Friday, January 12, 2018

New Year... Same Me. Now, Next, Later.

Nothing much changes in my world from one year to the next.
I'm not one for making resolutions, if I need changes in my life I just get on and make them. One year just rolls into the next without much fanfare, in much the same way that one day rolls into the next.

I've got a lot going on at the moment. Work is currently dominating most of my time, however The Strathpuffer is looming large on my immediate horizon - January 20th-21st -and I'll be following that with a nifty three week jaunt to Nepal.
The Puffer, as it is affectionately known, is a 24 hour mountainbike race held annually at Strathpeffer in Scotland (see what  they did there). It's almost as far north as you can go without catching a ferry to The Arctic Circle, well not quite but you catch my drift. It's a long way away.
Being so far north it enjoys a delightful 17.5 hours of complete darkness along with wild and unpredictable weather patterns. Depending on the year it has produced conditions such as heavy snow, gale force winds, and sheet ice; as you might imagine it's an interesting experience. I like it, but I'm an idiot. (Here is one I wrote earlier)

Here I am being interviewed for BBC Scotland a couple of years back. We had snow that year.

Also given that I've barely stepped across a bike in the last six months it might be an above average sufferfest. 
I'm currently still under surgeons orders not to crash so I'll be carefully assessing the trail conditions before committing to race; as much as I love The Puffer I won't be taking any chances with my recovery from the last years shoulder operation. Only sheet ice will really put me off, so if the conditions are a bit too risky then I'll man the pits and crew for my mates instead. I'll keep you posted.

Thankfully barely a week later I'll be boarding a plane for Nepal for three weeks of sunshine and dusty trails in the lakeside enclave of Pokhara.

Pokhara IV
is a new race on the Mountain Biking Worldwide calendar. I'm going to be there for a couple of weeks before the race to familiarise myself with the trails and just burn around on my bike at will. And eat pizza and ice cream. And drink coffee. And hang out with my friends Phil & Corinne.

The weather is very pleasant in Pokhara in January. Considerably more pleasant than Scotland that's for certain.
I might be riding quite a special bike too but I won't know for sure until just before I go. I'll let the cat out of the bag if or when I get confirmation.

In other news: Ifs, buts, and maybe's.

I was hoping to get out to Israel again to ride The Sugar Trail with my friend Yoram but the flights are coming in at ridiculous prices and so I may have to postpone that one until the Autumn or Winter.

A trip to Germany in the Spring is pretty much a nailed on certainty, to ride Enduro Trails around Nauders with my mate Craig. I think that's probably the trip I'm most excited about this year.

I'm nipping across to The Isle of Man in July with Mitch and few others to have a stab at The Manx 100. By all accounts it's a pretty brutal affair. It's a one day/100 mile mountainbike marathon on the isle's finest trails. It's been on my radar for a few years now and I'm really looking forward to it.

My seventh Yak Attack in November is more than likely. In recent years I've been acting a Race Sweeper. This years edition is happening on the old 6 day route and if it's possible I'd quite like to race it.

Other than that I have a few ideas and personal challenges that I'm thinking about, money and time permitting.

The North Coast 500 in Scotland looks appealing.
As does the Silk Road Mountain Race in Kyrgyzstan that my friend Zoltan Keller pointed me towards.

In between all of that I'd quite like to do another Ultra-marathon. And maybe just some simple backpacking somewhere.

Oh, and I'm going to be Best Man at my friends Wilco & Sylvia's wedding in The Netherlands. That is definitely the highlight of my year.

So who knows? I'll see how things pan out.
In the mean time have a great year, and if you've got a story that you'd like to tell then why not drop me line. If it fits in with the blog I am very happy to accept guest contributions. Tell me your story.

You can also follow Chase The Rainbow here:

Thank you for looking, see you soon.
Please don't forget to Like, Share, and Comment, if you enjoyed it :)

Consume less, live more. Plant more trees.

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