Provelo, Bristol Bike Fest and a School

I've had two busy weeks in Germany this month.

The last one was where I went with friends and colleagues, from Strathclyde and Salford Universities, to show them the sights of Berlin and teach their students about technical stuff and things.

I did ok, as nobody fell asleep but that may have had something to do with the "Laser of shame."

If someone nodded off, I would point my laser at their body, and one of the stoods would throw something (light) at them to wake'em up. :) I didn't need to use it!

Shame, really.

The aftermath of being a Torchbearer hasn't quite blown over yet either. In fact, it's turned out that it's made me a busy boy! Nobody, bar friends, seems worried about the person carrying it, but they all want to see or touch the Olympic Torch.

I get it, and I think I'd be exactly the same!

So I'm going to use it to "my" advantage, in a way.

A world renowned supporter of "stupid sports"; purveyor of pain, suffering, sweaty bodies and overall elation (maybe that's why we do what we do?) has recently invested lots of time and effort to help me do what I like doing when I'm not racing or riding...

Charidee, Mate!

Patrick Adams of Provelo Support has very kindly arranged that I attend Thunder Run 24 and Mountain Mayhem to help fulfil a love of his...

Charidee, Mate!

He drops money left right and centre so this has been (and seemed to be) a very natural thing for him to do for the sport, for charity, for us all, really.

The plan is to help a friend of the Mountain Biking World and an amazing inspiration in himselfMark Fradgley aka BULLHEART to fill his coffers in support of Sarcoma UK.

So, if you want a photo with the Olympic Torch, please come along to these events and listen out for the tannoy announcements.


I was asked along by St Julians Primary School to do some talks this week. Keri of theHalfway Up Mountain Bike Club asked if I would mind talking about sports, prosthetics, and the golden wand.

How could I say "no"?

Me, stood, looking scared, in front of loads of kids?

Yip, they terrified me.

I did a series of talks to all of the kids in the school. Their ages ranged from 4 to 11, so each talk had to be done in a different way.

The older kids wanted to know about Prosthetics, and Sports, and the ottobock prosthetic limbs and videos that I took along...

...Until I showed them the torch.

I could have been a martian with million pound notes hanging from my neck and a cute puppy in my arms and they wouldn't have cared. It was all about the torch.

In fact, the younger kids asked LOTS of interesting questions about the torch, the relay and carrying it. So after a short little talk about how I ended up with the honour, I let them rip with their questions.

I could have been there all day. They just didn't stop!

The older kids listened as I told them about friendship being what got me going on Training, Academia and Racing. My (considerable?) mental toughness comes from my friends and always has. They got it. Friendship is the most inspiring part of my life, and probably most other people's.

Then the torch came out!

Hundreds of photos later, I came out of the school to go home. I was knackered!

The teachers were just like the kids, when the torch came out. Hopefully the kids won't read this and wind them up about it. :)


Jo comes second at Bike Fest 12hour

Bristol Bike fest was on last weekend. Paul and Mike always put their all into this event, but it nearly killed them this year as they had to run around organising tracking to fix the flooded fields at Ashton Court.

It nearly didn't happen either, and I imagine they made a loss this year because that tracking stuff costs a FORTUNE, especially when it has to be called in at 10am for use at 5pm.

Being the Pros that they are, and wanting to provide the best event possible they spent the money, where others might not have, and prevented the event being cancelled.


Everyone saw and appreciated the effort you went to.

The event went ahead, despite the atrocious weather on the week before, the track bore up perfectly, and Jo came 2nd in the Womens' 12 hour solo! Huw Thomas came 2nd in the Male Solo 12 too, so his run of top efforts is continuing.

Endurance racing is getting so much faster...

We all pitted out of the Loco pit

I was happy for Jo in all ways, as she had a nice Loco T-shirt, but one...

...I'd just spent the week getting used to my new Tallboy, with it's Q-Rotor Rings and wide USE1 bars, with Ergon grips. Remember that Jo has her own Tallboy which she loves.

"Your bike seems smoother than mine, can I ride it first?"

It was her spare for the race anyway, so I said yes, even though she hadn't acclimated to the rotor rings. We figured out afterwards that it's the smoothness of the pedal stroke that she found appealing.

She rode MY BIKE for the whole 12 hours, without stopping or swapping bikes. At least she got acclimated to the pedal stroke, in one ride. Sheesh.

I'm sure she did it to wind me up, and now she wants Q-Rotor cranks and rings too!

Is nothing sacred?

Her form was ace! She's close to a fitness peak, although it's not a cycling one, as she's doing an Offroad Ironman in a few weeks time.

She's brill.

The Halfway Up Club came too, ensconced themselves in Camp HWU, and proceeded to eat their bodyweight in Burgers and Beers with the odd fruit juice thrown in for good measure. This was their first ever event, and I was nervous as they were there because I (and Keri of HWU) had waxed lyrical about the event and it's fun but highly competitive nature.

They hammered themselves for the whole day, all five teams of four riders! They couldn't talk when they got in, as oxygen was at a premium, but each and every one had a massive smile on their face within a minute of finishing each lap.

They're going to Oktoberfest!!


Job done.