Thursday, 28 November 2013

Laughter is Good for the Soul...The MBG's take the spectators stance for once

Last weekend we decided to organise and end-of-season party in style and our amazing whip, V, sorted out a trip of a lifetime, to Ghent.

As a team we are thrilled by track racing, the ultimate of which is the Madison, we love to get muddy with some cyclo-cross and of course, we love to party! The trip to Ghent was bang-on, with a tour via Koksjide Cyclo-Cross in the day and then driving on to Ghent to watch some of the spectacle that is the Ghent 6-Day track racing.

Here's how each of us found the trip and a highlight memory each:


"Being able to unwind at the end of the season was fantastic and the amount of laughter over the weekend reaffirms why we all get on so well as a team.
Seeing our Brit girls Nikki Harris, Helen Wyman and Gabby Day racing at Koksjide was amazing and we were loving the Belgian vibe!
Next stop was the velodrome & Kenny De Ketele & Iljo Keisse didn't fail to impress as our predicted favorites.
The whole evening descended into typical MBG carnage & my stomach muscles still ache from laughing so hard! 
Beer, smiles, awesome friends, & racing.

Becca xxx"


"The whole weekend was bloody amazing, I don't think I have laughed that much in a long time. 

The cross was an awesome experience, beer, dancing and bike racing - what more do you need in life!

Then on to Ghent for the 6-day... I was a tad nervous about not having the stamina to last an all-day drinking session. We spent the first part of the night actually watching the racing, it was fast, furious and very exciting, exactly how we like to race! The events were all Madison based so there was never a dull moment, luckily had Rebecca chatting me through all the changes during the Madison Scratch and we were both getting super excited about racing it next season.

After spotting the boys in the middle of the track having 'far' too much fun we decided that was enough of spectating and it was time to party. After that the night is pretty much consisted off of beer, dancing, laughing, dancing, searching for Rebecca's coat, a bit more dancing, searching for Rebecca's coat, a bit more laughing and then again searching for Rebecca's coat - this went on until about 5am I believe. The whole day/night was hilarious and I feel so lucky to have such a cool bunch of team mates and friends to have shared the weekend with.

If you like beer and bike racing you must pay a visit to one of the 6-day events!

The only thing that would have made it better would be to have Di, Nat and Emily with us - we missed you guys xxx"


"Having never watched any live cycling events besides road races, the MBG team weekend was the perfect introduction into Cyclocross with a stop at UCI Worldcup Round 3 in Koksijde and live commentary - along with rider profiles - from Phoebe. Then, we were off to Ghent for my introduction to Track with technical experts Louise & V who managed to make some sort of sense of a “Madison”  - helped with beers….everything topped with some classic Belgian tunes! Loved the Madison scratch race and our stop in Bruges on the way back with full Christmas decorations on show…and chocolate fountains!! To sum up: cycling, drinking, dancing, laughing, partying, table football playing, sobering, pranking Adel, visiting, eating, driving…in that order! As much as I love my road teamies, it was great to spend some time with the other MBG riders: Phoebe, Anna & Rebecca.

By the way, here are below the remains of our Belgian escapade (picture attached). Let me know who they belong to with address and I’ll send them back!
-          MBG beanie
-          iPhone USB cable
-          An earing"


"This weekend I joined most of my team mates for a dirty weekend away in belgium. I got up at 4.30am and whizzed down the motorway to shotgun the front seat of Clem's van. We gathered up a few more team mates somewhere in london and hit the open road. Despite clem being french she is a fantastic driver - with her foot to the floor she flew past various pensioners and lunatics on the road with us waving and gesturing out the window (similar to a school trip on a mini bus). We made it via the tunnel under the channel with some of the girls hoping to see fish swimming past the window!! 

Once on belgium territory I managed to persuade the girls to call by at the Koksijde CX world cup. Thankfully we arrived just in time to see Nikki harris smash her way over the sand dunes to 3rd place. The rest of the girls soon found the infamous "party tents" and the beer started to flow. 

Next stop was gent for the track racing. As chief navigator I naturally fell straight to sleep as soon as i got in the car. I was then woken up and asked to find the hotel, turns out we were no where near where we thought we were. after travelling in the opposite direction down a motorway i managed to negotiate the gent roads and waterways to our hotel. Adel followed closely behind in a sort of high speed car chase any hollywood movie would be proud of. A quick turn around and we were all baking in the gent velodrome oven - being athletes we soon realised the important of staying hydrated in such temperatures. We threw the beer down our necks and got into full flow mingling with the belgies. This resulted in a number of marriage proposals and rather a lot of groping. Thankfully we had the protection of the boys from herne hill! The racing finished at 2am and I was starting to fade. However the MBGs have the stamina of seasoned alcoholics and we hit the nearest bar. The partying carried on well into the early hours of the morning interspersed with one million searches for rebecca's coat (which I am going to surgically attach to her next time she ventures out).

