Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Challenge of Training

Training ... the action of undertaking a course of exercise and diet in preparation for a sporting event.

Sometimes the activities undertaken under the guise of training present challenges that far outweigh that of the end goal ... a winter Cairngorms epic in training for the Rovaniemi 150 is case in point. 

Cairngorms Winter Epic from Paul errington on Vimeo.

Monday, 12 January 2015

A room with a view .. 2015 bivi project

2015 holds so much ... a wedding (my own), a busy work schedule, an even busier life schedule.

I find the only way I can effectively manage my time is to treat everything as a project ... outline the objectives, detail the scope, decide on the planning and execution ... sounds like a soul less methodical way to approach my riding but it will enable 2015 to be used to its fullest.

One of the easiest and most rewarding activities is the simplicity in sleeping outside, ride out to a spot with friends, find somewhere interesting, sleep out to awake to a glorious view.

The most time efficient means is to stay local, sure when the opportunity arises I travel though when I have a single night then this time needs to be maximised.

Kielder reservoir is within 60 miles of my house give or take ... a longish ride of mixed on/offroad surfaces or an hours drive and a shorter ride in.

The reservoir has over the years been the focus of many art based projects leaving in their wake a serious of installations forming to the trained outdoor enthusiasts eye a series of spots for an overnight bivi.

With my first sizeable race of the year , Rovaniemi 150, looming the first in this small project to sleep out at each of these installations was achieved.

An early evening start led to a drive to a nearby village and a 2 hour ride to the planned overnight location accompanied by fellow overnighting enthusiast, Richard Elsdon.

The night ride in darkness was further chilled by sleating snow ... lights reflecting off the white flakes reduced visibility to a few feet beyond our front wheels.

Freyas Cabin, sitting close to the shore of the reservoir, was our overnight room with a view.  The cabin, though more a shelter as open on 2 sides, is one of a pair with it sitting on the southern shore looking directly across to its counterpart Robins Cabin on the north shore.

Wet floor and poorly orientated so as to allow the wind to whip through this still was a preferable option to no shelter at all and at least provided a roof and seats upon which to set up a stove.

The view in the morning did not disappoint though cold hands and feet meant after packing we didn't linger for long.

Hopefully February will see the next shelter overnighted.

True Mountain ... Tailoring for Adventure

The ability to ride and travel as much as I do is for no small part due to the companies that support me, keeping the bike underneath me and the cloths on my back.

I have always been lucky that on the whole sponsorship has developed friendships.  The people that have been kind enough to help are generally like minded souls so even when people change companies or marketing ideals change we stay in touch.

In the case of True Mountain thats exactly what happened.  I first met Tim Butcher working for another outdoor company and through Tim's help and advice I was well kitted for my coldest and highest races to date.  When Tim told me about his new venture, True Mountain, I hoped we would get to work together again.

Founded in the values of local production using local materials True Mountain sees a great addition to the resurgence of companies seeking to produce their goods in the UK with as little imported material as possible.

2015 will see me help as much as I can develop the True Mountain ever evolving product line while being able to use to most fit and designed for purpose good.

Product updates to come soon ...


Shandalous ... new frame, fresh challenges

Inspiration to ride can be drawn from many places.

The desire to see new places and meet new people, step out from the daily grind and enrich your life.

Cycling affords a wealth of experiences for those who just keep turning pedals.

Inspiration at the end of 2014 came in the form of a new bike, a bike built to explore and adapt to its immediate purpose.

A Shand Stoater was delivered and from that moment 2015 began to take shape ... touring, audax, gravel, long days and multi days ... possibilities are only limited by my fitness and time.