Sunday, February 16, 2014

A return to blogging

I have been thinking about making a return to this for a while. More so to keep track of my Canadian adventure so in years to come I can read back and say, wow- that really did happen! I am six months behind though so will have to play catch up! There have been a number of highlights and very few low lights since I moved to Whistler.

I arrived on August 7th, picked up my two year visa, new Devinci Dixon carbon bike and headed straight to Whistler. I probably didn't give myself enough time to prepare for Crankwrox 2013. I had a couple of practice runs and quickly realised I was out of my debt and resorted to "I just wanna finish this thing, I've come so far".

I wrote this little write up of Crankworx at the time so best stick with the first hand account! Sometimes I look at my times and think, what if I had been able to practice the stages? What if I had been fitter ? What if I was a baller, a little bit taller? We'll see next year :-D

Well I missed the MAD enduro wrecking crew but made the best of it :-) Congrats to all the deadly results in the GE, I hear Lavelle won a one way flight to Canada for his efforts?! Savage results by Scott, MarkG and Martin also. Deadly to see the MAD lads knocking on the door of the podium in a predominantly DH sport. Sure we're only a little XC club ;-) 

Crankworx Enduro was made up of 5 stages- 1 and 2 on the bike park side of the mountain but not in the bike park and 3 and 4 on another mountain with a biatch of a climb up to each of them. 5 was the 'top of the world' trail seen below ALLLLL the way to the bottom taking a load of the bike park trails. 1500m descent on stage 5 alone.... that one was gonna hurt!!! As you probably saw from the Barel fiasco, the organisers were taking things VERY serious. Organisation was brilliant thought with free Clif shots/bars/gels at the end of every stage.

I practiced on the Friday and did a couple of hours on Saturday before the hands start blistering so just rested up the rest of Sat. All in all, it went really well for me. It was setup the same as Sauze with start times for each stage printed on your top tube. I dropped in the SRAM start ramp with a dude from Isle of Man at 9am. This was the first obstacle, there wasn't anything too difficult about the start ramp but it was pretty steep and 4 people (while I waited) SNOTTED themselves off the bottom of it. I got my little interview in with Brett Tippie and was luckily off without a crash. (Tippie is mental, don't take drugs kids)

Compared to Sauze? I don't think there was as much climbing overall but the climbs in the middle of the stages were painfully tough. Only 45seconds in length but almost vertically up and then you were assured some mad rock roller on the other side. The descents were definitely more technical than Sauze but the time allowances were much more generous with 30min waits at the top of each stage to get your shit together. I rode everything without any crashes and pretty smooth- just trying to get through it to be honest. Stage 5 killed my arms altogether and I just had to hold on for dear life for the second 2/3s down. The climb up to stage 4 took about 1.5 hours so I decided not to practice it (READ:Scriv was hungover from Friday night....) I asked people what it was like on race day and the consensus was that it was the most technical and to just hold on. 

I audibly screamed OHHH SHITTTT as I rolled over this yoke which just gave the hecklers ammunition as they went insane. About 5 seconds later I hit the berm at the bottom and somehow made it down. Think of the suicide line on Romper except 5 times longer, steeper and with rooty steps the whole way down. No chance I would have ridden it had I known. I heard later that there was a chicken line to the right.... Some buzz!!

Stage 5 done and dusted, I was fairly shtoked. I'd had a clean day, maybe not the quickest but the arm/hand power just isn't there yet. I finished up 24 out of 45 starters with the vast majority of them being local bike bums. The 3 guys behind me worked as bike guides for the mountain actually so I was never going to compete with any of them. If I'm around next year, I'd love to give it another shot and be able to ride it as opposed to just getting through. The Devinci is some beast... saved me on so many occasions when I was ploughing through the most stupid rocky line I could find. No bother to it at all and pedals great. Not too different to my old Evo to be honest. 

This guy was looking for MAD membership last night but I told him Davey has closed membership, maybe IMBRC would take him? Really good to have my Crankworx finished with so I can get on with enjoying the rest of the events. Slope and Style on Saturday was out of this world- front flips, back flips... mind blowing. DH on tomorrow (tues) so lookout for me on hecklers rock!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

I just realised I've never spoken about Squeezy products here! They're gluten free, coeliac/diabetic friendly and consequently really easy on the stomach! I'm in the process of doing up a new price list so drop me a mail if you'd like to try some: Checkout my Squeezy page:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Leinster League Round 1 (2) Glendalough

I was a bit apprehensive about this one. I had visions of being left behind on the first lap, had I done enough hard training, miles, did I turn on Strava enough?

