Here we go !!!! Happy New Year xx

January 1, 2010 - Leave a Response

We’ve been in Buenos Aires for 3 days now and everythings gone smoothly.  Scrutineering is an interesting experience and takes a couple of hours and then onto a podium to meet the argentinian crowds who absolutely love it.  We spent the afternoon in the Red Bull tent on beanbags watching brake dancers and BMXers with loads of lovely free food and drink.  Nice!!!

So today is the big day, i feel fine and not too nervous.  We’ve got a briefing at 9.30 the podium at about 2.30 then a 360 k road ride to the first night with the rally – BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!!

Happy new Year to you all

The Sunday Times

December 18, 2009 - Leave a Response

Hi all, this has to be a quicky as im going to start packing and then think about what the hell i’m going to get everyone for crimbo.

I had the photo shoot for the Sunday Times today so got myself down to Wapping.  They wanted to glamourous looking shots so they did my hair and makeup.  It felt wierd being in my motorbike kit whilst looking like i was going to get married but anyways i think they got some good shots.  James from the Sunday Times is going to call me when im on the rally so look out for the article whilst the rally is on.

Yesterday they did a shoot with Evil Kinevals son and i gutted i didnt meet him.  Apparently he wants to do a gig at Wembley jumping 3 more buses that his dad, i think he’s struggling with the Health and Safety aspect and he wants to do it on a Harley Davidson (same as his dad) – CRACKERS!!!!

Still keeping on the strength training, rode last Wednesday for a couple of hours but i think that’s it now before the big race.  I was suffering with nerves last week but i feel alright at the moment – Roll on the 28th.

Merry Christmas to you all XXXXXX

Kiwis track and half a marathon

December 9, 2009 - Leave a Response

I think it has all caught up with me and i felt really ill  and run down this morning.  I rode at Kiwis track nr Rendlesham yesterday and felt really fit but this morning i woke up and felt like i was coming down with something.  I havent stopped really since before starting to build the bike, as soon as it was done i went on the cycle ride then straight to the bike show.  Anyways decided to have a rest today, until about 2pm when i’d had enough of having a rest and thought i’d try and sweat it out by going for a run, then i decided i’d see if i could run a half marathon.    I managed to do it and it was relatively easy so the fitness training must be working. 

With 3 weeks to go it’s pretty important to get the training right and build myself up so gonna start eating alot of good food, drinking more water and resting properly and try to avoid driving if i can as that makes me really tired.  

Had a call from the Times today they are going to run a feature throughout the Dakar and we’ve arranged to have a phone interview whilst i’m out there – Cool!!!  My dad will be chuffed with that.

Bikes gone what now?

December 7, 2009 - Leave a Response

So my lovely rally bike with lucky number 131 is sailing its way to South America at the mo.  I leave on the 28th so not long really.  Just been to the dr this morning as having sciatic nerve problems in my left leg, he just gave me some anti – imflamitories and said to keep it warm, also going to give blood this arvo so i can find out my blood group.

Still need to buy a few bits and bobs, still need to raise another 5K but got a loan this morning to cover it for now.  This race really is much more expensive that you can imagine but i feel extremely lucky to have the opportunity to do this.  I sold my KTM last week to get some extra cash – it was really quite sad as im quite attached to it.  Tommorow and Wednesday Kiwi has kindly offered to lend me one of his Yamahas to train on as i am now bikeless and them im off up to the BMW off road skills school for our staff training, christmas party and staff ride out so at least i’ll get some practise in.

Still doing lots of stretching and strength training but going to slow down on the cardio and still recovering from the bike ride.  There is an atricle about the bike in this months TBM – Check it out x

Finishing the bike ride

December 7, 2009 - Leave a Response

We took 3 and a half days from Monmouth to Lands End.  Monmouth – Taunton, Taunton – Okehampton, Okehampton to St Ives and then St – Ives to Lands End.  The weather wasn’t that good and from Taunton to Okehampton was a nightmare, it rained all day and because we took a few b roads the hills were really steep and my knee started to hurt.  The last 10 miles of that day i walked as there was no way i wanted to jepodise the Dakar with an injury.  After i rested it abit it was Ok to ride the next day.  We decided to take a short cut across the Avon Bridge and couldnt find a cycle path so decided to save time we’d nip across on the M5.  Yes, we did get caught and yes it was well embarrsing, they actually caught us when we’d found the cycle track on the bridge but it was over quite a high barrier and we were lifting the bikes over.  I think they took pity on us as the weather was soo bad and let us off.

It was a relief to get to Lands End we had been cycling about 80 miles per day, the longest being 86 miles.  We’d been abit restricted with it getting dark about 4pm but we made it.  Fair play to Kate who’d done the whole ride from John O’ Groats – She’s planning to do it again in the summer, i never want to see a moutain bike again.  We had alot of support and places to stay during the trip so thanks to everyone who helped us out, rode with us and made us cups of tea.

