Monday, 31 October 2011


Last weekend as all my team, friends and family headed over to Muddy Hell in their silly outfits, I was on the motorway to Manchester. As the fastest girl from London's Red Bull Minidrome I was given a brand, shiny new fixie from the rad guys at Mongoose to go and race at the Manchester edition. It was a huge honour, but I felt sad knowing that I was missing the biggest event on the fun cycling calendar.

We got stuck in traffic and I called the organisers to tell them I'd miss my start time. They gave me the latest possible start time, I panicked I'd miss it and ran in there, jumped on my bike and was straight into my round with no time to spare. I was nervous I'd have forgotton how to do it, that I was all "bigged up" and was now just going to embarrass myself. But as soon as I saw the little track I lost all nerves and just got excited. It's such an opportunity to ride, it gets built for one event and gets taken down straight after. I'm so lucky to get a second go!

I qualified easily, with 43 seconds, matching my fastest time in London. I felt I could go faster still, with new, wide handle bars. I was placed head to head with a guy who qualified at a similar time to me, so it could have gone either way. I was lovng whipping around the steep banking, trying to push a pedal turn in on the straight and then, WHIP, into the next corner. I won, completing 10 laps in 41 seconds. I was placed against a guy next who was much faster than me in qualifying, but I felt confident, and man did I go fast!!! Holy shit, my eyes could barely take in a corner and it was only my eyes that kept me from falling off. We both went faster that race, I'm guessing I was on for a 38, but the other dude beat me with a 36.

It kinda sucked, as I was 5 seconds faster than I was in London, which is LOADS on something so quick, but I got knocked out earlier. I don't really like the head to head system, where you can be pitted against anyone. Obviously this can work in your favour or against you, but I don't think it's correct. In the London race the second fastest dude finsished in 3rd place because he was put against the winner in the semi-final. So, it should be about who's the fastest I reckon, not pot luck. But thats by the by. It was how it was, I just wanted another chance to ride......

Anna G xx

Trophy Round 2

So after not even bothering blog about my result from the first national trophy up in South Shield because I was so annoyed at my unexplained under performance, which resulted in a disappointing 9th place. Due to this I went into some hardcore training to try and up my game for the next races coming my way. Things were going well until just under a week after that Trophy I came down with a nasty cold, although initially upset and frustrated that this was going to impair my planned training and thus future results I rested. During the first few days off the bike I realised that maybe this cold was the explanation to my poor showing up in South Shields. I recovered from my cold after a just under a week off the bike, but went on to loose my voice. Although feeling fine within myself I sounded worse than ever after chatting to my friend Will he said that the rest will probably do me good and I hopped he was right. I began training a little again, just a few short quality turbo session. The weekend came and so did my favourite cross race of the year…Muddy Hell.

As I rode to the Herne Hill my legs felt good, although I wasn’t expecting anything I hoped it would mean I maybe wouldn’t fine the race so bad! A good field of riders lined up for the start of the Womens race, with headlights ablaze and some with awesome costumes on. The race started and my red mist set in, and suddenly I was leading with last years winner Claire Beaumont, on my wheel. We straight away started passing the Vet men that had started a minute or so ahead of us. I pressed on legs feeling strong and breathing not too bad considering only regaining my voice fully that morning and dropped Claire. I soloed in manageing not to get lapped by any on the Vets or Juniors which pleased me.

After that victory I was excited for the next round of the trophy in Leicester the next weekend. I began my week of training looking to improve on my fitness level as I now felt fully recoved from my cold. However after a good solid 5 days on the bike riding I woke on Friday feeling ‘crappy’. Even though I had planned for an easy two days just before the Trophy decided not to aggravate this ‘crappy’ feeling and had decided not to exercise at all.

Sunday came and I woke up still feeling ‘crappy’ but nothing worse, I got up to Leicester with plenty of time to sort myself out. I did a few practise laps and found the course ok, with nothing too challenging apart from the slick top layer of mud. My legs felt a bit heavy but that was too be expected after two days of doing nothing.