The course down there is truly spectacular. Maybe the best race course I've ever ridden? It was made up of pretty much all technical singletrack with a savage switchback climb, loads of well made boardwalk.

After a pre ride, I went about trying to sell my Squeezy stock. I learnt a lot about what people expect and are looking for. I'm definitely going to change my tactics for next time. What got me thinking was, I don't go into Spar and say, "I might buy that new Cadburys bar, but I'll need a sample one before considering it" But I guess that's the nature of a new brand.

Anyway, I got a great start and was sitting comfortably in the top 3 up the first climb. I was feeling really good on the singletrack and was actually really enjoying it! I had decided on the pre ride that I was going to take a sketchy ladder drop that would save me a few seconds. On my second time down it, I think my front tyre burped a bit of air. Not the end of the world I thought, it's just a bit soft but rides okayish. As the lap progressed, I lost a place due to nursing the bike down the descent. I pulled over to find the tyre totally deflated and my co2/foam shit did absolutely nothing. That put an end to my first big race of the season, damn.

I've been fairly lucky/ well prepared for mechanicals over the years so I can't complain too much. I really should have had a proper Co2 which would have saved my race. Lesson learned! I did a savage spin out to the mountains from home today- I'm feeling good and dying to rip the face off Bunclody!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blitz 2, Ballyhoura- Squeezy Introduced

I was keen to get down to this one as I’ve never ridden the trails and had heard they are really good. I made it down in a little over two hours and after a nice sleep, headed out for a warm up with series contender, MarkG. He told me the course was very up and down so I was going to find it difficult to know where to go hard as I would be riding blind. As we stood on the start line, hale started hammering down! It looked a lot worse than it was though as once we got going it was grand.

I took it easy off the line and got into the singletrack in around 15th. Over the 35km I made up a few positions and lost two. The trails are really brilliant down there with the entire loop almost entirely singletrack! One of the sections in particular is like a roller coaster with small table tops and humps that launch you a fair height. My only gripe about the place is the boardwalks. They're long, slow and just dangerous. The slick wood is incredibly slippy when wet so riding them is just a matter of getting across unscathed rather then any fun. A bit of chicken wire wouldn't go amiss!

After an hour 45mins, I finished in 10th place. The race was pretty uneventful. I felt good and pushed pretty hard but I wasn’t that tired afterwards. I guess the lack of racers around me and the fact I didn’t know when the end was coming probably sucked some of the eagerness out of me. I’m feeling alright on the bike and these Blitzs have been a brilliant way to get the race fitness up before the Leinster League/ NPS starts.

I’ve recently become Leinster sales rep for a company called Their full catalogue is online but I’m particular impressed with their gels (caffeine and non caffeine), recovery bars (dead ringer for Nestle Milkyway) and energy drink concentrate. For me, energy food must have three attributes:

1. Good value- I’m not going to shell out €2+ for a little sachet of sugar
2. The numbers add up- Squeezy’s nutritional values stand up (and in many cases exceed) other players out there
3. It’s gotta taste good and more importantly be easy on the stomach! I have some diagnosed stomach problems and whereas the gels I was using had me cramping after races last year, these go down easy.

I’ve got a good lot of samples that I can give out, just mail me at

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Intervarsity Report

The intervarsities are always important. They show the college that they're not funding us for nothing and it's a great way to pay them back for all the support they give by winning it. With this, I put down a good 10 weeks of training prior to Sunday in the hope of retaining my title.

After a really good warm up, I was feeling great and went off very fast from the gun. As it was just one lap (half of the race distance/time I usually do) I knew I could go all out without the fear of fizzling out. I rode at my limit for the first half of the lap and enjoyed the second half having chats with people as I went. I was delighted to finish in first and under 50minutes which is a PB for me in the 'stoe.

A huge thanks has to go to Niall Davis in He always runs a great race and undertaking the running of the varsities is very cool of him. The next race is Blitz Round 2 in Ballyhoura in two weeks. I'm looking forward to it already!

The money shot!

Monday, February 13, 2012

University Championships this Sunday

I've been doing a good bit of training the past few weeks in prepatation for a good result this Sunday. I put in two way quicker training laps of the race loop last week than I did racing it last year so at least I'm in a better place than then. We'll see on Sunday!