Unload bike. Put helmet on. Set off. Turn right up the short path. Always muddy. Open gate. Head down, short climb for 30 minutes. Reach the bit where the shepherd's caves are. take the path that goes right. Fast downhill. Track made by sheep. Climb again, this time for longer. Hard going. Reach the Tryg point (high point). Catch breath. Take in the view. Pedal off the top. Fast downhill. Spray from the grass keeps me cool. Through the rocks. Past the bogs on the right. Watch out for those big divets. Smile like a child all the way down. Reach the bottom. Can taste the mud. It's back across the side of the mountain. Legs getting tired. Steady climb for a while. Up through the mud and the bogs. Reach the last high point. Set off down the well-defined sheep track. Watch the big slippery rock boulders. Hit brakes in time to stop at gate. Then it's onto the road at the bottom. Ride along the road for a short while. Back where I started from. Load bike up. Get changed out of wet gear. Two and a half hours. 22K covered. Feeling good. Tired legs. A beer earned.
Who wouldn’t want to ride like him?
Who wouldn’t want his stories?
Who wouldn’t want his love of life?
Maybe he should have trained more.
Maybe he should have won more.
Maybe he should have partied less.
Maybe he should have gone to bed early the night before a race.
But half measures aren’t his thing. You just have to see him sing karaoke in his van to understand that.
And he’s going downhill fast.
Thanks loads for the invite to your special day on the cliff at Whitesands, I heard by all accounts it was a beautiful day. Everybody here who went said it was one of the best weddings they had been to and fun was had by all.
I had every intention of coming along, I even got my suit out the boot of the car, where it had been languishing since the last wedding I went to and gave it a spray with some Fabreeze in readiness. I was even looking forward to it.
Unfortunately things changed on the Friday before your wedding when the chart, pressure, wind direction, all that rubbish, for the Saturday looked particularly good and I realised that a rarely breaking wave would be working. In other words I went surfing.
I realise as I’m writing this how selfish I sound and I’m not very proud of myself, but in my shoddy and very weak defence it was supposed to be the last decent swell of the summer.
If I’m invited, I promise I’ll make it to your next big important event, well when I say promise it kinda depends on, well, you know… Sorry
What could be better than being right next to the place I love to go kayaking, or surfing, biking or just chilling?
Having everything we need for a weekend in the van saves time (very precious). Waking up in the van and not remembering where you are at first and then slowly as you wake-up, realising the sun is beating down already making the van warm, the sound of waves lapping the coastline, insects are buzzing and then I open the door, it's so beautiful, I can't help feel excited and lucky. And we have a whole day to enjoy it. In the spring and summer that's what we do.
When the weather is sunny, we load up the van, and head down to the beach or up to the mountain's and we just live the life we work for.
So this summer why not just stuff your bag with overnight stuff, head to the sea or fields, sleep
under the stars, wake up to a dawn chorus and
put the camping kettle on for a brew.
Went to hospital the other day to have a check-up on my broken wrist. They checked it and my wrist is still broken.
The bone circled is my scaphoid. It's one of the little bones in the wrist that gives rotation. It's got a very limited blood supply so takes a long time to heal.
At the moment mine is in two bits that are desperately trying to get back together. It's promising to see that they are at least trying though. Should be back to normal in 6-8 months.
When things go wrong we sometimes search for someone or something to lay the blame on.
I can't find anyone or anything.
Can't blame the coach
Can't blame the manager
Can't blame the crowd
Can't blame the ref
Can't blame the linesman
Can't blame the defender
Can't blame the goalkeeper
Can't blame the fly-half,
the winger or the striker
Can only blame myself.
Skateboarding ain't a team sport.
I love playing in water. Whether it's swimming, white water rafting, canoe-ing, rowing or surfing, and it's mainly meant getting wet, cold and smiling
a lot. My dad used to call me his little mermaid and I think there was something in that, because I just feel at home in the water, although I have to say I have never looked like a little mermaid, more like a drowned rat.
If it's cold and I use up a lot of energy I smile even more, it means I can throw on a chunky jumper, woolly socks, a beanie to cover my wet tangles of hair and whilst glowing in my coldness and fingers tingling, I can sip a cuppa tea or hot chocolate and enjoy the feeling, knowing that I achieved something I never have be-fore, or I managed to make it back to shore when at one stage I thought I could not, or because I caught the best wave I ever had.
It's not just the sport on, or in, the water that makes me feel great, it's everything else too. Loading up the van with kit, canoes, surf boards, boogie boards, warm stuff just in case it's cold, a waterproof just in case it rains, a flask of hot stuff to warm my insides, rations to give me energy (chocolate of course) and it's also exciting planning where to go and who we're meeting up with on the way. I don't always know where I'm going; sometimes I just head down to the water with my man in our camper van, looking for good waves to surf or a crystal blue, mirror like sea to explore or some swell smashing against the cliffs.
I really love canoeing; I've been doing it for 10 years now in several different disciplines, now I can pick and choose whichever suits my mood. I learnt in plastic play boats, paddling in white water, just staying out of trouble with luck more than experience. There wasn't much in the way of white water where I used to live so I went onto sprint and marathon canoeing in unstable, long carbon Kevlar boats, technically pretty hard to paddle but I couldn't get enough of the training and tactics you needed to race, it was very competitive and I ended up competing nationally. I ate, slept, and dreamt it for a while, even feeling the water underneath me as I lay in my bed, I was addicted.
Now I do it to enjoy this time and space, living by the sea is fantastic, it seems you are so close to the elements, not shielded from the wind and rain, actually in a funny way I am drawn into it. The sea always leaves me with a huge sense of awe at how massive it is, it tells me every time in one way or another to respect it as it pulls and pushes me around, capable of carrying me out to sea if I go too far left or right at the wrong time.
I know when I've had a good day on the water, I have stories to tell about
where I've been, what I saw and how scared or amazed I've been and, when my head finally hits the pillow, I fall asleep without even thinking about it except for just a warm glow and a smile across my face.
Text by Mel Farmer
Come wine gums
Come puking in hedges
Come more mountains
Come pee-ing in ditches
Come the wall
They keep on coming.
Adventure Racing Team - Sleepmonsters battle-testing our merino base layers.