Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 review
It's that time of year when everyone gets in their look back over the past 12 months.
The year started for me Highland Games Grass Track racing at Newburgh where I struggled a bit as the form was just not there, this Games proved how dangerous a sport we compete in as in the 4800m Scottish Champs race Lewis Oliphant had an off and broke his collarbone ending his season :(
After this race it kicked me in to gear though as we moved through the season I managed to win 38 races making it my most successful Games season for me ever, after the season I was voted Highland Games Cyclist of the Year by the SHGA committee which I was very honoured to receive. Having won it in 2005 it was brilliant to win again :)
A big thanks to all the different Highland Games venues during the year and all the helpers behind the scene's making it possible for us to race all year, I feel privileged to be part of the Games history which dates back to 1703. This year I have a trophy from Halkirk Games which dates back to 1897.

Once the Games season finished I managed to get a few easy weeks before embarking on the Cyclocross season to try and retain my Scottish Cyclocross Series Championship that I had won in 2006 and 2009. Going into the series I felt good but not great which is fine as the season is long and I wanted to be strong in the mid to end of the series, starting the series I managed a few 3rd's to be going on with then got a win before spending a week in Lanzarote to get a bit of sun. After getting back from the sun I managed a few more wins and podiums with worst result being 4th in all the races :)
Again I would like to thank all of the people involved who make the racing happen, especially all the SCX committee who give up their time for the sport.

This has been a fantastic year for me and if 2011 is as half as good it will be a cracker.

Happy New Year to one and all and hope you make 2011 the best you can whatever you do :)


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cross at the Castle SCX Rd9 12/12/10
Waking up in the Castle and looking out on the course changed thing from Sat with a widespread frost meaning the course running in the opposite was going to bit a faster one.

The race started with the same bodies at the front as Sat with this time Dan Whitehead pushing on and know one able to go with him. I settled in to second exchanging it back and forth with Davie Lines and James Fraser Moodie not far behind, Myself and davie did have a few digs to get up to Dan but he was on fire today and the digs were more to try and keep away from James who was always lurking just off us.

Image (Via)Vw.splitscreen

Going into the last lap I was feeling pretty cooked but was hanging on to Davie, at this point I was going for a last chance attack through the muddy rutted section which with frost had turned into hard ruts making the going hard. I pushed on but then for the first time this season I lost my chain which for a reason would not catch back on to the front sprocket! Davie then caught me and proceeded to push me till I tried to get my chain back on (Sportmanship in full effect there) but with no joy, I then had to dismount to get my chain on giving James the chance to catch and then pass me.

After this I did nearly catch back up with James but even without the chain incedent I was cooked so i think it did not make a difference to the final result. Dan was on it today and a great win taken from the front, just like I like to do it :)

1st D.Whithead
2nd D.Lines
3rd J.M.Moodie
Full results: Sun Mull
So that's the Series finished and retaining the Scottish Title has been a real honour again, thanks to everyone who has been a part of anything to do with the Series this year as it's been brill.

2010 Scottish Cyclocross Series overall:
1st C.Hardie
2nd D.Lines
3rd James Fraser Moodie
Overall series 2010 League Tables: SCX 2010

For this last week past I have not touched the bike and will be looking to start again this week coming, would normally be off the bike till after the New Year but as there is the rescheduled Scottish Cyclocross Champs on the 23rd of Jan I will be looking to get in training again to see if I can get the double :)


Cross at the Castle SCX Rd8 11/12/10
After all the snow that had fallen round the Fife area it was not looking good for getting to Mull but as there was a partial thaw it looked better. Setting off in the morning looked good and I had decided to take the road from Creiff to Lochearnhead which proved to be a seat of the pants journey being that the road was pure ice in long stretches!
Having negotiated the Ice rink we arrived at the ferry to Mull just in time, but if we had missed the ferry then it would have been disappointing but there was no way I was going to risk life and limb! Would just have got another ferry and raced on Sun.

On to the race
After arriving at the beautiful location that is Glengorm Castle I had a scoot round the snow/ice free course (gulf stream in effect). There was a couple of muddy bits but in general the course was in a pretty dry condition. The course included everything you need with run ups, barriers, fast bits, tech bits and overall a brill course that kept you thinking all the way round :)
After warm up the old legs felt alright but not as fresh as they have been but this is normal for me at the end of a season, no point in having loads left at the end of the season and no racing left!

The race took off with myself, Dan Whitehead and Davie Lines to the front, once into the first laps Davie pushed on and gapped me. I kept Davie in sight and then realised he was coming back to me, once I had caught him I had seen he had a front soft wheel so a change of bike was needed past the pits. We were then together for a while but Dan and as always slow burner James F Moodie was now catching the two of us.

Once there was now going to be four at the front Davie had pushed on with Dan chasing, when Dan was going I had felt my right hand shifter starting to feel soft! At this point I was only shifting if essential knowing there was only two laps to go, onto the last lap and going into the uphill section in front of the Castle meant a gear shift and bang the lever broke sticking me in my 13tooth sprocket!

At this point I had pushed on but was not going to catch Dan for second with only one gear, my concern now was James getting the last podium spot, I had to run a lot of the bankings that I had been riding and James was catching probably releasing that I had a problem. I managed to get on to the finish straight in front of James and pushed on to finish with just a handful of sec's for third :)

Close racing with a bit of drama at the end for me makes it one of the more memorable races and it was great to see Davie Lines get his first ever Cyclocross win, well done that man :)

Check out the Handlebar cam action from my first lap :)

Cross at the Castle 2010 from on Vimeo.

Then it was on to Sun for the last round of the Series to see if I could get round for the last Hurrah!

1st D.Lines
2nd D.Whithead
3rd C.Hardie
Full results: Sat Mull results


Sunday, December 12, 2010

2010 Scottish Cyclocross series Champion
Just back from an awesome weekend in Mull where I got 3rd on Sat and 4th on Sun Would have loved to finish off with a couple of wins but the legs were telling me different! still chuffed to bits on retaining the Series for another year :) Will have more up on the weekend exploits in the next couple of days including hopefully some handlebar cam action.


Sunday, December 05, 2010

Snow Commuting and Postponements
After the bit of snow at last weekends Cyclocross @ Kings park it dumped big style across the central region of Scotland and Fife got hit big style! I have lived all my life here and have never seen as much of the white stuff. This is not a prob for me as getting up to Hardie-Bikes is not a problem on the big 29er wheels :)

The problem was going to be for getting to Irvine for this weekends Scottish Cyclocross Championships, reading up on the stuff coming out of the west the snow was not bad at all and the race would be on. This would be fine if everyone could get to the venue and the decision was taken on Friday to postpone the race which is gutting for the organisers Walkers cycling and Neil Walker :(
Hopefully we can get the champs run this year but dates are running out so fingers crossed.
This week was meant to be the build up to the champs but after the news I was back into training mode just turning over the legs either on the rollers or up to the shop on the 29er in the snow.

A wee vid of me getting the miles in on the white stuff below:

Fordell Descent from Hardie-Bikes on Vimeo.

Great fun but well tiring, good all body workout for the cross with a bit of on and off and moving about in half melted snow, like riding in sand!

So onto the next weekend and I'll be @ Mull for Cross at the Castle featuring the last two rounds of the Scottish Cyclocross series where I have a good lead in at the moment :) Will be looking to finish off with a flurry and not the SNOW type LOL!

More info at

League tables up to Mull @ 2010 Scottish Cyclocross Tables