National Forest – Hicks Lodge

There was a Leicester Orienteering Club foot orienteering event yesterday at Hicks Lodge, a new National Forest bike centre run by Purple Mountain. I had some OCADing to do to the map for this coming Saturdays New Years Eve event so took the laptop along and sat in the cafe whilst the girls first did an orienteering course (Cath trying her new GPS watch and Holly in her new club running top) before doing a loop of the mountain bike trails. The routes are quite tame but perfect for beginners and family groups with burms and rollers all in great condition. They both came back with smiles on their faces despite the bitterly cold wind.

Me ? I enjoyed the coffee and walnut cake and caught up with a few friends over several cups of coffee in the excellent cafe !

Kona Fire Mountain 1991- 20 years old

In a pre-xmas clearout I found these two photos of my then ‘new’ mountain bike – 1991 Kona Fire Mountain. Its propped up outside my student house in Cardiff in May 1991. Its had a long history, going to Sheffield for a few years in the early noughties and now as far as I know  still doing a commute in York !  Original spec included Biopace rings and 7 speed 300LX groupset.

I found this original kona catalogue 1991 for full retro heaven…

Kona Fire Mountain 1991

Back problems continue……

Well, my back has reached a watershed 🙁

Even though my back pain has gone, I’ve been struggling for the last week with sciatica-type pain in my right hip and sometimes right down to my ankle. Tonight I’ve come down to Somerset for a hastily arranged physio appointment and Ivor has started talking about other causes for my ‘hyper-mobile’ lower back. My core stability is much improved but still I am having problems, my SI joint jumping out even if I sneeze!  We’ve discussed various possibilities, most of which I can’t pronounce let alone spell!

So, it’s weeks more treatment to see if it settles down or get a scan and find out what is really going on, then consider what other treatment options might be on the table as I’ve been off the bike for the best part of 3 months already, all told.

Not one to mess about, tomorrow I am hoping to be booked in to the Somerset MRI Centre, near Bridgwater, to have an MRI scan of my lower back.

Got to pay for it but an easy decision – new rear wheel or an MRI scan…..New wheel not much good if I can’t ride a MTB.

I’ll try and get some downloads of the scan onto a memory stick for those of you who can read the things!


Baswich Night Score

This year my club, Walton Chasers, finally spiced up its winter Thursday night training runs with a series of street score events. Trouble is, I’ve been injured and haven’t been able to run in them.
Well, last night I thought I’d walk round, perhaps have a joggle and see how things went.
Although the weather had been foul, by the time we had the mass start it was quite a nice evening. I started being a good boy and patiently walked, concentrating on control flow at to keep things moving (pin punches so it doesn’t matter if they get nicked as we’ve got hundreds of the things spare).
Then I started to joggle a bit on the down hills. Then I joggled a bit on the flats. Ray had set some vicious penalties for being late back and I started to realise I was going to be proper late if I didn’t get a move on. The red mist descended and the competitive instinct took over. I ended up pegging it for the last 3 controls, running pretty much at near full race pace !
Getting back a minute early I hadn’t done too badly, considering I had walked 2/3 of it.
These simple street score races are a great way for adult beginners to get into the sport and I had a fantastic time, those competitive juices flowing nicely, even when I was walking, working out a strategy to clear as many as possible in the 45 minutes available.
I’ve now got to plan the next one from our house in two weeks.
Lets hope my over indulgence doesn’t have any ill effect on my back…..


Ditto adventure tag along for sale

Ditto Adventure folding tag along, trailer bike for sale – one careful ‘young lady’ owner !
rrp new £129.00

Fantastic condition single speed and one of the best designs, folding down to go in the boot of a car and tows off the seat post.

Collection from Stafford, Altrincham or Taunton. contact
£80.00 ono








World of O Route to Christmas

World of O, the main international news feed for orienteering, is running a “Route to Christmas” series. Everyday there is a new leg to ponder over and submit your proposed route. Most days end up getting over 300 routes added, such is its the popularity.
Days 1-3 to get you in the mood are here…..

for more days go to World of O’s homepage at




New MTBO rules for 2012

The IOF have just publishes new rules for MTBO that take effect from 1st jan 2012 for all IOF events.

The main one from the competitors point of view is that waterproof paper should now be used  which I’m sure we will all appreciate. Perhaps all UK MTBO events should follow suit as the costs are negligible.

I also think the revised definition of MTBO is also quite good

'Mountain Bike Orienteering is a sport in which the competitors, using cycles,
navigate independently through the terrain. Competitors must visit a number of
control points marked on the ground in the shortest possible time aided only by
map and compass. The course, defined by the location of the controls, is not
revealed to competitors until they start. Mountain biking and navigational skills
shall be tested in such a way that navigational skill is the decisive element. The
course shall be completed by the cyclist riding, carrying or pushing his/ her
mountain bike. Riding off the track or trail will normally be disallowed unless
specifically agreed by the organiser and the IOF Event Adviser'


All male line up for BBC sports personality 2011!

Its not often I rant on my blog, but it’s time for one: Why, oh why, do we have a 10 person short list for the BBC sports personality 2011 that does not include a woman? Why, why, why are there 3 golfers in the line up?!

Decided by a ‘panel’ of sports editors the short list is (in alphabetical order): Mark Cavendish (cycling), Darren Clarke (golf), Alastair Cook (cricket), Luke Donald (golf), Mo Farah (athletics), Dai Greene (athletics), Amir Khan (boxing), Rory McIlroy (golf), Andy Murray (tennis), Andrew Strauss (cricket).

I thought I would look into how they were selected. The BBC website shows the sports editors publications and how they voted

Zoo, Nuts…… no wonder there are no women, I don’t see any female targeted publications in the list.

Obviously a panel needs to contain a spread of publications from all spectrums, and most magazines concentrate on one particular sport so are excluded. It is good to see a regional spread but one that produces no female finalists does nothing to encourage ½ of the UK population into sport, or give them a role model they can associate with.

I also think that one sport should have no more than 2 places in the final for two reasons. With 3 golfers in the final list the ‘golfing vote’ will be split meaning that it is likely none of them will win however well deserved, and with ½ of the finalists being from just two sports (athletics and golf) it does restrict the public vote and disengages even more those viewers who are interested in more minority sports.

Time to look at the selection policy for 2012 I think.

No prizes for guessing who my vote goes to – good luck Cav.

Rant over.