So I warmed up and headed to the start line, the gun went and we were off. For the first lap I was at the back of a small group chasing the leaders, who were still in sight. In my mind I felt like I could put in a dig and get across or at least move to the front of the group and up the pace, however my legs would and seeminly couldn’t put this little dig in. The frustration mounted as on the 2nd lap I came down hard on one of the slick corners, after putting my chain back on a group of 3 riders came pass with a few of them giving me an encouraging yell which really helped. I jumped back on and tried to get on the back of their group but couldn’t, again my legs wouldn’t respond. After another lap or so and slipping back even further I pulled out of the race.

Now I don’t quit bike races but the frustration was too much for me, knowing you should be able to stay with a group or close a gap but not being able to. I’m also now fighting between being annoyed at myself for quitting and wanting get straight back into training to do better next time (although I woke up this morning completely bunged up and muscles aching). Whilst the voice of reason is saying to rest until I’m fully better, though another rest week will surely result in loss of fitness…fingers crossed for a speedy recovery!

Monday, 24 October 2011


I really mean it, Muddy Hell is one of the highlights of the year.

Having only got back into riding over the last month I half heartedly entered Muddy Hell because I knew Lou was racing and wanted to support her. I had all week to to sort out my bike and fancy dress costume but didnt bother as deep down I didnt think I would actually ride. I think a combination of falling off about 10 tens in the 1st lap last year and feeling a bit embarrassed about my fitness level were the reasons. I havent touched my cross bike since Feb and have only been riding long and slow rides for the past month so I knew it would be physically really tough for me. It's crazy how being ill can knock your confidence as normally I dont give a damn if I come last as I love to support these events.

Saturday morning came and the weather was awesome so I decided to ride the intermediate track session. It was really tough as I had a hangover and the headwind on the far straight was ridiculous. After blowing out the initial cobwebs it turned into a thoroughly enjoyable session which really stretched me, it is really nice to feel the legs come back to life. I got home and felt pooped after the track session, my tired legs were now another excuse to not race in the evening. The Mule Bar boys rocked up about 3pm after being on an epic MTB ride and did a great job at convincing me to ride. It was then a mad rush to try and sort out costume and cross bike in time for the race. Quick trip up to Crystal Palace to pick up some fake blood sorted my costume out and I just put some oil and hoped it would get me round :-)

The novice race had already begun when I arrived, seeing all the bike lights go round the course in the dark was awesome. The cheering crowd put the fire in my belly and made me forget about my tired legs. I hadnt ridden the course in the daylight as I opted for a snooze instead of the practise lap so I was rather nervous going into the warmup lap. It was actually a lot better than I thought and I made it round the warmup without falling off which made me very happy.

We were lined up behind the Vets and Juniors for the start. I hate the start of races, I always get so nervous, I had also only eaten an hour before the race so felt rather sick. There were quite a few regular cross riders so I knew it would be a fast start with the girls jostling for the top places. I didnt sprint for the start as I knew i just needed to make it round and there was no point blowing my legs out in the first lap. I concentrated on riding steady and making it through the technical sections in one piece as I am rather clumsy on my bike so wanted to try and stay upright. The plan was working well until I started over taking some of the girls and heard my name being cheered. I started trying to gun it through the technical sections and kept falling off. It made me laugh so much as I would work really hard to over take a few riders on the flat and then fall off and would lose loads of places. I loved every minute though, each lap I learnt so much about to handle the bike, what line to take etc etc. On the final lap I knew I could catch any riders so knew I had to just keep my position so I didnt lose any placing. Unfortunately I got a puncture riding through the muddy section. I knew I had to finish to place so rode on my flat round the rest of the course, I then realised that I needed to over the big ramp. I knew I wouldnt be able to ride up it so ran up, I got to the top and suddenly realised that I prob should ride down on a flat so stood still for a while not sure what to do and feeling really embarrassed. Eventually I decided it would be best to walk down, it was bl**dy hard though as the surface was really muddy and covered in chicken wire. I made it down and jumped on the bike to finish the race just behind my team mate Phoebe. I was covered in cuts and scratches but didnt care as I had had so much fun.

Lou, who I lost sight of within the first 10 secs rode an amazing race, winning by over 30 secs.

