Catching up…

Morning! (Well, it is in the UK as I type this…)

Revising for a counselling exam (today…) meant little time for anything else other than our business last week, so I’ve been unwinding with drawing and reading comics. The knee is still a little problematic, so physical activities have been gentle, mostly walking our lovely German Shepherd, Fizz. BUT, I did get out to ride BMX for a short while while with our grandson at the end of the week.

I ride Flatland, while is kinda like gymnastics on a bike. Flatlanders are sometimes seen as the outcasts of BMX. I’m not very good at it, but it’s a wonderful mix of fun, meditation and skill. When I’m riding, I don’t tend to think about anything else, just zoning out and being in the moment. But I love it, it makes me happy. It’s amazing to me that I still ride when I’m 45… I thought I’d stop at 40 for some silly reason. I don’t want to quit. The knee wasn’t even an issue either, which was a nice bonus.

I’ve ridden BMX on and off since I was 12. I bought a cheap BMX again in 1997, and it’s my favourite form of cycling. I have a really nice bike now, worth silly money, but it fits me like a glove, and is part of me. Flatland has led to making some amazing friends, travelling around the UK for comps and jams (I even won a prize at one!), writing for websites (www.global-flat.com), and meeting fellow riders from all over the globe. When I go to comps and jams, it’s like being with family. It’s another part of me.

I could write so much about what Flatland has given me, in fact, I used to have another blog about it, but I’ll just go out for another ride. I’ll be the older dude in the car park, rolling in circles on a BMX with a big smile on my face.

Northampton Flatland - Edited

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Muddy bangers

Nice weekend with a change of scenery… Down in Hampshire with very old, dear friends and their lovely kids.  There’s been plenty of activity, even some running!

I have an annual pilgrimage down to Hampshire for the Unlimited National Banger UK Open at Ringwood, which for the uninitiated, means taking beaten up old wrecks of cars around an oval circuit as fast as possible and crashing into the other cars on purpose. We’ve been going since 2001… It’s a grand tradition, and I love spending the weekend with some of favourite people on the planet.

Friday afternoon saw me and my mate Rolf out at the lakes, trying to catch Carp and stay warm!  Sadly, the carp weren’t in the mood for biting, but we could definitely see they were out there. It’s always good to spend time with Rolf, as he’s one of my oldest friends and a lovely bloke.  Even with it peeing down at one point, it was a nice afternoon, just being out by the water, chatting and watching the wildlife. Next time carp, we’ll get you…

Saturday was Bangers, apart from the fact that Georgie (Rolf’s wife) broke a tooth the previous evening, and had to go to the emergency dentist before joining us at the track… she was only six hours late in arriving at the track!  Still, we had a great day, even with two poorly four year olds, spending the afternoon checking out the cars, drinking coffee and pigging out on greasy burgers and cakes… I have run them off, honest!  This year’s meet was more racing than banging, even the Demolition Derby, where you’re supposed to annihilate the others was, shall we say, lacking in contact…  But it’s always a great day, complete mayhem, bad food, smoke, crashes and mud.

I got a really good run in this morning in Farnborough park (which was full of dogs!), which given the lack of laps on Friday, was much needed.  There is a good mix of mud, roots, leaves and fallen branches, making longer circuits great fun. Considering I hadn’t run since Wednesday (laps), I made good time of two circuits around the park.  It’s a nice mix, as it runs uphill into light woodland, then back down through leaves and bushes.  Very glad to have got my longer run in after a fun weekend with good friends.  Now, where’s my roast dinner…

farnborough trees

yorkshire