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!