Thanks to Rollapaluza for putting on such an amazing event, apparently all the Mule Bar Boys are going to race the 2012 event.


Monday, 10 October 2011


I'm a new MBG!

This is a little about me! I'm a full time doctor, full time cyclist and part time lover!

I as you may have grasped am a doctor I started in August. I soon realised that medicine is rather similar to being in the military; there are long periods of bullshit and boredom which the occasion burst of absolutely panic and sheer terror, but there is the odd reward. I am also a cyclist. I haven’t been cycling long only a couple of years but I have found it the perfect antidote to quite a stressful few years of medical school. The two things complement each other quite well and one has helped me get along with the other. For next season I have been lucky enough to be asked to ride with the MBGs. I am SO excited about this.

Being a junior doctor mainly involves being a dogsbody – the ward biatch! to get your own back on being picked on, if you aren’t too busy, you must spend a proportion of the day sitting in the doctors mess watching rubbish tv eating toast and discussing the many meanings of life. Some girl in the mess was lecturing us about how professional sport is a waste of time blah blah – she didn’t look very sporty! and I thought to myself why they hell do I go home most evenings stick on the lycra and pedal my little legs off. It’s the same reason I started doing medicine. I have an overwhelming urge to achieve. I dont want to achieve everything just the things that I deem are important to me. I may never be world champion but all I’m interested in is doing my best be that in the hospital, at home, on the bike. I dont care I just like to achieve. That’s why I do sport. Anyway this girl was banging on and it turns out her Dad was a cricketer. Well that’s not a bloody sport. Any sport where you wear TROUSERS! is not a sport. (end of rant)

Medicine and cycling are similar; both tend to be a constant up hill struggle, there is always someone who is better than you but when it all comes together there is no feeling like it in the world.

Now I should probably write more about cycling. I started CX racing last season I enjoyed it until christmas, I then sat my final medical exams, passed and went off to the Caribbean, costa rica and MIAMI AMI AMI! I had a few spare months at home before I started work. I was completely skint so moved back home and started riding my bike (even more than before). I tried to live the life of a pro but with extra drinking and girls weekends away. Now the cross season is upon us, I’ve spent the summer improving my TTing ability (knocked nearly 3mins off my 10mile time) and riding a few crit races and being completely spanked in some mens road races and a 24h MTB race. Im hoping that this will mean I can move up from triple figures in the NDCXL to double figures and stop being lapped by the boyfriend. My real aim over the next few years is to help a few patients and get good enough at cycling before I get too old and wrinkly that I can be in one of those cycle passion calendars. What a better thing to aim for than some soft core bike porn.

Monday, 3 October 2011


So yesterday, Sunday, I had another cross race and after a week of mediocre training and a rest week before that I was slightly apprehensive about how I would perform.

The race was again at one of my favourite and very local courses , Herne Hill. So I rode there nice and early setting off a few minute before my mum who was driving over and managed to beat her the 10miles there which I was quite impressed really are better off by bike!

Anyhows as everyone knows it was a scorcher on Sunday, probably some of the best weather we've had all summer! I decided because of the weather I should wear my white summer kit instead of the usual long sleeve darker skin suits that I wear for cross. After riding a few practise laps I realised it was going to be hard and fast because of both the dry course and the heat.

I was relived on the start line when the commisaire announced we were allowed to drink during the race, I had already got my mum positioned where I wanted her in the hope of this being the case. After the gridding of 75 riders I rolled up behind on the first line behind them know it was going to be a hard start to make up places. The race began at it was brutal with the dry mud clouding up from riders ahead making me even thirstier. Luckily as the race swag out of the velodrome I hadn't lost many places, but neither had I gained any. It was on the first slightly technical section after the right hand turn riders were all lined up taking the high line I grabbed my opportunity and undertook taking the lower line and then pulling back and managing to overtake about 5-10riders. For the first few lap I was riding within myself, worrying about fading with the heat however with 2 laps to go and second women bearing down on me I knew I had to push on. Luckily it wasn't too late and I managed to hold on to 1st women, though my placing amongst the men wasn't too great I was pleased to have survived such a hard race.