The following day various bodies were gathered up from the hotel corridors and dumped in the van. Dragging our hangovers behind us we mooched around Brugge and attempted some tourist activites before heading home. 
The whole trip was absolutely fantastic. I feel so lucky to be part of such a fun and friendly team. Thanks for making me feel so welcome. I am still recovering. 

love phoebe"


"I was really excited to spend the weekend with a whole load of the old and new MBG's...the road team have a bit of a "thing" going on, with all their adventures around the country and beyond, chasing races and I'm normally too busy getting muddy or jumping shit to join them, so this was my chance!

The best thing was that everyone got on so great, the girls are brutally harsh in their sense of humours, complete piss-takers and, to be frank, pretty damn loud. Each girl is awesome, as a group, it is a force to be reckoned with!

I don't do well at spectating, I find it hard to concentrate, but the Madion racing was so fast paced and exciting....combined with not knowing what was going on and trying to work it out, it managed to keep me entertained for the duration of the main race. After that all hell let loose, My highlight of the evening was Cup Jumping in the track centre, where the boys had built a tower of empty plastic cups and we all took it in turns to jump over it, adding  extra cups to make it taller every now and again. We cleared a massive space and had the crowd clapping and cheering whenever someone cleared it....never mind the bike racing going on around us or anything!!

I also fell asleep in the hotel corridor looking after Lois (a team stray for the weekend) after she got locked out.

What this trip reminded me was that cycling brings me in touch with other like-minded women and I am so grateful to be a part of the MBG team! Can't wait til our training camp with ALL the girls...

Anna xx"


Louise stopping traffic to allow us to cross the road safely...she didn't notice that in fact the red light was doing all the work for her!

"In true MBG fashion I was running late when I left the house on Saturday morning to catch the train to meet the rest of the girls. Texting V to let her know and see exactly how late I was I got a response telling me to "stop text and SPRINT" so I did. However with no sports bra, a massive rucksack and a pair of unsupportive converse, and over a mile to the station I was broken and aching before I even got to Belgium!  

Once on the other side it was Adel's job to follow Clem's somewhat erratic driving to get us to watch the cross in koksijde (a name that in true Brit style we had a good giggle at). We made it just in time to yell for the British girls, in particular  Nikki Harris who was in 3rd and youngster hannah Payton who had stepped up to take on the tough sand dunes. Then it time for some beer and chips with a lot of Mayo! After giving fieldy a good yell in the men's race it was back to the road, destination Gent.

Following Clem wasn't too bad now we'd finally work out every time we'd pull in behind her, in the slow lane, she'd be pulling out again to overtake. However once we got into gent it wasn't so straight forward with a few left turns that suddenly became Uturns (across a few lanes of traffic) but somehow we made it to the hotel. After an hour or so unwinding time (possibly drinking for a few of the party) we headed down to grab some grub before heading to the velodrome. Once there this is my main recollections of the night; bloody hot, get beer tokens, track centre, watch racing, get dizzy, beer, find seats, move seats, beer, watch racing, you have to pay to pee?, beer, signer, beer, party time, track centre, jumping cups, sweaty men, lots more beer and then it's a bit of a blur...though I do know at some point we left the velodrome and went somewhere else.

Luckily for me I wasn't feeling too rough the next morning, as I'd vommed most of the alcohol out of my system. My legs and feet how're were really feeling the effects of the previous mornings sprint. I can't really repeat what Clem said I looked like...but I was hobbling a bit as we mooched round Brugge. Then it was back home to recover from a very messy weekend."


with her 4 desserts
"As my first venture out on a social with the MBG I thought I would
properly see myself off with a whole weekend of debauchery. Those who
know me, know what a lightweight I am and I have to admit to being
more than a little apprehensive as these girls have a, deserved,
reputation for their party antics. So when the opportunity to be
designated driver arose I leapt at the chance!! Little did I know that
I would have to follow a crazy Frenchy thro the streets of Ghent in an
Italian Job stylie!

Some bits that I will never forget have to include an hot dog served
with dripping blood, the menopause, croissant making, Belgium bike
racer bottoms, 4 deserts, cup jumping, the conga, aggressive
piggybacks, fussball, midnight sausage, the wrong hotel, sleeping in
the corridor, the panoramic view whilst using the facilities and my
car being stolen..... Only missing a drug dealing monkey!

Having guested for MBG at Bedford last year I can confirm that these
girls take racing seriously but if you want to see the work, life,
race balls being juggled in perfect harmony, you could do worse than
take a leaf out of these girls books! Laughter is indeed good for the

And the next time I say "it's hotter than the centre of the earth"
maybe they will take note :-)"

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