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

Saturday, January 30, 2010

SCHLAAAAAAAADERS 2009 - The lost repo..

Racing was well - equivalent to a stinky aging flacid BOTTOM covered in guk........the only real journey you make in life is between your own ears right - and you are damn lucky if you can make this with a little bit of help and a LOT of fun with your friends......the journey was, looking back part of a my RICH tapestry of amazing memories.So, we set off from Fionns after dossing around on 125's at the new Griffiths abode in Llandegla and eating ploughmans in the garden - it was perfectly scorchio. We got Fionns Mum (my surrogate Mum - HG) on the bike - she lasted all of about 20 seconds in 1st gear before literally 'keeling' over - it's all on video and I wee'd - no joke!

After about 20 minutes of our 15 hour drive, I leant full scale out of the window to toss a banana skin.....by poor wee glasses got whipped off my head and then skidded down the motorwar :(. We then passed a Welsh tour company called Y-NOT and decided it would be best to swing round and pick them up (y-not) - there is no way they weren't coming on the voyage - even though I have like 3 other paris of the same model (which I omitted to confess to Fionn) - we did an ABOUT turn and picked up the 80mph busters - and they were still alive...BONZA.
So we trucked on, had an impromtu night in Lille - dossed around the city, ate some cake and picked up Emmeline (the new World MTB Champ) - we hit the road - destination - Austria.

Smooth trucking and before we know it - Neven (one of the 3 duckteers), Hels, Fi, Emmeline, Paul, Reg and I were rolling our sleeves up in the mexican in Schladders and hit the vino - a great excuse to have a chin wag and good ketchup!

The first days practice came and went and I decide that the weekend wasn't for me - well at least from a riding perspective. You have to feel it deep in your bones if you want to do well at DH- there is way too much risk involved to only put half your heart to it and me heart was somewhere else that weekend! Plus, when your friends are all around, often at a race, it's easy not to have the time to spend with them. Some times, friends make make the world go round - not bikes, and this was one of those weekends.

So - as usual - a vague outline -this one time, at band camp - Damion escorted us out to the 'new' night club in town - he rocked up in style - lights out and sweating - was the straight line through town the 'best' line to take???

Nev and I found an entire line of food to make you CLEVER........ it didn't do what it said on the can - but it did have a quirky effect on the locks.....- cue the DH family VONTRAP........

One last party - the grand finale - the end of season lift off....then we hit the road.....

Thats the week wrapped in in visuals and thats 09 wrapped up as far as all things push bike goes. ITS A WRAP MOTHER LICKERS.



Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Boulder Colorado.

After a spotting of sun in the desert - Nev and I hopped onto a flight and headed up to Colorado - destination - Boulder. The photo above is of the flat irons in Boulder - it's one of the most distinctive features which forms the back drop of the town. Buolder is perched at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, so you can imagine the flat irons frame the town in a pretty spectacular fashion. We got into Boulder -had some nice soup - a browse round the mall then headed to the University of Colorado to check up on Nevs 'stem cells'!!

Nev is doing a PhD in stem cell research - she explained it all to me in the basic of basic layman's terms - my deminished of knowledge from genetics and biology classes gone by came back to me in lets say 'drabs' - but I got the jist of her research aims. Simply put, her work may help us all if we nail ourselves - so watch this space - it's pretty frikkin cooooooool!
I have never had Christmas away from home - and I couldn't have wished for a better time. Nev was certainly the hostess with the mostess! We decided before I got there that we would take the best bits of Christmas and throw them together - so we did = including Colemans finest packeted bread sauce mix - Christmas just wouldn't be the same without bread sauce now would it?!

Boulder was a sensory overload for me - a winter abyss for athletes, tourists and locals. The place was a mass of activity - everyone seemed fit and healthy and that was very much the emphasis in the town. There were health food, sports, outdoor and holistic therapy stores everywhere - it seemed like a real eco conscious town too - quite unlike the most of the US - stinky big trucks were out and wee 4x4 scoobee - doos were in - most of which had bike or ski racks on the top.

Nev and I packed the car on Christmas day and headed into the hills - you may know this - but Denver is the mile high city - Boulder it's sister town is also at altitude - hence the reason why there are a lot of athletes living in Boulder - anything to help their bodies form more of that precious o2 carrying haemoglobin - its an amazing place to be for altitude training.

On Christmas day - the wind was so bad - we decided not to ski, but went up to the mountains any way and stumbled up on a cool we shop that served an american style cider! Wicked - we headed home - made Christmas dinner and learned how to knit - RANDOM! Ski day was boxing day - off we went - rented some XC skis and blasted a couple miles down a trail to an massive frozen lake - I couldn't stop smiling - it was just awe inspiring - all around us - there were trails - people were XC/DH skiing and snow shoeing - there were dogs every where and people with the happiest faces - I could so see myself living somewhere like that at some point - not to dissimilar to the trails at home in the summer really.

