Posted by: Jodie
Mud Sweat and Gears was here again! It never takes long for the new season to start, infact just one week after the Winter Series had finished! My prep for this one felt unusual in that I'm not used to having races so close together, however I still did all my usual resting and carb loading prior to the race.

I arrived looking forward to the race and despite all the rain the night before, the ground wasn't too bad - I little muddy and slippy in places, but overall dry and flowing. There was some nice bits of single track, plenty of hills up, and some fun fast downhill sections too.

20150303-image.jpg

I finished my preride only 15 mins before the start of the race (not the best!) so hurried to sort my bottles, use the facilities and then get back to the start line. Andy from Gipping Race Team had kindly offered to bottle for me (thanks again!) so having offloaded my bottle, I was gridded on the start line. It was good to see some familiar faces and some new ones too.

The start was up a hill, I bombed up it quite quickly trying to get ahead of some of the girls, not wanting to get stuck behind anybody slow in the upcoming single track. The single track section was followed by a rather steep hill requiring A LOT from the legs. I heard someone fall behind, but I managed to make it to the top without stopping. More sticky single track was followed by another hill with an extra kick half way up. By this stage my legs where suffering and some girls passed me. I tried hard to push on but my legs really wouldn't work - no matter how much a shouted 'COME ON LEGS!!!!' They had nothing left and a few more girls passed me. I was only half way around the first lap and I was buggered! I was so gutted and frustrated!

I took until the end of the lap to recover and get my legs going again. Laps two and three were more paced and I was able to real back in some ladies, most from the open category I believe. I then managed to overtake another sports female category rider which was good. Later on my third lap I was overtaken by race leader Laura Sampson, meaning that I wouldn't make a forth lap to catch any more ladies.

Not my best race today, but a lesson learnt all the same.

Note to self: take it easy when there are hills at the start of a race 😊

With thanks to my sponsors:
Sussed Out Suspension www.sussedoutsuspension.co.uk
Mike's Bikes www.mikesbikeshop.co.uk
Chain-L www.chain-l.com
LVE www.lv.com
Beet It www.beet-it.com
ESIgrips www.esigrips.com
Posted by: Jodie
The last winter series race was the first test for the new training I've been doing, so once again I was looking forward to seeing the results of another months hard work. The week prior to the race my personal trainer decided im at a stage where I have lost enough weight to now start pumping some iron, so I did one leg session & one upper body session before spending the rest of the week sticking to exercise I was used too. That way I was in no danger of having tired muscles for the race. I had also decided to test out fully resting and carb loading for only 2 days before the race instead 3 like last time.

On Saturday I took out my newly serviced bike for intervals just to wake up the legs - everything seemed in full working order, so I was all prepped for the race!

I arrived nice and early allowing me time to settle in and go for a very gentle pre-ride. The course was fairly hilly for Thetford, with one steepish climb up 'nutcracker' just before the end of the lap. The course was also mostly single track - my fav!

Climbing Nutcracker

On the off, the girl to my right stormed off ahead only to get entangled with the two girls in front of me - causing me to brake harshly to avoid collision. A quick dart to left put me back on the straight and narrow to which I pushed hard to try and catch up with the middle of the pack. About half way around I realised I was ahead of Louise Brown - a very unusual situation so I shouted back to check she was ok to be told she had decked it at the start. From then on she sat on my tail, until just before the end of the first lap when we where side by side and she had the best line into the single track. I then dropped back a little - just to find my rhythm, but as the second lap started I pushed on hard again to catch back up with Louise. It took me about half a lap, but I did it, and then once again she happily sat on my tail. I actually quite enjoyed having the company - I don't think I've ever had a race where i've been able to have abit of a natter... you shouldn't be chatting whilst racing I hear you all shout!

Half way around the 3rd lap, Louise dropped back abit, so I carried on, looking over my shoulder every now and then to check if she was about. I got through the finish gate with around 10 mins spare so it was off for a 4th lap I went. It was pretty uneventful and I happily crossed the finish line with a smile on my face as I had achieve something I hadn't done before - I'd beaten a lovely lady who I've wanted to be on a par with for the last couple of years! For me personally, a great achievement! Bring on the first round of Mud Sweat and Gears next Sunday!


