I recorded this video at the last ever Dig In At The Dock Cyclocross race in Bo’ness at the end of February 2017.
The race had grown to become a very big, successful and popular event – one of the biggest races on the Scottish calendar, with arguably the best atmosphere. It was much loved and will be missed. The organisers are stepping down after it has perhaps become a victim of its own success, with a tented village, band, printed programme and great course features to set up, and several bags of dog dirt to uplift before the race.
Luckily Davie Hamill isn’t stepping back from race organisation entirely, as he explains towards the end of this video. It’s quite long, which in itself is an homage to Davie’s own video blogs. See if you can spot any other tributes to the original ‘Dig In’.
I’ve covered Dig In in various ways over the years. Check out this other content:
In this show I recap some thoughts from a conversation with Helen Wyman about women’s cyclocross, young rider development, sponsorship and her upcoming trip to Scotland. Unfortunately the recording failed but as I mentioned on my previous show, you need to bounce back from these sorts of setbacks, whether it’s in cycling, podcasting or life, by getting back to what you do as soon as possible.
With this in mind I thought I’d recap some of the key points we discussed in a short snappy show.
I have been on a little hiatus with the podcast and it’s related to my cycling – I haven’t been riding much, other than the daily commute – and hence I haven’t been podcasting as much either.
With the podcast, I’m inspired when I’m at races or events, either because there are people to talk to and record interviews with, or because I get ideas. I haven’t been at many events so hence the lack of podcasting.
Have you ever lost your mojo on the bike? Have you ever lost your motivation for cycling, whether that’s training and racing, riding with your club or just riding your bike for leisure or pleasure?
When that happens, one way to get over it is to ‘just get back out there and ride’ – do do whatever you can, for as short a distance or at as slow a speed as is needed, just in order to get back out there.
So that’s what this podcast will be – a rough first draft – as a writer might call it – unedited and unpolished – just to get something out there. I’ll probably get a bit philosophical as I fly solo and explore the topic of motivation and cycling.
In this episode, I’m at the Dig In At the Dock cyclocross race and take in the atmosphere before racing it. As the cross season wraps up, I share my thoughts about what is successful about this event today and how it grew in popularity to the level it is at. What elements of this race could be incorporated into your club’s event?
Listen on itunes , in your podcast app of choice, on soundcloud or using the player below.
Again the audio is not perfect – apologies and thanks for sticking with me. I’m looking at getting better mics! Continue reading →
In this show I recorded a chat about cyclocross event organisation and the cx scene in Scotland generally with Dave Hamill who runs the Dig In at the Dock race, held this year on 26th February. We recorded at Rouken Glen at the end of January, which was race 1 of a 4-part series called the Super Quaich.
After my last episode at the Scottish cyclocross champs I got some great feedback and discussion on Facebook in the Scottish cyclocross group. I was really pleased to see this – I’m not aiming to be controversial for the sake of it, or to draw attention, but to raise constructive discussion points and this is what happened, so thans everyone who commented.
I thought I would keep the run going with an ‘inbetweenisode’ – just me talking. Tis the season to make woefully inaccurate prognostications, but I’m not much of a gambler, so I’ve gone for a few fairly safe predictions for the Scottish cycling scene in 2016.
I have recorded my first Scottish cycling podcast.
I’m planning to look at broad topics in Scottish cycling, rather than race previews or news. I hope to get some interesting in-depth interviews that can help everyone from club riders to aspiring racers, and from committee volunteers to event organisers get the most out of the sport.
The stilted intro to this show makes me cringe but I’d rather get things up and running than chew my fingernails over perfecting the audio and format. Let me know what you think!
Sometimes it’s all about instinct. This striking image, capturing Chris Barr about to the deck at the Strathclyde round of the Scottish Cyclocross series, conveys many things for me.
The unbridled instinct of the improver, bursting with enthusiasm and gridded at the front, to sprint full gas but underestimate the treacherous conditions and potholed surface.
The instinct of the seasoned racer, well-versed in the rough and tumble of Belgian racing, to anticipate the chaos and take a wide line to avoid potential chaos. The reactions kick in, to resist grabbing a fistful of the brakes, shift your weight on the bike and squeeze past the danger.
The instinct of the photographer, Mike Bishop who shoots a range of sports, to position himself near the bottleneck, sensing an incident may happen at the bottleneck formed by the gate.
Rab Wardell opined on the technique of ‘portage’ – or carrying your bike, to the non-cyclocross aficionado – for the Dig In at the Dock 2014 race programme. With summer cross races now underway and thoughts moving towards the approaching season, I thought I’d revisit this with a new angle.
Portage – it is what separates cyclocross from all other disciplines of cycling. Lesser disciplines of cycling, one might argue. I’ve seldom heard a more eloquently phrased explanation of how this can inspire a lifelong love of ‘cross. I overheard one of our humble race organisers recalling a childhood memory to the Simon Burney. ‘Ah mind wotchin’ some ‘cross race on Grandstand, aboot 30 years ago! Ah wis just a lad and ah mind seein’ these guy fae Belgium an tha’ jumpin’ oer bits ae wid an’ tha’. The next day ah wis runnin’ roond the wids wi’ a road bike an’ ae’most got hypothermia. Quality likes! Thats the real deal…’
‘Yeah…’ Simon agreed.
I don’t think that anything in Scottish Cycling can compare to that moment you cross the burn at the ‘Tosh after 55 minutes, ready to shoulder your trusty steed and face that b*tch of a run-up one final time. Whether fighting for the victory, surviving the race, finishing for your first time or getting the better of your mate, one thing remains the same. As you try to slot your feet into the ankle deep, cold, muddy footholds. Digging your toe studs (if you’re lucky enough to have them) in the soil and push off, propelling your protesting, wheezing body and mud clogged, heavier-than-ever bike closer to the summit. It is incredibly painful. Horrific even. Continue reading →