Shrewsbury

November 26, 2009 - Leave a Response

After we,d picked up my wallet which i’d left at the fuel station the night before we headed off on our 60 mile trip to Shrewsbury.  It was a lovely sunny day and we took mostly country roads – V.Nice.  Nothing really to report apart it felt like a really long day and got very cold towards the end where Kate had put in the wrong post code so we ended up a few miles from Cunnys house (a friend who we were staying with).  Kindly he came to pick us up.  He’s an old downhill mountain bike pal and the last time i saw him was at the first World Cup in Fort William at the party which got really out of hand afterwards and lots of heyhem went on.  It was one of my biggest achievements to qualify to race the World Cup and even though i came 22nd it was a great experience.  We’re off to stay at our friend Megan and Mikeys in Monmouth tommorow, they are a fantastic couple and helped me out when i split with my ex boyfriend.  Mikey is the editor of Dirt Mountain Bike mag and im gonna try and get some old photos off him.

Going to have some tea now – Salmon pasta i thing mmmmm

Kiwis Magical Mystery Tour

November 26, 2009 - Leave a Response

Riding

Now this is my favourite story so far – Just because it is so ridiculous and I still can’t quite believe what happened.

I met Kiwi and his wife George at a GBXC round in Monmouth, i think he’d had abit of a nightmare race and was doing really well until he had some sort of mechanical problem, anyways i helped him put his bike back in the van. I’d also worked with Kiwi and Craig Bounds at the BMW off road skills school and they are both bad influences and im easily lead especially where alcohol is involved. Anyways that’s by the by here’s what happened:

We’d decided to take the rally bike to Dunkirk to test in on beach – the track is open all year round and is a fantastic place to ride sand. TBM wanted to do an article and our friend llelwyln was doing a story for MotoX so it seemed a good idea that we all go over to Dunkirk together, spend a day doing a photoshoot and a day setting up the suspension.

Myself and Kiwi had arranged to meet everyone at Folkestone at 6am in the morning so we could all travel over together and get a full day in. The day before i had dropped my boyfriend Chris (Salty) at Gatwick as he was heading out to do the Roof of Africa race I then came back to Hertford to pick up the bike graphics and then headed to Patsys down in Sussex as that’s where the bike was, Kiwi was going to come down there and we were going to head out early the next day.

However, Kiwi had a call from Llewlyn and his friend Simon (Kevin and Perry) saying they were heading to Folkestone and were going to sleep in the car, i had a call from Kiwi saying he was going to head straight to Folkestone so they could all sleep in his van as he had enough room for 3 people and could i get myself to Folkestone, being vanless this wasnt possible so we decided that Kiwi would pick up Llel and Simon and bring them to Patsys. Me and Patsy were still working on the bike at about 1am when they all arrived. Instead of all getting our heads down there for a couple of hours and heading out early, we decided to drive back to Folkestone where we could all sleep in the van untill the early train.

About an hour down the road there was a road block and we had to turn round, the only way round was to come back to Patsys, Kiwis sat nav then sent us on a ridiculous route around the houses so we arrived in Folkestone at 4.30am where we decided to catch the train straight away and meet the others on the other side.

So no sleep we arrived in France and managed to crash into the back of Llel and push him up a kerb which ripped his front bumper off. After about an hours sleep James fron TBM and one of my sponsors Alex arrived and we headed off to what we hoped would be a fantatic days riding on the beach. Got to the track FERME! What? It’s never closed!! We tried to negotiate with the guys there and one nearly relented but then this bolchy woman got involved and it was all over. We managed to find a few nice dunes up the road and James got the pictures he wanted before we were turfed off by security.

We still had the next day to ride and after alot of debate and texting Kiwi had a text off his Dutch mate saying there were 2 tracks, one in Lille and one in Komen. Right we’ll drive to Lille tonight and find the track tommorow. We got to Lille about 9pm, James had got his photos and gone back to the UK, along with Alex who was pretty disappointed the track was closed and in hindsight we should have checked it was open. So 6 became 4 Me and Kiwi and Kevin and Perry (Llel and Si). After driving around Lille for a couple of hours we decided to stop in a Buffallo Grill – Great Food and Wine!!!

We were up early and determined to find the track by 10, Ok we didn’t find it by 10, 12 then, Ok then 2. In the end we found out that the track had been closed down a couple of years ago so we headed to Komen. Eventually we found it, Ferme. What a waste of a day, hundreds of K’s of driving and petrol money. But he we ended up in a Buffalo Grill back at Dunkirk.

We decided that we’d stay another day so Llel would get some photos and we’d get the sus set up right and the next day was fab. Great weather and we got to ride nearly all day, we set the suspension up and the bike was amazingly easy to ride, this was all before the security guard caught us again and told us if we didnt sling our hook this time he’d call the police. So about 3ish we headed over to Calais to get our train. We were told that was actually a track in Calais so yet again we went on a mission to find it. This time Kevin and Perry were leading and we did end up at a track, but it was a BMX track. We spent the last couple of hours before leaving in the Buffalo Grill in Calais, Great Burgers!!!!!

