Tuesday, June 12, 2012

WEEKEND IN PICTURES: Fort William World Cup

On Sunday, I went along to Fort William, for the World Cup Mountain Biking Downhill races. In the rain (of course), mud, sludge and  midges (bastards).  I think I'm definitely a better and stronger person for it though. And the men and women that ride in such competitions? Hardcore. Congrats to Aaron Gwin of America (fuck, yeah!) and Emmeline Ragot of France (oui! oui!) for winning on Sunday. 

Obviously as a Canadian, I was supporting Canada's own, Steve Smith. Sadly, he had a crash on race day but nevertheless, he did manage to get in *just* under five minutes. How all the riders didn't crash out - I don't know. I mean, check out the run! 

We took the gondola to the top of the hill at the start of the race and proceeded to walk down to the base. At one point, I was confronted with yet another mass pile-up of mud and sludge, and I may or may not have stormed off like a spoiled princess - announcing that I didn't care if I missed the race; I was not going to traipse through yet another mud pit of filth (unless I too was on a bike). So, instead of following the rest of the spectators, I took the emergency vehicle road to the bottom of the hill, thereby missing about 15 - 20 minutes of the race. It was worth it though - for everyone's sanity.

 Before it all went wrong and bit muddy 

 The track

 On top of the world

The ladies!

Just one note of suggestion though - since people weren't allowed to drive to the actual event (which was fine by me), you had to take buses from various points around Fort William, that transported everyone to the site. However, at the end of the race, it really sucked to stand in the rain for an hour waiting for a bus back into town. I got to thinking, why doesn't someone like Trek Bikes, sponsor rental bikes to and from the site - a la Barclay Bike Hires in London? Wouldn't that be really clever, fun and economical? 

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


Oh, dear; has it really been over a month since my last update?! I need to get on top of updating this thing. 

In the meantime, here's an interesting anecdote. Either we're more connected than we realise or Glasgow is truly becoming the beacon of awesomeness it deserves to be. For example, a couple of months ago, my Secret Boyfriend, G (yes, that very same one that I dated briefly back in August. Surprise! He's my boyfriend - again. Somethings are just better the second time around; what can I say?), invited me to his friend's party. Upon walking into the apartment, a girl I knew from back in Toronto, spotted me and proclaimed, " I KNOW YOU!" In fact, we had met many years ago, back in the early 2000s as we know each other through a girl from my hometown of Napanee. It's a funny old world, ain't it? 

Indeed. Keep Partick weird. I lived in Glasgow for about 6 months before I realised it was PaRtick and not PatRick! Pretty daft, eh?

Last weekend I went to Peebles for the Tweedlove Bike Festival - G was taking part in the mountain bike race. 

Here he is, prepping his gear. I was on girlfriend duties (e.g. holding his bike, cheering, looking pretty, etc) so I didn't do any cycling, alas. It was an unbelievably hot and sunny day; almost as if we weren't in Scotland.  

 While G and his fellow team member, Richard, barrelled down mountains at full blast, Richard's girlfriend and I sat by the river eating ice cream in Peebles. Look at it! How can you not love Scotland!? 

On the ferry - looking towards the Isle of Arran

As this past weekend was a four day weekend (thanks to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - maybe you heard about it?), G and I decided to make the most of the gorgeous weather. On Monday, we got up early to catch the ferry to the Isle of Arran. We spent the day cycling all around the island - about five hours in total, including a coffee and cake stop in Machrie Bay Tearooms (highly recommended!)  

And although we didn't have much time to spare to stop and take pictures, at one point G, who - as usual - was ahead of me, stopped and called at me. Turning back around, I pulled over to the side of the road as he pointed and said, "look". 

And there, amongst the farmland, was a random peacock, strutting about like a boss.