A massive thnak you to my Mum for handing me up a drink virtually every lap by the end and to Philip Glowinski for organising the event, another sterling job :)

So on to next weekend for the first of the National Trophy series up in South Shields, hopefully with a better week of training under my belt I'll be on for a good result!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Angry Racing (by Lou)

So that season has come again; winter and with the weather comes cyclo x racing.

Despite my first few races being very different from my memories of cross from seasons past, with fast and dry conditions and sunshine for all three races I’ve done as opposed to the mud I’m much more accustomed to!

So my first race was held on a Wednesday evening at one of my favourite local course, Herne Hill. The course was as brilliant as usual with my team mate’s brother, Philip Glowinski, being the designer. As it was just a friendly race there was no gridding, so me and another girl, Corrine, made our way to start nice and early to get a front row start. The whistle went and the race was off, I managed to stay with Corrine for the opening lap but as soon as it got out of the technical stuff and onto the grass she was pouring on the power and got a gap on me, I sat tight and manged to pull her back on the technical stuff. Unfortunately I felt my tyre going squidgy and knowing it was a slow one hoped I’d have enough time before it went completely flat to get back to the grass in the track centre where I could borrow a wheel. As soon as we hit the grass Corrine was off again I tried to go with her but on one of the turns I almost came a cropper and realised if I wanted to keep racing I needed a new front wheel a few yells later a lovely man had a wheel for me, I put it in and as I jumped back on my trusty steed I felt the back rim hit the ground…I’d also got a rear flat. So that was race over for me, I had to go and repair one tube and put a new one in the other wheel so as I could ride home.

And so onto race 2, which was the first of the London League series held on the Sunday. I was really up for this race after not know exactly how I was going yet I wanted to really test myself. I got to the course nice and early and thought I’d have a recci before the youth race started, unluckily for me this was as the exact time the heavens decided to open and I got soaked!

By the time the race rolled round the sun was out and the course was nice and dry, this time there was gridding so I didn’t manage my front row start again. For the first lap I was first women but just as I came round the start/finish area Delia Beddis had caught me. However this was least of my worries as I had my old friend coming on, stomach cramps. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned these before but I used to get them all the time as a junior and I’m not exactly sure what they’re caused by. I couldn’t understand why I was getting them, I managed to come up with a pre race routine that I stopped me getting them, but obviosly this time I’d forgotten somethign from it. So as Delia passed me, despite knowing I should just slow up a bit let my stomach cramps die down, the racer in me came out and I fought to keep my lead. Unfortunately for me my stomach didn’t like this and before the end of the lap came round I was on my knees (actually crouched on the ground) by a bush trying to make the cramps subside…so there I was down from 40 something to virtually last (out of 90 or so riders) in the space of half a lap. Now this is why I don’t understand my stomach cramps, after I crouched there for a good 5/10 minutes until they subsided I was able to jump back on my bike and start beasting it again and this time they don’t return! I managed to make it back up to 67th and 4th Women…bleugh!

Onto to my final race to date, and as you can imagine I’m very frustrated I still hadn’t been able to truly see how I’m going and see what my race fitness is like. I rocked up to Hog Hill the next Sunday for the 2nd London League already in a grump after traffic and not in the mood to ride my bike, let alone race it. I went out to ride the course this put me in even more of a bad mood, it was hard…if the race wasn’t going uphill it was going down on really hardpacked, rutted mud.

I reluctantly signed on and then the time to race rolled round and the starters whistle went. It was like every cross race; manic from the start, with everyone wanting to get the best start possible. As all crit and cross racers know you can’t win a race from a good start but you can loose it with a bad one! All I know about the race, was I felt good and once I got settled I began to enjoy it trying every lap to get a little bit of air off the table top and push myself catch the guys in front. On top of actually enjoying my race with no problem I managed to bag first Women position in the race…always a bonus :)

So my next race will be the 4th round of the London League again at Herne Hill 2nd October and I’ll have added pressure as my girlfriend is gonna be watching :/ let hope I do well!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Ladies Pursuits

The MuleBar Girls teamed up with Liam Murphy Films to make a creative film about riding in their home city. The girls, sponsored by Oakley and AnaNichoola, wanted to produce a lifestyle video to show their world and how cool it is to be a female bike rider. The beautifully shot short film captures the girls love of the sport in all disciplines, their friendship and, of course, their style.