Kiwis back suspension had given up on the van and it was looking pretty low at the back and when we got back to the UK we were pulled over by the cops who escorted us to the weighbridge to tell us the van was overweight. Uh?? It only had 2 bikes in it. Anyways they let us off without a fine but told us that because the back sus had gone we’d have to get it recovered and they then escorted us to the police car park which was full of other overloaded vans on there way to europe.

Several hours later the AA turned up and we were on our way home.

The moral of the story is:

Always check that the track is open
Make sure you know where all the Buffalo Grills are

And here are the photos taken by Llewelyn of my lovely rally bike:

Front on

Side on

Race number 131

November 25, 2009 - Leave a Response

The bike passed scruitineering today and is now heading to South America. I have been given lucky race no 131.

But to go back to it’s life story so far: Not sure what chapter i’m on but im going to call it:

Chaper 5? Driving me Mental:

Got back to London for a night then headed to Blythborough Motocross track with my boyfriend Chris, to check that the spare bike ran OK and ride some sand on the rally bike. It had rained up there the previous couple of days so instead of sand it was sloppy sandy muck. As we had driven a long way to get there we decided to ride anyway. We know the owner so he had let us have free run of the track so we made some technical sections up and to be honest the rally bike rode just like and enduro bike. really easy to turn, really light, it felt great.

By the time i’d dropped the van back i’d done over 1,000 miles in 6 days.

Alice and Ethel: Day 3

November 25, 2009 - Leave a Response

For those of you who don’t already know, the reason why me and Kate decided to do the bike ride from John O’Groats to Lands End was to raise money for the altzeimers society. Both of our grandma’s (Alice and Ethel) had the awful disease. As i have already mentioned I had to join the ride late due to getting the bike ready for the Dakar.

Day 3 started on the A666 and a trip to the crematorium where Kate’s nans ashes were spread, it was abit off the route but it needed to be done and it was kinda nice as we reminised about all of our grandparents. My grandad died a couple of years ago and I still really miss him. He used to run cross country for Great Britian and helped to set up the Youth Service so to me he was an inspiration.

As we left the crem the weather really dropped and out came the gimp masks. (Kate had made me buy this horrible neoprine balaclava and id told her id never wear it but it was so bloody cold i relented, at least they’ll be none of that in S. America). We were heading to Maccelsfield and been given directions to take us on a flat 60ish mile ride. Anyway an hour later we were on the hill of hell, freezing with a head wind and it went on for ever, after about 15 mins of going up there was a Welcome to the Lankeshire Hill country sign. “This ain’t bloody flat!”. On we battled, me still with 2 heavy panniers we had decided to drop off that evening. It took forever but luckily at the top of the hour hill of hell someone had dumped a bath, so after a quick laydown we got on our way.

Having a bath

The rest of the day was hard work, I’ve had a problem with my siatic nerve the last couple of weeks and it was playing up, plus my right knee was beginning to give me gyp and my saddle is so bloody hard…….say no more. We ended up riding in the dark. I had arranged to meet my dad at a pub near Kate’s aunties and couldn’t wait to see him. I was quite suprised how much a text from a friend or seeing someone I care about really lifted me as normally I can kinda just get by on my own.

Shrewsbury tommorow at an old Downhill Mountain Bike m8’s house Richard Cunningham (Cunny) Cool name aye, but he doen t know the Fonz.

T xx

Road to hell: John O’Groats to Lands End

November 24, 2009 - Leave a Response

As part of fitness training for the Dakar me and a friend had decided to cycle from John O’Groats to Lands End.   We’d planned to do it at the beginning of Nov but as the rally bike took so long to prepare it got pushed back and back until it was at the end of the month.  I managed to meet up with one of my best friends, Kate in Carlisle and we had a great cycle through the lake district (in the rain) and ended up in Kendal.  I have been doing a little bit of training in Essex but it’s all flat so i wasnt used to the mountains, however it all seemed to go quite well apart from an annoying squeek that my bike was making that once my ipod batteries ran out was bound to drive me mental!!!  Luckily we missed the horrendous storms in Cumbria and must have just got the tail end of them.

Left Kendal at about 7.30 this morning after Kate falling down the stairs in the B&B (she’s more accident prone than me) It was very amusing and there we alot of people having an early breakfast.  We had 2 hrs of riding in the wind and rain, i had panniers on the bike and most of the time it felt as though someone had hold of them and was trying to drag me backwards so im binning them tommorow.  Also had enough of the music on my ipod already so bought a little radio which was fab.  We cycled about 70 miles today and are now at Kates Aunties in Blackburn stuffed after eating a fantastic shepards pie and trifel.  Maybe i’ll stay here tommorow as well. 

Kate riding up some long long hill somewhere

We are off to Macclesfield tommorow and are planning to be in Lands End on the 1st Dec. 

Oh yeah Kate’s Auntie lives on road A666.  Road to hell!!!