Where do I start??
I've been meaning to put an update online for a while but haven't got round to it so now i've got loads to hit you with! So either log off now - or sit back and relax...
I'll start at the beginning, in early december I headed out to spain to take in some trail riding in the warm, dusty sierra nevada foot hills. I took my orange 5 as I thought it would be best to do a bit of pedalling as well as dh, little did I know we'd be in for quite a lot of pedalling and climbing! It was great though and just what the body needed as I had been getting lazy, the trails are ace and loads of fun ranging from sandy and drifty gravel to solid bedrock, but all bathed in sun which is a nice novelty for a welshman in the winter... Big shout out to Simon from Freeride Spain for showing us around.
So then it was xmas and having left my xmas shopping until xmas eve it was far too good an offer to turn down a festive mini bike session - so that was it, no shopping for me! Got me well into the mini again though, I love thrashing the beast (pardon the expression) and it followed on to be a christmas day blast and boxing day enduro, ah they were good days, looking at her stripped down skeleton now she's a shadow of her former self. You see the last two weeks have been hard on my bikes and tougher on my wallet!
I smashed into a rock, right at the start of some motos on the mini with my mates and chewed second gear, I thought bollox to that I'll carry on riding it and despite some truly horrible noises coming out of the motor it managed to keep going for half an hour and I was keeping up with the boys, even giving them some hassle in the turns, when all of a sudden, she died big time! 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th all smashed and chewed to smitherines so now it's upgrade time and a itchyfanny500 motor is coming my way staight from the finest chinese cheese factory, hopefully this cheese is slightly tougher than the brie in the previous model.
This had hit me as a harder blow due to my hamfisted mechanicing on my mx bike only a couple of days earlier when I stripped the thread in the casing of the engine for the oil drain bolt, in fact the bolt is staring me in the face right now next to my computer as I write this! I'd just like to say why don't manufacturers make everything so that you can do them up as tight as humanly possible without them breaking? It would make me and a whole load of farmers happy and would mean that: a) things don't fall apart. b) I don't get shit of my mates for being a crap mechanic. and c) we don't have to fork out 100 quid for a torque wrench!
Anyway until that day I'm looking staight at 2 extremely fun to ride bikes rendered completely useless.
Ok next, deep breath
well xmas and boxing day were good, next it was a week off the bike and some gratuitous indulgence in Ireland, I headed over with a group of friends on a 5 day stop including new years in Dublin, good place, good people and good beer. I came back a lot poorer and with some exercise well overdue, oh and I also came all the way back from Dublin on the back of a vehicle recovery truck, that's about £1500 worth of recovery service right there and all because everywhere was shut over new year and couldn't sort my brakes out - a repair that cost 90 quid when I got home! Ah well shit happens, If anyone wants to buy a van..... probably not really selling this to you am I? Or a mini bike engine!
My company have been working on a couple of new downhill courses that will make up a new practice venue
and will probably make their way onto the race scene soon enough. I've had Nikki Whiles and Shaun Bevan on board looking after duties whilst I was working on another projest alongside and fair play to the boys they've done well. We're all pretty chuffed with the results, I can't give too much away right now as the courses are closed but be sure I'll update you here when I can.
That other project - is the cause of my square eyes, headaches and lack of exercise over the past couple of months, I'm working on a european guide book which will be published in time for this summer, it's going pretty well although timescales are super tight as ever. Hopefully it will turn out a must buy for any keen rider, so we can broaden your horizons and help to get you away from the queues in some of the overcrowded resorts.
That's it for me, I'm off for a late night skate park session to unwind... Keep it lit!