This is not a run-of-the-mill film about bike riding, it is a film about bike loving.

Ladies Pursuits from on Vimeo.

Monday, 23 May 2011

S.E women's road race championships, by Kate.

I got lost on the way to the race and also ran out of petrol, so the car was chugging away. I was quite stressed when I got to the HQ but it was such a nice event ran by nice helpful people, and seeing a few people I knew including Anna and Ed - I chilled out a bit and thought I'd worry about the petrol situation after. 

I wanted to drive the course but didn't get time, so the first lap was spent taking everything in. The finish of the lap was on a hill, which I thought would suit me quite well. A few people tried attacks on this hill which I went with throughout the race but the bunch also went with it and no one managed to break. So after a while and realising that it was going to all come down to the last uphill stretch. Lou and I had a good chat and Lou even had a little sing song which made me laugh a lot. 

It all started to ramp up a bit on the final lap and people were trying to get in a good position. However all of a sudden the hill at the end seemed to look exactly the same the whole way up and I couldn't figure out where we were, so I went for it - only to realise that I had gone way too early as it dawned on me that the corner I was sprinting too was not the final corner - oooppss. I tried to keep it going as people started to come past me, including Lou who also misjudged the finish line and had gone for it, but managed to keep it going to get 3rd! I don't think I've ever tried so hard to hold on and came away with 7th. My chain came off about a half a metre before the line - which was ridiculously lucky really - had it of come off earlier it would have been so frustrating. I was annoyed with myself for getting over excited and going too early but it was so much fun and I loved it.

Anna's parents - Geraldine (who was also racing and said she really enjoyed it) and Marek were there to help me sort out my petrol situation. Marek got into boy scout mode and dismantled a pump to suck the petrol out of their car to put into mine - thanks rock!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Kate races again!

Our newest member to racing is Kate Hewett, it's cool as a team to be able to help her and teach her and watch her progress. She is phenomenally strong, and with a bit of experience we have high hopes for her. At the moment, it's so cool to see her having fun and "getting into it." Here's her report of her latest race, none other than the National Women's Hillingdon Grand Prix.  

"It was fun. I finished in the bunch...was pretty high end, found it relatively easy although knew I was never going to do particularly well just by looking at start list. I was really lonely yesterday - it went from me, lou, wie and Fran riding as a team to just me on my own. I got stuck in and just used it to practice cornering and sitting in bunch. I enjoyed it and think I'm slowly getting more confident 
I think next Saturday will be good."

Monday, 9 May 2011

Goodwood Ladies 3-4's

Kate gets a fantastic 4th, after devouring every last scrap of her Mulebar gel
A field of about 18 women turned up which was brilliant. It was a fairly steady race with a few attacks in, but due to the wind every attack got chased down pretty quickly. All the girls were riding really well and confidently. I got round the corner in the top 7 which set me up for a fairly good position to do okay. (Although the sprint was into the wind and despite being told to hold on to a wheel for as long as poss, it didn't quite work out like that!). Fun day!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Coming together of the MuleBar Girl Road Race Team

The MBG's have prided ourselves in having a team of girls who have the right attitude, we'd rather race with fun, friendly, supportive and firey girls, than simply someone who gets results. We race as well as we can, and have a wine after. Ultimately, we want a team of friends, because if we're not having fun and having adventures then Mule Bar ain't interested.
So over the last few months we have worked hard at finding guest riders to support the core group in the coming road season. Road racing for women is getting very exciting and it's status is growing, and we don't want to miss out! Finally, at the Bedford 2 day, we had the chance to ride and work together for the first time. Here's how we got on:

team Time Trial
Bedford was an experience as always :-) All the girls did an amazing job and I am really proud of them. It was tough as we were up against teams like Horizon fitness and the Marshall's pasta girls, all of who have competed in many stage races before. 

