Mountain Mayhem

Undeterred by the weather I arrived at Catcombe Park to team up with a group of women I had met through the Notts and Derby cyclcross league.


Despite dealing with gale force winds and rain we finished a creditable third. Over the 24 hrs we saw every consistency of mud possible which made interesting riding, particularly during the night. It’s been years since I have done this event. Standing waiting for the change over at 2:30 in the morning, the memories all came flooding back. I think I can honestly say the hardest part for me is the sleep deprivation and eating in the early hours of the morning. Despite this, each time I climbed on the bike I hammered the best I could.

Well was it fun? Looking back it was a great experience not just about riding a bike. It takes organisation, a good group of supporters to help when you can’t get your act together, and a lot of determination.

Memories? I have this lasting vision of Rory Hitchens plying me with chocolates at 4 a.m because I just couldn’t face anything else and of another rider eating chips staring into space. As the light came up I almost felt normal and the arena came to life, as we all knew the end was fast approaching. Roll on next year when I will pay my money to jump on the roller coaster of emotion, that is 24 hour racing. Must be mad …

Big thanks to Singletrack for the photo.

Training and the older athlete.

After an eleven year break from cycling I returned at the tender age of 40….. something! Was my body the same?? Errr no and the more I trained,the differences became more evident. This is not to say that as we age we can’t achieve out personal best, I have no doubt we can but personally I to have to train differently. I have found it harder to loose weight, recovery seems to take longer and I have lost both power and speed. In a bid to strive towards my personal best I have picked the brains of successful older cyclists as well as trawling the net for information. I regret not doing some of this research at the very beginning of ‘Phelan goes cycling,part 2’. I particularly like this article by Joe Friel, renowned sport scientist, and hope it may be of use to all you older ‘wannabe cyclists’ out there. What have you got to loose? Nothing but an awful lot to gain! Give it a go. It may just work for you!