30 September 2008

Andy Nicoll's blog of his 3rd ride

See the full blog report here

The roadies just come steaming past me, working together in groups, and I simply can’t hang on. I reckon there’s a good 10 mins to be saved if I can up my road strength and stay with a group.

Crossjunkie reports on a day helping out

Alan Dorrington couldn't ride this year and came to help some of the Horwich riders out instead. Some snaps and his day's report here on the crossjunkie blog.

Penyghent photos from Cycling Images

Cycling ImagesApproximately 1 billion images on the cycling images website here

Official website photos up

RobA good series of photos starting to populate the official website now - with some great ones from Keith Parkinson

Kennedy Images photos 2008

Dave Haygarth512 images here on the Kennedy Images website, including one of that rather dashing bloke from Wheelbase »

View from the saddle: Vin Cox's video of the 2008 race

Cyclocross's Mr Youtube himself, Vin Cox has posted this great from the saddle (well- from the front left fork to be precise) video of the race. Very well edited and it's amazing what you can cram into about 7 minutes of video.

My favourite bit is hearing the tyres making all that noise on the road.... or is it Vin's secret hidden engine?

Lots of pics from Ribblehead from Ian Brierly

If you love people to take your photo without your permission and then sell it to you - and some people must do - a kind of identity hostage thing - then you'll be pleased to hear that there's tonnes of good Ribblehead images here.

They include this one of me on my souped up cross bike with ridiculously expensive wheels. Lovely. I'm just about to ride through the pink words.

Photo by Ian Brierly

Video of first road section

I phone camera I think with some fairly poor image quality, but a good 'authentic' feel to it. Above all else, it's interesting to see how strung out the start was. This alone could well account for Rob's 40 second beating of his last record, when the neutralised section was lead out by a 20mph car.

Steve Makin set of pics on Flickr

Some great shots from around the course from Steve Makin here

Photo of the event so far for me is below...

Cold Cotes

Three more blog reports from riders

Three blog reports spotted out there from riders....

John Ross (AKA Shaggy)
my single speed slowed me down on the road sections but I seemed to out ride everyone around me once we hit dirt

Jason Miles
A bit like climbing a ladder really

David Powell
Even though I felt like i was walking backwards compared to everyone around me up the slopes and, after a nice face plant coming down whernside, crawling back down looking terrified.

29 September 2008

Phil Ingham reports from the inside

I may be wrong, but I suspect that this excellent tale of an 'also ran' was written by British Cycling's media man Phil Ingham

There's a sense of having turned the corner as I leave Whernside behind. Two climbs have gone with only one to come. The giant railway viaduct re-asserts man's determination to tame nature. I'm getting too poetic and nearly crash on an innocuous grass tussock. Keep your mind on the job.

My own blog of the 2008 race

It went really well for me all things considered... no mechanicals, no punctures.

On the down side I had a crap start (too nervous!) and a bit of a bang onto the rocks on the way down Penyghent, but it's been a good year.

My account of things here: Minnellium: Three Peaks Cyclocross 2008

Some more early reports of the 2008 race: Cycling Weekly and British Cycling

Report and Photos from British Cycling

Report from Cycling Weekly

Video of Penyghent descent

Video from LornePlumber on youtube

(ten metres after my wipe out! :-( )

Fhoto slideshow from Horton Scar road

Slideshowy filmy type thing with music posted on youtube here....

Podium photos from 2008

Some photos I took of the podium presentation are here. After riding every event since 1995, I finally stopped around long enough to watch the presentation!

It was all worth it really - I'll try my best to stay behind for it next year, but I did think, with all the travelling that people need to do, that there was no real reason it needed to be 6 hrs and 15 minutes after the start. I understand the need for most riders to be there if they want to be, but it's a hell of a wait about for some others, meaning that a good few had cleared off.

The Penyghent downhill race

The sportident timing almost gave us a great way to compare split times this year, but some sort of bug seems to have left the top three riders without a recorded time for Penyghent.

So... excluding messers Jebb, Craig and Peace, the Penyghent "descent" competition was ....

Early race report on BikeRadar

View one of the earlier reports posted about the 2008 race here:

Results now online

GPS geekery: the scores on the doors

Readers of my personal blog will know I'm geekily into the Garmin Forerunner 305 I use for just about any exercise... I was dead excited to get it on my wrist for this year's Three Peaks - because two years ago I didn't have one.

The Garmin Says:
Total Distance: 36.74 miles.
Avg Speed 10.9mph (for time of 3:21:48)
Max Speed 41.8mph (down to Ingleton)
Avg Heart Rate: 168 BPM
Max Heart Rate: 181 BPM (Simon Fell)
Total Ascent / Descent: 5,970 ft.
Max speed off road, descending:
- Ingleborough: 26mph
- Whernside: 26mph
- Penyghent: 31mph

The speed vs altitude and Distance vs Altitude graphs tell a tail about how much time you spend going uphill in this race.

View the whole race, accurate to c.4 metres here in Google Earth

2008 Penyghent photos from Richard Starkie

Some more great pics in the stunning conditions here on Flickr from Richard Starkie.

2008 Photos from Andy Rushforth

Horton in Ribblesdale's very own cycling photographer Andy Rushforth was out and about on Sunday, and has added some great shots to his Flickr photostream.

26 September 2008

Friendships and fells - bring it on....