Stage 1 Team Time Trial
I think we did an awesome job here, we rode really smoothly together and did a respectable time considering we had never done one before. Lou did well over her fare share of work dragging us all home on the last few Km. Thanks so much xxx

Stage 2 Rd Race
This was tough tough tough, the speed of the first lap was the fastest i have ever ridden in a womens team series race. 2 girls broke away straight from the gun which pushed the pace up. Girls were being shelled off the back immediately. it was really exciting and exactly why i like rd racing. I managed to hang on for 1 1/2 laps and then pulled over to spew, Lou clung on for a while longer and then got dropped when she didnt realise she was at the back of the pack when they suddenly attacked on the hill. Kate, Beckie and Francesca managed to form their own chain gang after being dropped. They were working really well together and picking up loads of strays when they got pulled from the race 2 laps early which was really frustrating as this really affected their GC points. 
This was 3 mile TT around the bowl. It was so bloody windy that it felt like you were going no where for about 2/3 or the lap but then you would suddenly get a tail wind and it was awesome. We all did respectable times considering the conditions

Stage 4 - Final Rd Race
This circuit is BRUTAL!!!! It is on a closed motor circuit so there is not traffic to battle with. There are 2 major climbs so the course is suited to the climber. Again it went off realy quickly, I think myself, Francesca and Beckie got shelled on the 1st hill which is not surprising, we were are the back of the pack so it was tough to stay with them as they all attacked on the hill. Lou decided to go for a break on the hill not sure what came of that.  lou and Kate did a great job and I believe stuck with the leading group for a while longer.

Lou and Kate finished in 2nd bunch which at one point was only 40secs behind the man bunch of about 20 riders. Lou even manage to lead out Kate for the final sprint in the small chain ring as her shifter had broken for the last few laps of the race. Lou you are a legend!!!! Francesca and Beckie both finished in small groups behind but looked really strong through out. Francesca dropped her chain so did an awesome job to catch up with other riders and carry on.

All in all a great couple of days and I think we have a fab road team forming. 

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Hog Hill race report

My first time at hog hill circuit. Great to meet Tanya Hunt who also rode for us today and got a superb 4th. I held on for about half the race but dropped off on a corner and couldn't get back on after about 35 mins. I chose the wrong wheel, and it was my experience that got the better of me today. It was a hard, fast and that hill seemed to keep coming round far too quickly. Some more hill and cornering training for me I think!

PORC race report

This weekend I practised a race run the day before for the first time, and it made one hell of a difference. The PORC Mr Bling race course was really tech, with several chicken runs. On my first run I took all the chicken runs, and by the end there was just one huge ladder drop that I was missing out. The course was short, 45-60 seconds, so I guess they'd tried to cram in everything. On the start straight there was a double that I was only clearing (and not very smoothly) by race morning, there were some steep, tight switch backs, a rock garden and several "boosters".

Only 2 girls raced, I met 2 others who came up and decided at the last moment not to race. One because she hadn't practised the day before and couldn't get her head around the tech course enough to feel prepared, the other because she felt frustrated at having to take so many chicken runs (though, from having raced against her before I'm sure she'd have been fine!) It was a shame in a way, because the competition wasn't close. The other girl, Aimee, beat all of us by miles at the last Aston Hill, she's a really good, experienced rider and I knew that she was a level above me and I'd never beat her. She did however inspire me to do the double (I didn't tell her that).

I found the course hard, once I decided to ignore the ladder drop I didn't find it scary, I just wasn't sure where and how to carry my speed. Despite lots of practice, I'd like to have had more. I made up for it by playing in the quarry jump park between runs, my jumping has really "clicked" finally and I know that with a small amount of pushing myself I'll be going big very soon. I love the smooth feeling when a jump, or line of jumps, gets nailed and I'm really excited about the speed of my learning curve.

I'm going out and doing 2 hrs a day jump practice this week. I started yesterday, but it was cut short when my boyf smashed himself up. It was a weird experience, normally I'm the one that hurts myself and he has to watch and deal with it. Seeing him gasping for breath when he was winded was horrible and I'd rather it was me. My brother is taking me out today, and he's really used to smashing himself up, but hopefully it'll just be a good fun evening in the sunshine and dusty trails. Watch this space, I'm not going home...

