need a full grasp of the Cumbrian dialect, a sturdy pair of hunter wellingtons, a firm hind, enough spring in yer legs to laup over a gate, a set of spade like hands with years of shovelling capabilities, a fine tuned love and nose for turd from a variety of different animal species and the ability to turn your hand to using an abundance of different electrically powered goods, combine harvesters, quad bikes and carving knives to name but a few!!

Ten years ago, In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These women promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the QUEENS HEAD beer cellar (Tirril, nr Penrith). Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as LADIES WHAT LUNCH. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... THE FARMBOOK GIRLS. Ride hard, tard and always use protection. X
P.S I am 9795 days old which in hours is....approx 235,103 hours old! At the time of print...so there you have it!! A sphincter says WHAT?? x

The Wedding Crashers

Ladies and Gents, raise your glasses and let me present to you, the happy couple, Mr and Mrs Evans!! 3 Down (Wellie, Jessy and Jo) 8 to go!!

For those of you who don't know Wellie (Helen), she is one of my homies, long time suffering and long serving friend! Helen and Rich tied the knot on Friday in sunny Pongwiff! We sneaked down and waited for them to emerge as man and wife from the registry office!! Loaded up with a bag of rice, a bottle of bubbly and 25 plastic cups, Emily, Kinky and I gave them a warm, surprised Velcome!!
Everybody looked radiant, Helen especially, and Rich was just proud as punch! Ah, it certainly brought a tear to my eye! We threw the rice everywhere and loaded everyone up with a enough bubbles to toast them, their first drink as a married couple!! Then we snuck off with them all to help out with the photos! Thank the man above for the sunshine! He was certainly casting a glimmer of love down on the Evans couple on Friday!!