A NEW START LINE….

WHERE DO I START……my golly gosh I’m well over due in the blogging department. Since returning from guiding and coaching in Portugal it has been full steam ahead in the AQR guiding, coaching and riding department in more ways than one…plus there is a new addition to the Potter family who is certainly keeping me on my toes. So before I get carried away with all the biking adventures that occupy the Potter household 24/7, let me introduce Marley….otherwise known as ‘Marley-Moo’ by me or ‘Little Merde’ by Ian :)
Marley (and no I haven’t seen ‘Marley and me’) is our 3 month old cocker spaniel pup who is growing rapidly and is already suffering from ‘little dog syndrome’, as he thinks he is much bigger than he really is….in fact although in human years he is supposedly only 21 months old, he is already acting up the teenager along with best friend 8 month old Co Co as his partner in crime. I must admit I’m a radiant puppy mother and loving every moment of it!!! I have already trained little Marley well who chews Ian’s ears when asked to, and ensures Ian is performing all his physio exercises on a daily basis by sitting on him and barking with all his might if he doesn’t do them properly :) The only issue Marley and I have right now is his thoughts on hiking……’Walkies’ spoken ever so sweetly is Marley’s signal to run behind the settee or take his lead as hostage or ‘bite-age’ as I like to call it. He takes after Mr Potter in the eating department and loves watching Ian play X-box…..he thinks he is helping Ian defeat the aliens when he jumps up and down at the TV and then attacks the control thingy that Ian needs to play his game with….it’s all fun and games with Mr Marley :)
Anyway enough about Marley and more about biking….I’m counting the days down until I return to 24hr solo riding, not racing, but riding……3 weeks last Saturday!!!! I find it difficult thinking of 24hr solo racing as a race against other people, because the main competitor I need to beat is ME. I know my weaknesses and I know that my race is about doing what I can to cross that finish line after 24hrs on a bike….with a smile that will sum up the overall experience of the ride, but I also know I will learn more about myself and the different states of fatigue I will fall into…physical, mental, emotional…..with a little mantra to be really nice to Mr Potter who has to endure just as much sleep deprivation as I do. I’m excited about the preparation and the journey both Ian and I will be undertaking, but always a little anxious about what I will discover about myself during the process….will I like who I am during those 24hrs on a bike? Will I discover any weaknesses that I might not cope with as sleep deprivation does wonders for your mental state…not! :)
I have really enjoyed training this winter with plenty of time on the trails that weren’t affected by the snow at all this year, including my brain training 3am turbo sessions where I spent up to 7hrs pedalling away watching repeats of Friends ‘en francais’ and planning my next MTB exploring expedition with Mr Potter here in Luchon. Winter is always the time we start exploring new trails in Luchon or opening up trails that were previously disused or just need some Potter maintenance. I love all the trails here in Luchon, but there is something quite exhilarating about planning new routes and exploring lost trails….I call them my ‘Captain Cook rides’ as we sail forth on our Cotic vessels in search of new trails to find traction on.
At the same time I have been a busy bandicoot organising the new ‘AQR in the Algarve’ trips that were held in March, and which we have only just returned from. Alte where we were based was wonderfully warm and such an amazing place to ride a bike. It was the perfect month of training as I got all the required miles in on the bike whilst riding with a variety of people from all rides of life, PLUS the trails were SO MUCH FUN!!!!!…..and then there were those carrots!!!! I have a new favourite food…..garlic carrots from the Algarve…..divine!!!! Hopefully all those carrots will prove the best nutritional formula for perfect night vision during those May night time laps at Exposure 24hr solo this year…OR not if the garlic is still lingering…I might be asked to leave :)
Anyway I promise not to be such a stranger now I’m back in a proper office….well kind of as I’m typing from a mountain side garden with glorious mountain views over looking Luchon with a puppy biting my toes :)
Anyway I hope everyone has a wonderful and wacky MTB trail inspired Easter this year and I look forward to yawning and laughing at you all at the 24hrs of Exposure Solo Mountain Bike Championships in May….gulp!