Monday, 11 April 2011

It's Summer. It's track.

It was a hot, sunny day at the track. Our friends were there, the picnic blanket was out. 4 races. A scratch race. A points race. A 3-lap dash. A devil. And a 25K big race if you felt like it.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


 Spotty (anna g)
 Velma (lou)
 Winner Wie with runner up Spotty
 err, is that snogging in the background?

Aston Hill race report

I was stupidly nervous. I hadn't ridden the course yet and had only spent an hour on my brand new bike. It wasn't fear of crashing, it was fear of doing badly, my sponsors are chilled, they understand that I'm gaining experience, but I was putting pressure on myself. I WANT to be good, and now with a good bike I have no excuses. This race was the race that, to me, would let me know where to aim this season, it was to realistically show my ability, and that bareness left me scared.
I got to Aston at about 0830 and walked the course. I met the guys from Aztec who immediately made me feel welcome and looked after. They checked my bike and changed the spring and even helped me with the push-up!!

The black run at Aston Hill is described as the most technical descent in the south east, I'd looked at YouTube vids but wasn't really sure what to expect. It started off long, straight and pedally, that pleased me because I know I've got a good sprint. There's some bomb holes that if you hit too fast and don't suck it up you get air and that's slower. After a bit of flat single track it suddenly becomes very rooty and very steep. I might use the wrong words in my descriptions here as I don't know all the terms, so bear with me! The steepness and rooty ness and tightness of the turns made it hard, it wasn't scary as such. Any ok rider could get down it, but getting down it fast was a trick to my mind, I didn't know how to or what to do. I was right over the back trying to lean hard into a corner and get traction, but at the same time wanting to unweight to allow the bike to flow over the massive roots. Some of the drops were about a foot and so tricky to understand how to do that fast on a tight turn. The course finished with a 3 foot drop with a steep landing, it was easy and fun to hit with a bit of speed, and then a final sprint to the line.

On my third attempt of the steep section I felt myself relax and was able to think about what I was doing and how to do it best. I wish I'd had more practice though, because it takes a long time to learn a 2 minute course and I wasn't really ever sure of what was coming next.

The 7 girls waited in queue together after introducing themselves, and we were chatting and sharing past expereinces until our go. 3 beeps and a couple of metres to clip in and then I went through the laser that started my timing. I went balls out. Half way through the flat section I had to sit down, I was so tired already! I went as hard as I could, I could hear my panting in my helmet, but could still hear people cheering for me and my hot pants! (such a show-off!). My arms, chest, thighs and calves burned before I finished, down hilling is going to take a lot of strength, fitness and core training. After the first run I was in second. I was so happy!
I hoped to maintain my position, I knew that first place was miles ahead and that third was only a second behind. Your fastest run counts, so I had to go faster or hope that third didn't go faster. Unfortunately for me I wen't the same speed and third place went 3 seconds faster to take second! Chapeau, she gave me a hug and we all walked back up.

I had a wicked time, my teamies the MuleBar Girls came to support me and we did a photoshoot after. It was lotsa giggles, lotsa fun and good to be out on a new bike, pushing my body and my knowledge with a bunch of my mates.

AnaNichoola clothing

Monday, 4 April 2011

Sunday MTB ride

review of womens' team series

After keeping with all the attacks and mixing it up at the front of the race the 4 MBG racers had to accept the race being abandoned due to crashes. All our girls were ok, but several women have come down pretty hard we hear, and we send our energies and best wishes for speedy recoveries. On tight open roads and with a massive mix of abilities it seems crashes were inevitable, just now hoping that it doesn't ruin the outcome of the rest of the series. We need these races, but perhaps we also need safeguards to keep them safer?

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Womens team series

Wiesia has maed up a team of MBG;s a guest riders, hoping to kick hard at today's 60 mile road race!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Honor Jane Davies to be an MuleBarGirl on the other side of the world! Collecting Commenwealth gold and silver for karatee, Honor decided she liked the look of cycling and wanted to try her hand instead, quickly getting medals at national level. Watch out Australia and New Zealand- you're about to be MBG'd!