Tag Archives: cyclocross

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Scottish cycling podcast 11: Motivation and why we cycle

I have been on a little hiatus with the podcast and it’s related to my cycling – I haven’t been riding much, other than the daily commute – and hence I haven’t been podcasting as much either.

With the podcast, I’m inspired when I’m at races or events, either because there are people to talk to and record interviews with, or because I get ideas. I haven’t been at many events so hence the lack of podcasting.

Have you ever lost your mojo on the bike? Have you ever lost your motivation for cycling, whether that’s training and racing, riding with your club or just riding your bike for leisure or pleasure?

When that happens, one way to get over it is to ‘just get back out there and ride’ – do do whatever you can, for as short a distance or at as slow a speed as is needed, just in order to get back out there.

So that’s what this podcast will be – a rough first draft – as a writer might call it – unedited and unpolished – just to get something out there. I’ll probably get a bit philosophical as I fly solo and explore the topic of motivation and cycling.

In my last show I reviewed my new cyclocross race bike and with the season underway, my plan was to do a few Scottish cyclocross events.

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Scottish cycling podcast 10: cyclocross set-up with The Bike Haus

In this episode I’m talking equipment choices, course conditions and other cyclocross stuff with Mark Allan of The Bike Haus, who set up my new Kinesis CX Race bike recently.

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Mark, me and the new bike

Listen on itunes or via the audio below:

My first cyclocross race bike was a Kinesis Crosslight FiveT with mudguard eyelets and bottle bosses – it has now been repurposed as a commuter:

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Scottish cycling podcast 6: Dig In cyclocross and marketing events

In this episode, I’m at the Dig In At the Dock cyclocross race and take in the atmosphere before racing it. As the cross season wraps up, I share my thoughts about what is successful about this event today and how it grew in popularity to the level it is at. What elements of this race could be incorporated into your club’s event?

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Listen on itunes , in your podcast app of choice, on soundcloud or using the player below.

Again the audio is not perfect – apologies and thanks for sticking with me. I’m looking at getting better mics!
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Scottish cycling podcast 5: cyclocross with Dave Hamill

In this show I recorded a chat about cyclocross event organisation and the cx scene in Scotland generally with Dave Hamill who runs the Dig In at the Dock race, held this year on 26th February. We recorded at Rouken Glen at the end of January, which was race 1 of a 4-part series called the Super Quaich.

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Listen on itunes or using the soundcloud audio below.


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Scottish cycling podcast 3: my 2016 predictions

After my last episode at the Scottish cyclocross champs I got some great feedback and discussion on Facebook in the Scottish cyclocross group. I was really pleased to see this – I’m not aiming to be controversial for the sake of it, or to draw attention, but to raise constructive discussion points and this is what happened, so thans everyone who commented.

I thought I would keep the run going with an ‘inbetweenisode’ – just me talking. Tis the season to make woefully inaccurate prognostications, but I’m not much of a gambler, so I’ve gone for a few fairly safe predictions for the Scottish cycling scene in 2016.

Blogger Spokedoke has posted his view of how the future of cycling will look and this is a good look at the way things are changing in international pro road cycling.

  • ASO V UCI
  • Light weight bikes with the removal of 6.8kg rule
  • How this might affect:
    •    Disc brakes on road bikes
    •    Power meters
  • Thought on Rio Olympics and how athletics doping crisis may affect things

In the podcast, I delve into my humble predictions for the coming year with a Scotland-centric hat on.

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Scottish cycling podcast: Plean cyclocross and Andy Rafferty

I have recorded my first Scottish cycling podcast.

I’m planning to look at broad topics in Scottish cycling, rather than race previews or news. I hope to get some interesting in-depth interviews that can help everyone from club riders to aspiring racers, and from committee volunteers to event organisers get the most out of the sport.

The stilted intro to this show makes me cringe but I’d rather get things up and running than chew my fingernails over perfecting the audio and format. Let me know what you think!

Or listen to the Scottish cycling podcasts in iTunes

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Instincts, crashes and cyclocross starts

Sometimes it’s all about instinct. This striking image, capturing Chris Barr about to the deck at the Strathclyde round of the Scottish Cyclocross series, conveys many things for me.

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The unbridled instinct of the improver, bursting with enthusiasm and gridded at the front, to sprint full gas but underestimate the treacherous conditions and potholed surface.