Hi there, I am Phil the brother of this blog master Dave, who asked me to put up a post to tell you how my preparation has been and generally drool about Sunday. This picture was taken this morning in my garden in Devon, with my 3 year old helper Helen. This year it has gone well for me, for two reasons - having good training friends and being located closer to the fells. I started earlier this year on the heavy roads of Devon with my friend Roger Ebner (ex Swiss world team cyclist - turned swiss banker and fellow busy Dad of three!) preparing for the Dartmoor Classic 100 miler - a bit like the Fred Whitton of the South West. Long term friend Richard Hannaford also joined us on a hot but tough on the day out. More recently. I have been able to spend more time in fells of the North West - on the 'Peaks themselves. My family is in the process of relocating as I have started a new job at Lancaster University. I recall a sunny June evening out with Dave and Richard Bardgett on the roads around the Forest of Bowland. I have been temporarily staying with Trevor Page and Leanne Thompson, friends from Lune Valley CC. Apart from hours 'living the bike life', my fellow co-3 peaks 'obsessives' and I have been able to spend recent evenings exploring Whernside and Ingleborough (on foot), working on the 'visualisition', especially on the mental effort to conquer the steep climbs. Training has been fun for a change. The result is that I feel positive and this is the first time I have felt this in the 14 years since I first started this compulsive and addictive event. My weight is not as low as I would like it, but otherwise I feel it is going to go well for me this year. In fact, I am so confident about that I am telling you all now... I am a going to better my 1999 personal best of 4.25.45 it is time for some optimistic thinking for a change! Friendships and fells - bring it on......

The bicycle thief

Amused to see a bit of commenting going on from one of my mobile phone snaps whilst on the recce the other week.  I suppose it's a pretty amusing snap really out of context. http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnellium/2865435779/ 

The 'story' such as it is, of the recce is here on my personal blog.  On balance, I think the photo of Lewis carrying his bike through Horton wasn't nearly as head-turning as three men with full matching lycra and helmets on heading up the top half of Whernside without their bikes (keepin' it legal, kids).

Fitting tribute from crossjunkie

Friend and former top ten man Alan Dorrington's written a great little article here about the race.  Alan's had to dip out this year due to external issues affecting his preparation, but his mini history about his own race is a valuable insight into competing in the race at the front and the back of the field over the years.  Back to the front next year eh, Mr D ?


24 September 2008

Justified Paranoia... Moving beyond obsession

It's getting to me now. When something consumes you like this, it can't be that healthy. Boxes ticked: Training, Weight Loss, Recce, Bike set-up, Clothing equipment, helpers briefed, food bought, pre-race meals planned... the list goes on. I just want the race to be here now. It's adding to tension that is going to make the latter part of Saturday and the early part of Sunday almost unbearable. I can guarantee that I'm going to be feeling sick - very sick - by Sunday morning.

It's frustrating. I've done it all before, so manay times now, but it doesn't really get any less stressful. The more I tell myself I'll be okay, the more I start thinking about the breadth of things that could go wrong. We can narrow down the chances of mechanical failure or fitness problems, but they are always still there in the background... nagging. It's paranoia in no uncertain terms, but just because you're not paranoid it doesn't mean they aren't out to get you... as the saying goes.

And so the ritual gets deeper embedded. The more I feel not in control of how the race will turn out, the more I want to do to take control. I tamper with brakes, micro-adjust gears, double and triple-check bolts are tight (Are they right? Did I just over-tighten that straddle wire? Is it about to strip? Oh no... better check again).

At the same time, I seem to be unhealthily busy at work. Several strange events have meant that I've had to work late - very late - twice this week. In some ways it's a welcome distraction so I won't complain.

Last Sunday's national trophy cyclocross in Abergavenny has been well documented by me as another unwelcome distraction but to be honest, looking at where I am now, I'm glad it was there really. Although in the cicumstances my rolled tub ruined things, I got an indicator of how I was going, speed wise. It was a pretty positive indicator; I'm no slower in events like that than I was two years ago, and probably have to admit that I'm actually marginally faster. Where I was getting by in the last Three Peaks on a diet of regular, fast commuting miles as a foundation, this year's preparation (and last year's wasted preparation) has been wildly different and has been bsed mainly around early morning hard off/on road combinations. Quite where that'll put me on Sunday is yet to be seen.

That's also one of the concerns - quite where I'll be in terms of positions. There is a scenario that after 12 events I could post my fastest time but still be lower down in positions. That kind of thing is annoying; essentially, as with any race, you can only go on the opposition that's there. Whilst there's no Dave Collions or Paul Oldham to finish (guaranteed) ahead of me this year, there's Mark Thwaites (first timer but an experienced all-rounder), a rejuvenated Noel Clough (flying last weekend), Alexander Forrester (former top ten) and a few more unknown knowns there. Que sera sera

This is probably the last blog til after the event. Hope you all get what you want from Sunday.

11 September 2008

All off together for 2008

John Rawnsley's announced on the forum that all riders will again start together in 2008. For the last few years, the veterans, ladies and juniors have started half an hour in front of the senior race on the assumption that there would be less road congestion by splitting the groups, and also a compensated effect on finish times, effectively getting more riders to finish earlier on the day.

The absence of police assistance at this year's race means that we're back to racing the three peaks cyclocross as a race again - miles more satisfying for spectators, miles easier and safer for race leaders who won't have to negotiate passing slower riders, and all in all a good move.

John says that the racers will all line up according to their expected finish times; I guess this means what people put on their entry forms if they're a first timer, and their previous best. Not that being down the bunch will cause a major issue, but 400 plus people on the road from Helwith Bridge to the start of Ingleborough's going to be quite a sight.

One small annoying impact for me is that I was hoping that some of my support team were going to be able to help my brother out too - with him setting off 30 mins ahead of me and my not expecting to catch him until the Hill Inn area. Not sure how that fares now, but we've quite a bit of time to work out things like that.

On the whole, I welcome this.

03 September 2008

Collins not starting 2008 Three Peaks race

With the publishing of the final entry list for the event this year, a sad absence is two times podium finisher Dave Collins (SIS Trek).

I'm still digging as to why, but this rumour's been about for a bit...