Friday, May 30, 2008

One year on.

Last sunday was the 26th May and Steffi and my first wedding anniversary, ahhhh. To celebrate we hooked up with various rag-tag ruffian types in an absolutely unique camping spot on the Mumbles in South Wales, determined to beat the weather and have a good time!

To say the camping spot was remote was no joke as it involved a 5 min walk down a muddy hill with savage (if you're Steffi) horses and then further into the woods at the bottom of this hill, along a track to a beautiful glade near a 'lake' surrounded by rhododendrons. Perfect. Except for the long walk up to the loos! Phil got lost for the best part of a day trying to locate it...



Friday night was spent arriving, digging lots of hardcore if you'd grounded your car down the muddy hill, like Daryl and Linzee, ferrying camping equipment in a wheelbarrow, lighting fires, catching up and drinking a bit too much!


Saturday dawned and we waited for the safe hour of 10 before becoming active. Then it was the start of the meat fest, as cooked brekkies were fried and preparations for Three Cliffs Bay were swung into action. The sun was shining and the beach was as empty as ever, but it wasn't long before we were making it dangerous with gusty kite 'flying' and general tom foolery! The sensible, mature ones amongst us went climbing with all the knowledge of a brief stolen glance at someone else's' guide book - steering us away from the 'nice line' E4 6a route that we could have taken!



We climbed two routes, the first a Vdif and the second a longer and more sustained VS route (possibly S) - both excellent. All the while, below us, some mysterious and ambitious sand sculptury was taking place. Quite impressive, as the picture shows. Small boys were employed in judging and a ceremonial naming of 'Ben', the winning boat/shark combo was declared! It looked amazing from our climb viewpoint.





Sat Night was spent cooking amazing amounts of BBQ food, fire assembling, Guitar playing, tarp building (60ft sq trap over the whole camp social area, should keep sundays's rain out!) and not drinking in prep for some of the boys to ride at Afan in the morning. The games also came out in force! Someone needs to keep Sayers away from the E-numbers and Panda Cola!

After a quite seriously offensive hour long debrief on why Daryl thought the front linkage affair on Anthony's borrowed bike was rubbish, its not surprising that Anthony used his head and stayed in bed, missing the absolute soaking that Chris Daryl and I got on The Wall. Superb hack including Chris disappearing off one of the steep trail side bits and going about 25ft! Ticket!! Seriously, though, thats an 1hr30-3hr trail and we did it in 1hr 40 and had to walk up a few of the climbs as my back is so knackered I was finding it too painful to grind - must be getting better at going down! ;P


Our 7:30 am start, so we weren't too missed by the girls was wasted as on finishing our ride (to a cold shower!!!), we were informed that they'd only just got to the water park where they terrorised the local children! Never mind, a relaxed and BBQ fueled evening unfolded, whilst Rich, Lys Anna and Rich took the more civilized route to the local pub... All round enjoyment and more game fueled Gem!


Monday was pack up and dodge the rain day. A fierce storm blew in and we were glad we'd been out of the wind in the trees at the bottom of the hill. As the final wheelbarrow of kit went up the hill, the heavens opened and we left soaked and smiling!

Steffi and I headed to Bath and enjoyed visiting Sam's listed gaff and seeing all the work hes done there (LOTS) and then went into town for a relaxed evening meal and day together in the spa! Amazing!


Thanks everyone, we had an amazing weekend!!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Holmburry ride...

The area around Holmburry Hill may very well be part of the Bermuda Triangle. More specifically, Peaslake. Every time I try to get there to ride, I end up in a warren of tracks, circling around whilst trying to map read and stay out of the hedges... Maybe its all part of a Government conspiracy to keep the numbers down before the the introduction of a MTB based stealth tax, like in Hong Kong?

After various alcoholic assaults the night before, from the Pompey FA cup pubs, to me getting involved in a whiskey and tequila 'tasting' session at Ant's birthday BBQ, it was amazing that we all showed up on time at a rammed Peaslake car park, ready to ride!





Starting off, we hit the classic Y-Pots - it was dry, rooty and great fun, blasting the cobwebs away and getting thoroughly stuck in. After some faff and Daryl producing printed out directions, we got lost and saw some new trails, Yanis hemeraged tools and Daryl kicked a rock, before finding our way over to the reservoir and BKB. This produced huge grins all round as the pace was fast and super engaging. I had a little root induced trip to the floor, but it was all good and we hiked straight back up to run the whole shebang again.