The instinct of the seasoned racer, well-versed in the rough and tumble of Belgian racing, to anticipate the chaos and take a wide line to avoid potential chaos. The reactions kick in, to resist grabbing a fistful of the brakes, shift your weight on the bike and squeeze past the danger.

The instinct of the photographer, Mike Bishop who shoots a range of sports, to position himself near the bottleneck, sensing an incident may happen at the bottleneck formed by the gate.

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Wardell on ‘portage’

Rab Wardell opined on the technique of ‘portage’ – or carrying your bike, to the non-cyclocross aficionado – for the Dig In at the Dock 2014 race programme. With summer cross races now underway and thoughts moving towards the approaching season, I thought I’d revisit this with a new angle.

Portage – it is what separates cyclocross from all other disciplines of cycling. Lesser disciplines of cycling, one might argue. I’ve seldom heard a more eloquently phrased explanation of how this can inspire a lifelong love of ‘cross. I overheard one of our humble race organisers recalling a childhood memory to the Simon Burney. ‘Ah mind wotchin’ some ‘cross race on Grandstand, aboot 30 years ago! Ah wis just a lad and ah mind seein’ these guy fae Belgium an tha’ jumpin’ oer bits ae wid an’ tha’. The next day ah wis runnin’ roond the wids wi’ a road bike an’ ae’most got hypothermia. Quality likes! Thats the real deal…’

‘Yeah…’ Simon agreed.

I don’t think that anything in Scottish Cycling can compare to that moment you cross the burn at the ‘Tosh after 55 minutes, ready to shoulder your trusty steed and face that b*tch of a run-up one final time. Whether fighting for the victory, surviving the race, finishing for your first time or getting the better of your mate, one thing remains the same. As you try to slot your feet into the ankle deep, cold, muddy footholds. Digging your toe studs (if you’re lucky enough to have them) in the soil and push off, propelling your protesting, wheezing body and mud clogged, heavier-than-ever bike closer to the summit. It is incredibly painful. Horrific even.
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Davie Lines – The (fire)man who would be king

Orinally published in the Dig In At The Dock 2014 programme in January, this piece, by David Hamill, looks back on Davie Lines’ 2013 cyclocross season and celebrates his choice as honorary reigning Scottish series champion.

Bike racing is a cruel sport. Most people who race bikes never win and those who do win will more often lose. Losing (or not winning) is something even the best bike racers need to get used to. It’s part of the sport. The history books don’t provide a great deal of discussion about who came second, third or fourth. If they did Davie Lines might be a bit of a legend.

Davie Lines works as a firefighter in Edinburgh and also races bikes for Starley Primal. If you were to assign Davie a specialism in bike racing it would probably be criterium road racing. As a past Scottish champ he’s got plenty of results to back this up. But to badge Davie a crit rider is to do him a disservice. He competes on the road, on the track and in cyclocross and he does this all at a very high level.  Continue reading

Dig Deep Coaching – cyclocross race tips

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Dig Deep Coaching comprises former pro riders Stephen Gallagher and Dan Fleeman, with Mandy Collie providing business expertise to the team.

The company works closely with National cyclocross champion Ian Field, who was up in Fife recently for a two-day training camp organised by some of the Team Leslie Bike Shop / Bikers Boutique people.

Ian Field & Eddy van IJzendoorn

Dan and Ian released a webinar entitled ‘Cyclocross Season – Time To Get Ready‘. The 1-hour presentation comprises audio and slides covering a vast array of tips to get more out of your cyclocross racing, including equipment choices, skills drills and training sessions.

I have always enjoyed absorbing as much of this sort of information I can during the past 5 years racing. While it’s always enjoyable and sociable to just go out and ride with clubmates, I found that doing working on my own (to heart rate, although power is better) with specific training sessions, and focusing on structured high intensity interval sessions allowed me to get the best race fitness while juggling the finely balanced work/family/cycling equation.

Tips from the Two Johns Podcast, Coach Joe Beer Podcast and Joe Friel’s website added to my knowledge over that time and I highly recommend the webinar above. If you want to take things further, Dig Deep Coaching offer 6 and 12 week training plans for cyclocross.

A friend of mine, based in rural Aberdeenshire, found that his connection speed was too low to run the webinar, so for his benefit and that of others, I’ve summarised the key points below. Continue reading