With thanks to my sponsors:
Sussed Out Suspension www.sussedoutsuspension.co.uk
Mike's Bikes www.mikesbikeshop.co.uk
Chain-L www.chain-l.com
LVE www.lv.com
Beet It www.beet-it.com
ESIgrips www.esigrips.com

Thanks to Karen Aldis for the image and for bottling for me.

And my personal trainer 😊
Posted by: Mike
Certainly an interesting race for me, as this was the first 'long' race I had ever done on a singlespeed! The time trial on the Friday night beforehand had decided my gear choice for me, a slightly ambitious 58 inches was the choice. While I did have different sprockets in my toolbox I thought Thetford was flat enough for me to engage the lazy part of my brain and leave it well enough alone!

My somewhat lackadaisical attitude also coincided with forgetting to bring a spare inner tube (thanks to Sussed Out Suspension for lending me one!), forgetting to bring my Garmin (cheers for the loan Daza!) and my warm up, which was really non-existent. I wrapped up warmly enough with base layer, jersey and gilet, coupled with arm and leg warmers and joined the grid. As I had placed this in my mind as a training session rather than a race I wasn't too worried about finishing position and just set out to enjoy myself.


In the Pit
Riding through the first pit

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Posted by: Jodie
After a nice long Xmas break I was ready for this one. I was also interested in testing out my months worth of fitness improving/weight-losing Personal Training sessions which I've started doing at the gym... And on top of that, my Personal Trainer got me to carb load and fully rest 3 days prior to the race - something I've never done before. So there was lots riding on this race in terms of testing out new things!

I'd arrived fairly early which gave me a good chance to catch up with some familiar faces, and meet some new folk too - I just love how friendly cyclists can be! I opted to simply pre-ride the first and last bomb holes, just to make sure I could test out the best lines in and out - this would also slowly warm me up whilst still saving my carb loaded legs for the race.

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The first couple of laps were fairly uneventful, I even managed to keep up with the quick girls for a bit longer at the beginning. The third lap was a struggle though - I was beginning to feel fatigued and I was playing cat and mouse with another female rider. She slipped up on the final bomb hole on the third lap, allowing me to overtake again, but she then caught me and took me just through the start gate. So, I'd made it through before the 2hr cut off to do a final 4th lap - I've got to push hard and try and catch this girl again. It took me about half a lap, but I managed to do it. I then had to push hard to keep the lead - this wasn't easy and my heart rate was sky high, but I stuck at it, so much so I even managed to overtake another girl about 3 quarters of the way around. Pushing on a gained a lead and even had a nice gentleman encouraging me to keep going. I started my final lap in 11th and finished in 9th - a great result in my mind - I just wonder what part of my fitness/resting/carb loading helped me most!

With thanks to:
9bar
Chain-L
LV
Mike's Bikes
Beet It
Sussed Out Suspension
ESIgrips

Posted by: Mike
So a few days ago I found about the Day of the Dog time trials hosted by Team Bongo. The event popped up on my Facebook feed and it wasn't too far away so I roped in two friends and made plans to go and race.

Team Bongo Pic

The event was hosted at the Hick's Lodge trail centre and was run almost entirely on armoured trail, so I thought this would be a good chance to do my first single speed race of 2015 - one of my goals this year is to try and get onto the podium at SSUK2015.

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Posted by: Mike
The Primal Kitchen Paleo Bars - 1.49 per bar (45g)
Available from www.primalkitchen.co.uk

Having been Paleo for around two years, I saw these in a local supermarket and was immediately very interested, especially as they boasted the tagline of being the UK's first Paleo bar. Whilst the notion of Paleo and Primal eating seems to already have a large market in the United States, it only has a small foothold in the UK. This foothold is growing, but not to the extent where I would expect to find Paleo products on sale in a large supermarket. I bought a couple of the bars to try, and then decided after eating them that I wanted to bring them to the view of other athletes and Paleo/Primal eaters.


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