New Year Resolutions


Half Way through the year and how am I doing …

Invest in that touring bike and plan some trips to make it really count.  Update – Bike Built but no long rides done – 1/2 point

Increase or improve my Strava KOM and PR status (but not if i have to finish a segment inside my own home) Update – NO

Not shy away from the Sufferfest turbo sessions Update – No change – have I even done any this year?

Complete the eTape Caledonian and Pennines with proper training under my belt Update – Caledonian done on shy training and Pennines 2.5 weeks away – 1/2 point

Have a bikeFit – to make sure that I improve position, power delivery and comfort Update – not yet

Do at least one mountain bike marathon race this year with close buddies and do the longer distance option (normally 85km and 2000m+ of climbing) Update – Ooops

Remember not to be a bad name for cycling (red lights etc) Update – Pretty good these day – 1 point

Campaign and lobby for our two wheeled lot and complete the free Bike film I promised Update – Done – 1 point

Sail up the inner hebrides over summer. Update – If i can find that week

Don’t leave the organisation of that sail until the last minute. Update – organisation?

Kitesurfing – don’t always jump on port tack only – embrace the learning curve of jumping to starboard (and the occasional smack down) Update – Doing that – 1 point

Ride more. Kitesurf more. Sail more. Run more 

Ride more…..Ride more…..

Update – 4/11 (must try harder)

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Back to reality – kitesurfing in Scotland is more brutal sometimes …


Recently i was in Cape Verde kitesurfing and although the weather gods failed to line up for me (and I lost a GoPro 3 when the shoddy mount broke and it sank to the bottom of the ocean) – the temp was great and the chap i made friends with said 2 days later saw 25knots and waves breaking outside the bay with clean sections in between …. aaaah well

in Cape Verde with board shorts only
in Cape Verde with board shorts only

then it was back to Scotland and winter and i was up in Lewis (part of the outer Hebrides) for the New Year. The wind gods were present and we saw squall after winter squall arrive.

that is wind
that is wind

and I sat in the cottage looking out the window as hard rain drilled against the panes of glass and thought ‘c’mon January – I have got to do this’

So I did. Forecast was big so rigged up my new Best Cabo 6m kite (it is a 2013 model but discount made it a good buy) had to adjust the lines slightly and then i headed out.

fully gimped out
fully gimped out – although the weather doesn’t look bad it was blowing 35knots at this time – look at the kite lines GRESS BEACH

And it was great.

BEST CABO

Such a good kite – a 3 strut kite that is very easy on the bar and it behaves perfectly. Steering quite quick but if on a wave you can kite one handed and the kite has a great drift so it never stalls. Threw it back about 5 times for a jump and it jumps easily as well if not better than my old Best Waroo (which has always been a favourite of mine)

I was only out for 40min so this is by no means a review but i am very pleased with it at the moment. This and the new Best TS 2014 8m means i am covered from 20 – 40+ knots (the only weather I like)

Temp wasn’t bad and with a great Snugg wetsuit, booties, gimp hood and gloves I was sorted. I came off the water boiling (although i only really wiped out twice. The inside of the wetsuit was practically dry. There would have been more photos but the driving rain kept the princess in the car ….. I just played in the waves down to the car park where she moved down to – but the kite was great at going back upwind too …..

not very far, fast or long but great still
not very far, fast or long but great still

British road race glasgow – national championship 2013


Woo hoooo – this is next week AND it goes past my neighbourhood – well 50m away …. How cool is that for me and the girls
Will take pics using my 400mm lens

Former world champion Mark Cavendish heads a field packed with star names that will take to the streets of Glasgow a week on Sunday to contest the British national road championship, while Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead will be aiming to take back the title she won in 2011.

Team Sky have dominated the championships for the past three years, with Geraint Thomas, Bradley Wiggins and Ian Stannard all winning the right to wear the British champions’ jersey.

So far, that’s a prize that has eluded Cavendish, now with Omega Pharma-Quick Step, on the rare occasions he’s contested the race, but he looks like the man to beat in Glasgow – the profile of the 14-kilometre course above exaggerates the climbs, with a maximum elevation of around 50 metres.

Instead, it’s all those corners that are likely to cause problems during the 13 laps of the men’s race and 8 laps of the women’s one.

Sky will be here in strength, but other WorldTour team riders looking to end their dominance include Steve Cummings of BMC Racing and Scots Andy Fenn of Omega Pharma-Quick Step and David Millar of Garmin Sharp.

NetApp-Endura’s Russell Downing, champion in 2005, will also take to the start at Glasgow Green, as will the last non-Sky rider to win, Rapha-Condor-JLT’s Kristian House who together with team mate Ed Clancy spearheads a strong domestic challenge.

In the women’s race, Armitstead will face competition to recapture her title from riders including defending champion Sharon Laws, recovered from injury, plus an in-form Hannah Barnes and a Wiggle-Honda line-up that includes Olympic team pursuit champions Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and Dani King.

That trio will also be riding in the time trial, which takes place a week today on Thursday 20 June in East Ayrshire, the first time it has been held to coincide with the road nationals. In the men’s version, Alex Dowsett, winner of an individual time trial in last month’s Giro d’Italia, will be going for his third national title in a row.

how the 2013 Giro d’italia was won (or more importantly lost)


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BRESCIA, Italy (AFP) —Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) secured his maiden Giro d’Italia title on Sunday as Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) took his fifth stage win on the 21st and final leg into Brescia.

