Jaymie Mart - BARBADOS NATIONAL DOWNHILL TEAM - one of the most colourful and well loved athletes on the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup tour today.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
It's that time of year again! FORT WILLIAM! I frikkin love it and just can't get enough, it's an amazing track, loads of challenges, physical and mental and once a year, the circus comes to town, with it brings a heap of fun, my beautiful friends and the best riding in the world. What girl could ask for more?Deep down, I rode well, I was strong and consistent, I pulled it together for my race but was left with that lingering what if...what if I had the chance to ride full time? What if I put my eggs into one basket and threw caution to the wind? What could I do? I always know deep down that I could do so well and not just crack that DARN top 20, but go further and faster. Truth is, I love what I do and I love knowing that I can do so much all the time, but in the back of my mind I know if I had the resources that I could do so much more. Maybe one day I will bite the bullet.
For now, I am happy to know that with the efforts and resources I have I am doing my best across a number of different fields in my life......and I know I am living, I feel it, good and bad and I am proud to have finished 25th overall, a few seconds quicker than last year.
Contentment came after a battle with my inner self this weekend and on Sunday night, I rested easy knowing that with a lot of help from my friends I had fought my demons and did what I love with the people around me.
When all else feels blue, the friends around you can shake you up, slap you around and make you see that the road ahead IS paved with goodness. With a few sessions on the water bomb sling, a few episodes of the Jerky boys, some fear of Mrs Thomas' afterbirth ghost, some good choons, a few cook offs and some beautiful scenery and fresh highland air I found my Jayminess again. It's not always about the bike, it's about blowing off the warts with a good ole BLOW TORCH - Got ooout ma door!
Thanks guys, you know who you are and I love you all dearly.
P.S. What does happen to people who can't cook - do they not just go hungry??
Neven - her name is a palindrome, just like Hannah......but Nevens name is unusual.....and I am big believer in unusal names. I think your name can affect your personality, think about it. Now I am not for one minute saying that Nev is the same back to front......sure she isn't. She is a GOLDEN chick and one of my coolest and bestest friends and we just had a ball for an entire 10 days!I'm not going to bore you with the girls gossip that went down......but I will give a brief round up.....Nev arrived, we talked straight for over 8 hours, slept, talked some more, rode a trail in Innerleithen.......I worked, Nev worked, Jim arrived. We dressed Jim up like a girl and all went for afternoon T at the country manor......we rode another trail.....you get the drift.....onwards to.....
BOOB MOUNTAIN. It gets a separate paragraph and capitals because it is a special mountain with a special tail behind it! It sits high and proud above my village - it's real name is Lee Penn and I have wanted to ride this monster for over a year....from one trail centre (Glentress) to another (Innerleithen) ...it's a good couple of miles with a good few meters of climbs. The time was right, Jim, Nev and myself got fed, watered and hit it...we climbed to the boundary wall on the black run of Glentress and there it was steep, heather covered mountain side.....the only way up and the only way to get up was to carry the bike and hike. It was in the heat of the day in the midst of the UK heatwave......and boy it was long and lingering. Without Nev and Big J, I think either one of us would have turned back at any point, but hence-forth, we spurred on like cows to the slaughter in teh baking heat! Our mids and thoughts and excitement focused on the descent - but there wans't one!! After 5 hours of hiking, there was no release.......aside from the pub....where we went and didn't leave until we got asked too!! A great day made better and more memorable by the quality cider and banter from 2 of the coolest people I know! Yesh!
So......after the tour of the Innerleithen and Glentress trails, more talking than gets done on news 24, many an alfresco meal laced with fine wine, some cross dressing, shopping, tourist adventures, afternoon T's, a few books, some new adventures and a heap of laughter it was time. FORT WILLIAM was calling.X
Chris Ball from Dirt School is making a new vidoe.....so I headed up to support a friend and got rpoed into a bit of filming!
The guys at the Fort were helly-ing dirt onto the track for the World Cup, so the first few runds down were a little sketch as we spent most of our time dodging the dirt piles - but it was such a great few days riding wise. Chris really opened my mind with line choice and bike handling skills sessions.
I will no doubt post when the video is out.
Ciao bella. X
So, Spain....I have raced here, passed through, flown over, but never travelled and experienced the sights, sounds, smells, culture, sangria, paella.......bulls balls and inticacies of this beautiful country.......I was long overdue a taster!!
My travelling partner for the duration was a bit of a let down to be fair, I felt like I was tailing in an unspontaneous workaholic....which in all honesty, I was. But never the less, I tried to get around and see as much as is humanly possible in the duration of the week and enrich both our lives and senses completely.
We landed in Malaga, spent the first night there absorbing the Easter madness in the city before heading to the Picasso museum bright and early on the first day. In the afternoon, we headed due north east to Ronda, an ancient wee town, made famous for it's bull ring and ancient connecting bridges. Man this place was sweet......again, I was desperate to see a bull fight (when in Rome and all that) as it was the start fo the season. I just wanted to hurl myself into everything traditionally Spanish, but my travelling partner prefered to keep his sights firmly in his narrow box....so far dink-um on that score....I settled for a magical tour of the bull ring and let my imagination go wild!
Onwards to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.....a little altitude and two amazing nestlings in the mountains called Pampeniera and Capileira. These little villages were the epitamy of Spanish tranquility, small white houses with tiny terracotta tiling perched on the side of some of the most beautiful basin like surrounds in the world. We unpacked our bikes and hit the trails. I had been told a heap about the trails in Spain and all the whispers were true...this terrain aint like no other, it's red, like the dessert and rocky central. In the heat of the day, I didn't take to happily to the climbs, but some of the descents were wicky wicky wild wild west!! The one thing I will rememebr about these villages are the rugs, the beautiful viubrant rugs that the locals made, if only I had more room in my travel bag!!
So, with the mountains behind us, we headed to Granada. I was so excited to see the actual Sierra Nevada resort, as this was once the host to a World Cup. Unfortunatly, at this point, me and my now certifiably boring travel partner had fallen out, he wasn't dealing too well with being away from work- his distinct lack of spacial awareness had lead him to stoving our hire car into a bollard (at a hefty cost), he had fallen asleep at the dinner table one evening and puked his guts up for the duration of another evening which could be attributed to a weak immune system - probably stemming directly from his lack of eating pretty much everything outwith his key safe foods - to add to that he was transfixed on his blackberry inbetween blinks. How someone can prefer looking at a mobile phone screen instead of enjoying and absorbing vibrant abd beautiful surroundings is completely beyond me. Anyway, it was really starting to wear thin by this point....so I just cruised the resport by myself and boy am I glad I did. It was minus a million degrees and snowing...but it had the air of a cool place about it for sure!
On the second to last day, we hit Seville. We toured the famous bull ring and finally got more than a large whiff of Sangria! About time too.....in the midst of the Easter celebrations, the city was ALIVE! And so was I...totally buzzing from the sun and colour and music. This is a heftily rad city and one which I will revisit for sure WITHOUT my dull travel partner!!