Monday, 12 July 2010

The Week That Was

It's an odd life being a mountain bike event organiser some times, you never quite know what's going to happen next or where you going to end up.

It all started just over a week ago with my second car accident in 3 months. I've decided now that Dalby Forest is jinxed - I've only ever had two car accidents in my life and both of them have been the night before travelling to Dalby for an event. Nothing major, just a three car shunt this time, very frustrating. My jinx continued when I arrived at Dalby for a week of possible riding only to discover I'd forgotten my riding shoes, also something I have never done in 15 years of mountain biking. So this lead to doing half a lap of the Dalby red route in t-shirt, shorts and trainers (and helmet) balancing precariously on spd pedals.

The Dalby event presented its usual carnage with various ambulances and helicopters popping in and out, yet again highlighting the distinct lack of skillful riders in British mountain biking. This added more fuel to the fire that had been ignited last Tuesday when I sent a rather scathing email to British Cycling criticising their recent approach to exploiting what some organisations are starting to see as cash-cow mountain bikers. (See, it really wasn't a good week!)

Leaving all negative thoughts of Dalby behind it was off to the familiar, relaxing and safe environment of Kielder - well usually, just not when there's a crazy gunman running round the area obviously. Plans to ride off into the wilderness were somewhat thwarted by the possibility of running into either the crazed gunman or "the men in black Range Rovers". I don't think I've ever seen so many armed police officers in a day and driving through a small Northumberland town where every other car is a police car is rather an odd sight.

Still, on to the safety of urban life in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for lunch with Saddle Skedaddle. Sadly, even this didn't prove straightforward and the local car thieves were taking advantage of the police pre-occupation with crazy gun man by smashing the driver side window and breaking into Paul Davis's van whilst it was parked outside the Gateshead Travelodge overnight. Luckily they were the stupidest car thieves on the planet (sorry, you'd already figured that one out as soon as I said 'Gateshead' right) and, whilst getting away with a lovely little Tom-Tom, a large chain lock and a couple of in-car chargers, they'd somehow missed the laptop, brand new iPad and 800 quids worth of brand new bike parts and prizes, opting to go through the cupboards for food instead.

The 9 day long trip ended with a very windy and cold 6 hour drive home. Today was spent doing the mundane parts of life - washing, cleaning, hoovering and reading the post. Sometimes normality is ace.