Nibali finished the weather-battered 96th edition with a lead of 4 minutes and 43 seconds over Rigoberto Uran (Sky) with Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) third at 5:52.

After negotiating the final stage successfully, an emotional Nibali said: “I’ve achieved one of my lifetime dreams. I can’t believe it. It’s unbelievable.”

It was Nibali’s first victory on the three-week Italian race, in which he finished third in 2010 and runner-up in 2011. Last year, he finished third overall on the Tour de France, won by Sky’s Bradley Wiggins.

Nibali succeeds Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) as winner of the race’s maglia rosa after the Canadian, followed by an ailing Wiggins, dropped out before the final week due to illness.

The 28-year-old Nibali is the first Sicilian to win the race and is the first Italian winner since Michele Scarponi, who was handed the 2011 title following Alberto Contador’s disqualification for doping offenses.

Nibali took possession of the pink jersey after the stage-8 time trial won by Alex Dowsett, and despite a strong challenge from Evans he took a massive step towards overall victory with his victory in Thursday’s 18th stage, a 20.6km uphill time trial.

It took his lead over Evans, the 2011 Tour de France champion, to over four minutes.

After the first of two consecutive days in the Dolomites mountains was canceled on Friday due to snow and sub-zero temperatures at high altitude, Nibali capped his campaign with a second stage win atop the Tre Cime di Lavaredo climb on Saturday, which saw Evans drop to third.

Having crashed twice on stage seven, Nibali then had to endure, with the rest of the peloton, a rain-lashed and snow-blasted second half of the race.

For Wiggins the 7th stage was his demise – The crash on a right-hand bend on the final descent into Pescara looked relatively innocuous but Sir Bradley Wiggins’s chances of winning theGiro d’Italia took a serious knock as the seventh stage reached a climax on Friday when the Tour de France winner lost almost 90 seconds on his main rivals, dropping from sixth to 23rd overall.

Although his team principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, said Wiggins had no physical ill effects, he rode in looking stiff and bruised the day before the vital time trial where he intended to strike his first blow. It was a massive contrast to his seamless progress through the first week of last year’s Tour de France, where he rode his luck throughout. Momentum matters in a three-week Tour, and now he is swimming against the tide.

Friday’s stage contained a rash of steep climbs towards the end, but it was the descents which really mattered as they were tackled in heavy rain. Cornering became a lottery – and many besides Wiggins drew losing tickets. Amid the chaos, the Australian Adam Hansen emerged unscathed to win the stage having attacked early on in the day’s main escape, then struck out alone in the final 20 kilometres. It was a fine win for a team worker who last year rode all three major Tours, Spain, Italy and France.

Wiggins, who detests wet and cold conditions such as these, had not looked at his ease as the stage progressed, dropping behind on the later descents and appearing to become irritated when the race television camera sat alongside him to capture his sufferings. He was already a little way behind the other overall contenders when he lost control on a tight right-hander during the descent from the final climb of the day, San Silvestro. The need to catch up probably played its part.

He slid briefly, and was rapidly back on his bike, but he did not look comfortable. He took the remaining bends at a pace more befitting a cycle tourist and had to wait until the foot of the descent before receiving any help from his two team-mates, the Colombians Sergio Henao and Rigoberto Urán, who had himself had an awkward-looking tangle of wheels on a climb earlier on. Even then, Wiggins looked to be struggling to stay with the pair.

———

“Can you remember a Giro that’s finished without the riders coming home with a tan?” Nibali said. “The weather made the race all the more difficult. But I sincerely believe that if there had been more climbs the result would have been the same. I felt I had the edge over the others.”

Evans agreed that the Sicilian was a worthy champion, and said he would now concentrate on the Tour.

“Beating Nibali with the kind of form he was in was always going to be difficult,” said Evans. “Now I’ll prepare for the Tour. That’s the big objective of the team this year.”

Cavendish, meanwhile, finished a triumphant campaign in style by dominating a hectic sprint for the finish on a tight circuit to take his victory tally on the race to 15.

The Isle of Man rider came into the race expected to dominate most of the five sprint finishes, especially in the absence of a number of top rivals.

He won the opening stage in Naples and stages 6, 12, 13 and 21.

“I’m delighted, really happy,” Cavendish said in Italian.

The Omega Pharma sprinter, who also has 23 stage wins on the Tour de France and three from the Vuelta a España, also secured the race’s red jersey for the points competition.

Carlos Betancur (Ag2r La Mondiale), meanwhile, secured the race’s white jersey for the best-placed rider aged 25 or under.

He took the jersey from Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) after his fourth-place finish on Saturday’s epic 20th stage, when the peloton climbed through a blizzard to the finish.

Betancur finished in fifth place overall

British Road Cycling Championship – quick patch it up


The British road cycling championship takes place next month in Glasgow – 23rd June. I was expecting the roads to be fixed up and true to form the patches are being ironed out – they better make it smooth otherwise there is going to be some blood on Gibson Street.