The last day in Boulder we went to the famous Luciles for brekkie - and it exceeded all of my expectations - YUMMY is it's middle name for SURE! Damion made it up for the feast too which was so cool - I didn't think he would take kindly to the early morning, but he surprised us!!

So - the last few days in Arizona were a blurrrrrrrrr - but I left exhausted which is the sign of a great trip - I have some of the most amazing friends a girl could be blessed with.

I love ya. X


Swinging back to Phoenix after an amazingly scenic drive through the desert we pulled in at the Sky harbour airport to pic up my favourite Boulder chick - Nev Duck.

We blasted the three days together - chilled in the hot tub - putting the world to rights - catching up on all the goings on of the past 4 months. Nev tried to exercise Buhls dogs - but Moxi just had way too much energy - so we resorted to turning on the treadmill - I have never seen a dog run on a treadmill quite like it - she was in her element and could easily stay on their all day!!

We ate lush food - drank amazing wine and laughed constantly - Buhl hit the gym - I threw some weights around in Buhls gym - Nev and I did some yoga.
We headed out to the outskirts of the city for a Buhl style - spin - which was a theigh burning push for my more than slightly lesser trained theighs.

Nev fell in love all over again with the Sonoran cactus - the ippitamy of the desert for her - and for me. The native cactus is indiginous to the sonoran desert and can be seen everywhere you look in Arizona - along with the Joshuah tree - which most of you will be familiar with through the U2 album - he joshuah tree. Mark and Nichole from the local bike shop came round for a LUSH dinner with us girls and Uncle Ritchie Buhl - Richie pushed the boat out and made the biggest and by far the yummiest steaks I have ever seen! We all rolled our sleeves up for the dinenr party - I made a white chocolate, raspberry and marscapone cheese cake - Nichole and Mark bought two demi johns of their own and very potent grapefruit and cherry home brew and Nev and Buhl went to wal mart and bought me a classic 'PEOPLE OF WALMART'

Needless to say - as always when we get together - we had a BLAST!


What goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas - that's the deal right?I can tell you that we stayes in the MGM - it was pretty cool as far as hotels go - I've never stayed in a hotel that has 2 lions in it, so that was a first for sure!
The City itself was a whole heap of fun. I was surprised at how many wrinkly old hags were still smashing the fruit machines with fags stuck to their lips at 6am......
Good times ;).X


So - to be fair - the UK is always a little duff in the winter - one dark, cold winter day - my feet started itching uncontrollably - you know what that means? Time to bust a groove and give out some smooth! I headed out to the US to catch up with Top Fuel Buhl and Nev Duck. First stop Phoenix and chez Buhl - a quick catch up - pack/re-pack and we were off to Nevada.
We pulled in a hotel which was about 10 miles from the Hoover Damn and boy were the views stunning- desert rock to the right a crystal clear Lake Mead to the left . We got up the following morning and drove from one end of the hotel carpark to the other maximising laziness and hopped on a helicopter and chopped our way over the hoover damn and lake mead.
Neither Buhl of I had been on a chopper - I was pretty excited - Buhl was fine tuning her rehearsal for a part delivering a baby in a Hollywood movie - she was bricking it - and I could see why - although I tried to convince her it would be safe - deep down, I was a little nervous!!

The Chopper was AWESOME - to be fair - I did feel quite vulnerable - as I was sat at the front and the base of the chopper was glass - so we could get a really good view - but unlike most of my flying experiences to date - it was really loose if you know what I mean - the chopper was pushed around by the wind and thermals - well, that's how it felt! Going over the Hoover damn was amazing - to think so many guys died to build it is incredible - and to think how effective it is - able to power everything in a 300 mile radius - wow - that's hydro power and then some!!
After the chopper ride - we headed over to Boulder City for breakfast - this place was cool too - a small but quite traditional 'typically western' style town with some amazing sculptures - I got some really cool photos of Buhl with some of the statues - but somehow I lost them. BOO.

Breakfast done..............off to Boulder city to RIDE. Team KHS were there in force -the race organisers were super cool and let us do shuttles all day. There was a race on - but we just stayed for pracci on the Saturday. The trails at Bootleg Canyon were again -frikking cool - the loose sedimential rock was surprisingly grippy.
I had never rode anything like that before - it was a mix of sharp jagged rock, sand and dust! Some of the turns were super loose - parts were steep and the off camber rock sections were grippier than I first anticipated! I rode Buhls KHS lucky 7 and it was amazing - super light and really responsive - here Manitou Dorados were just SWEET - I used to have an old pair - but they have certainly ramped these ones up. I had so much fun out there minus my 2 punctures.
Desert sunsets - B.E.A.U-tiful. X