Friday, January 12, 2018

New Year... Same Me. Now, Next, Later.

Nothing much changes in my world from one year to the next.
I'm not one for making resolutions, if I need changes in my life I just get on and make them. One year just rolls into the next without much fanfare, in much the same way that one day rolls into the next.

I've got a lot going on at the moment. Work is currently dominating most of my time, however The Strathpuffer is looming large on my immediate horizon - January 20th-21st -and I'll be following that with a nifty three week jaunt to Nepal.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

2017 review. All or nothing.

It hardly seems possible that exactly a year ago today, shortly after returning from a 3 month trip to Nepal, I took ownership of my very own 6.4 acre parcel of ancient woodland. 
For the most part it has been a labour of love and an absolute joy... for the most part. (See here amongst other posts).
I do seem to have spent an awful lot of time at work in between trips away, and an awful lot of time working in the wood too (but that's a good thing). You can't enjoy the kind of travel that I do without working very hard to pay for it.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Rumble in the Jungle 2017.

“Do you fancy going out to Sri Lanka for The Rumble?” was a bolt out of the blue from my friend, the Race Director at Yak Attack(MTB Worldwide), Phil Evans. “In fact we’re going out three weeks early to recce the trails if you fancy that too?” was his second question.
“Erm… not sure. I’d like to… err… fuck it, yeah” My initial hesitation was due to the fact that I had an impending shoulder operation (which I’ve been putting off for four years) and really I needed to get it done. However, the “fuck it” principle came into effect and bypassed any modicum of common sense.
The timing was also perfect, I was working away in London and we would be flying out exactly a week after my contract finished.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The sound of silence. Yak Attack 2017,

For the first time in a while I was riding alone and I was enjoying the solitude and the simple pleasure of spinning the pedals at a natural pace. I rolled to a halt, mesmerised by the same view that had stopped me in my tracks exactly a year earlier. The low sun cast shadows across layers of barren mountain summits. Nothing stirred. Nary a parched leaf rustling on a twisted shrub, nor the bellow of livestock could be heard on this windless day.
There are few places in the modern world where it's possible to hear nothing, nothing at all, the sound of silence. Nepal's sparsely populated Forbidden Kingdom - The Upper Mustang - a high altitude desert, is one of them, and it is intoxicating. I wanted to stand there forever and bathe in its glory. The electrifying, exhilarating, intoxicating sound of absolute silence.
Alas I couldn't, I had work to do. I pushed on the pedals, the gentle crunch of rubber on dirt seemed almost deafening.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Who's afraid of the Big Bad Yak?

The Yak Attack - the worlds highest mountain bike race - has something of a fearsome reputation; I'm about to shatter a few myths... well, kind of.
It seems that a lot of people are discouraged from entering because they think it is too hard for them. I'm going to tell you that it's not.
If you are reading this then you are probably considering entering so you've come to the right place. If you are a mountain biker and you're not considering it then maybe you should, it is one of those great, but ultimately achievable, life goals that will change the way you think about yourself and the world forever. Plus you will become one of only a tiny group of people that can say that they have, and you'll walk away with some lifelong memories (and friends) and a bunch of pictures that will make everyone you know green with envy.
Like this one for example: 

Wouldn't it be nice to have this hanging on the wall at home?