After the hike and a quick stop for refreshments, we hit the same loop and took some photos. We took the route down Telegraph Road after Y-P and almost ran smack into some weirdy beardy who refused to get off the trail even when presented with five bikers at speed. All his friends had stepped politely off the trail to let us through but he obviously owned that stretch. Daryl was ready to fight.

Anyway. A few new trails at the bottom of T-R for me and then back to run BKB and take some of the photos. Really good day out. Some of the most bizare driving was witnessed on the way out, but again, I think that was a government social experiment...



PS. Daryl has bought all sorts of new things for his bike at mated rates and refuses to share the love. What a scumbag!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dorset-Bank Holiday Camping

Howdy, a bit late this post but I now have photos as well...

Gem, me (Daryl), Steve and Gemma all zinged our way down to Langton Matravers again on the Friday for a spot of camping and climbing-complete with Steve's fabulous new invention-the pizza oven in a barbecue! After setting up and having a bit of food and a fire we retired fairly early on Friday to set oursleves up for Sat. Saturday morning saw the arrival of Chrissi, Gareth, Dan, Michelle and we all set off for Winspit. With 4 of us climbing and the other 4 favouring the walk to a pub approach to extreme sports. Steve and I had a good crack at quite a few routes and the wrist didn't seem to slow me up at all. We started with a 6a which I toproped-beautiful! We then did a couple of 5's another 6a, also tried a 6a+ by the name of Rampant Love Jugs and then I rounded the day out with a nice tall climb back in the main quarry-complete with loose block on the final crux...

Steve on route in corner


Textbook belaying

testing the wrist


Burgler on the roof

We met the others back at the pub who certainly seemed to be enjoying the cider-especially gareth! We then retreated to camp to meet up with Sophie and George. Had a game of French cricket with some youngsters-who Gareth educated with some colourful language. Sterling effort there son...

We then repeated the whole fire, drinking, talking rubbish (especially Gareth) process again and the headed down to Headbury the next morning for some more climbing where we tackled a grade 1-TASTY..Gem and george flew up this and then the grade 2/3 next to it before rain stopped play for lunch. The rain seemed to be set in so we abandoned the climbing in favour of another fire back at camp and a chance to really test out the pizza oven-which created some of the best tasting pizza ever. Good effort on that creation Steve, and watch this space for future developments of the barby...........

Gem flying

Oven complete with Thermostat

Fire-I'm burning

What a creation

Monday, May 12, 2008

Woburn. My back Yard.

Thats right, my very underused back yard. Its all a bit fragmented and you can never rely on the state of any of the building, but it is what it is and good for session-ing.


We started off with a warm up xc type ride thingy which got the blood pumping and sweat drenching as it was absolutely boiling! Nice to ride fast, dry trails at maximum pace on spec and good driftability. After a favorite blast through the yellow gauze and the bloodied forearms that that entails, we started sessioning the jumps and little down hill runs... V good fun it was too and I had a look at a medium sized gap/step down thing but decided against it before witnessing a guy absolutely monster the big road gap. awesome. We hit the hip jump which I hadn't ridden before and it was really smooth. Did some filming and advanced the trick bag with Chris's no footers and my small one handers. All good.
Bad shot below but it kinda illustrates.


Back home for BBQ, beer and relaxing. Good luck Chris and Kate on their Chalet meeting, today!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Been very quiet on the posting front as all sorts of busyness has kept me/us from doing the things we like to do and share... I have found a sweet local spot where a mate of mine rides his trials bike (motorbike) and I intend to start building some stuff there, so I will keep you posted. I have entered into next year's London Marathon (Suppress laughter, now) with Ant, Gav and Daryl although its a bit of a lottery, but training will commence with fury next week, honest. We have done some more work on the house and have almost finished (pics may follow), the cat is bigger and all are looking forward to the Alps trip in Aug.

I did the exhausting Made in Brunel shoot over the weekend and it was top, nice work, guys, I intend to attend this year.

Daryl and crew went to the south coast climbing/camping so I'D LIKE TO SEE THE PICTURES OF WHAT I MISSED. Sorry, didn't realise about the caps there - too lazy to change. Afan is on the horizon, too. Will get on it.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Japan Snowboarding

This was ages ago now, but at Easter myself and a few friends went on a splendid jolly to Japan for 10 days. While we were there, Jono and myself managed to nip off to the Japanese Alps near Nagano (home of the 1998 Winter Olympics) for a couple of days of extreme sports. It was good, but my ribs still hurt a bit.

Me looking rad

Jono looking nearly as rad as me

Japanese Alps, Hakuba