Where to start when so much has happened?
A quick summary of the highlights:
My first 12 hour race, albeit in a team. I have to do more of these races! The atmosphere was great, our shop/team 29er Bike Shop had a stand which made for a cozy place to hang out between laps. We also made sure that we were flying the 28+ flag proudly with Travers, Borealis, and Surly all represented. I liked the idea of going out for a couple of rounds, riding as fast as possible and then sitting for the next 3-4 hrs relaxing and eating. This style of racing did make me forget a little about my energy needs while riding and resulted in me hitting the wall half way through my 4th lap. I literally ran out of sugar. I thought it was possible to just ride through it but after having trouble focussing on the track for about 10min and feeling like I was about to start hallucinating. I found two solo riders that had stopped for a piss and asked if I could scrounge a gel. It saved my day! I didn’t think much of my chances of making it out of that place alive without that sweet shot of glucose. But I did, I slowly returned to life and finished my lap without further problems. Aside from this the day was fantastic and I am very much looking forward to returning, hopefully next time I can convince a few more single speeders to join.
I could get used to this 12 hour racing thing
Dutch Single Speed Championships
Again another lovely race. I think what I am liking about being so behind in my blog posts is the fact that now, as the temperature is starting to drop I get to sit and reminisce over what was a pretty amazing summer. This weekend was definitely one of the highlights. It was well organized, relaxed and most importantly the riding was great. I was really surprised at the quality of riding in Holland. It reminded me a lot of Denmark but with better flow and almost none of those cursed roots. The course it’s self was pretty short, but with some well chosen little sections and lots of climbing 🙂 I was a little concerned about the level of competition that I was up against at the start of the race but as my lead slowly grew I started to spend more and more time at the non-compulsary beer stop. We did some great riding this weekend and I am waiting with great anticipation to see what Pieter pulls out of his hat for the Dutch Champs next year.
Singlespeeding, it is a grown up affair
Welcome to Holland
One of the many ordeals that Pieter had to go through to win the right to the Championships next year
The proud host of the 2015 DSSC
It is all fun and games untill someone busts out the whiskey…
Oh, and we did race at some point
Heading home with the essentials
Cycle Messenger European Championships
After the pre-event in Copenhagen, Viking Quest, myself and 5 others rode to Stockholm for the 2014 Messenger Europeans. This resulted in three days of stunning riding though the Swedish countryside, with me vowing to come back again soon, I really can’t recommend it highly enough as a bike packing destination.
Such sweet smiling faces, for now…
Some rode with bags on their backs
Oh! The lakes!
The path less travelled…
Never got tired of the lakes
Welcome to Sweden
Travelling in style (and it was free!!)
I wasn’t as immersed in the Championships as I usually am (New York in ’05 was 2 weeks of couch surfing, riding, partying, watching the sun rise, repeat) This time I had the luxury of staying on an island in Stockholm with an old and good friend, Blomman, and commuting to the races by boat. I won the uphill sprint as I had anticipated I might, but the real surprise came in the main race. I have never claimed to be a very good messenger and was never that great at the main races either (tearing round a race course designed to simulate a city delivering packages) but felt if I kept my head cool I might have a chance. I kept it cool for about one lap before I pushed it too hard and started to melt. By the time I got it under control again I figured that I had lost my window of opportunity and it became more about the fun than anything.
After the race we had no idea who had won. Though after, when I compared Strava results with another rider, Gangsta, he had ridden 41km in the same time that I had ridden 51km. I thought after that chart maybe it had been ok after all. We were due to drive back to Copenhagen straight after the prize giving that night, which, as it does at these things was both running late and got a bit drawn out. Towards the end as I could see us getting home later and later I was regretting staying till the bitter end. Well that was till my name got called out as the new European Champion. I think I was more shocked than anyone.
More to follow…