Blog hiatus

Kerry MacPhee | Tuesday 15th September, 2015

So I think itís fair to say that I have succeeded in being a poor Braveheart supported athlete by failing to keep my side of the bargain and writing regular blogs. Conversely however, I could also be deemed a good Braveheart supported athlete as I have only 1 reason for my lack of blogs and it is the crazy racing schedule I have been following! Throughout the season, I always think that at points when I have downtime like sitting in airports or on planes, I will utilise that time wisely and catch up with blogging and sponsor updates. The reality however is that I have more often than not been in a semi-fatigued state, frantically trying to plan ahead for the next race and get things booked (anyone fancy that job for me?! Why do I always come back to the very first hotel I saw?!). On top of that, I also work part-time a Dementia Advisor with Alzheimer Scotland (Remember peeps, being a woman in cycling and racing amongst the proís doesnít pay the rent unfortunately ) So now that the racing season really has wound down, I will take the opportunity to write up blogs on the numerous experiences I have had throughout the year. There have been some awesome and surprising races (British Champ- whoop whoop) and some truly disappointing races to boot. Braveheart have helped support my Ďlearning yearí massively and allowed me to compete at World Cups and likely set me up for a good year next year. On one occasion, I was able to use some of the funding to to bring someone out to a World Cup with me to help with my bottles, driving, stress minimisationÖ it was a huge relief to be able to do that. 2 years ago when I first started mountain biking, I took myself out to a Swiss Cup with no support and barely a tool in my bag. Looking back now I canít believe how unprepared I was, I didnít even ride tubeless then and as for spare wheels? No idea how I survived! On the morning of my race, the freehub on my bike went funny and I went into the tented village and totally freaked myself out as I wondered amongst the pro teams with their gazebos and mechanics and ripped looking riders warming up on rollers (I only learnt to ride rollers last year). I meekly asked the Merida mechanic if he could have a look at my bike for me, only to be told that they were too busy as they had riders preparing to race- fair enough. The freehub issue resolved itself but the next task was finding someone to do my bottles. As the U23 race finished up, I sidled over to the pits and asked the friendliest looking face if they would do my bottles for me- thankfully the first person obliged so that was task 2 done. Last on the cards was finding someone to look after my jacket and belongings whilst I raced. I approached a marshal and after getting over the language barrier, he showed me where he would leave my jacket, out of sight of any light fingered cycling fans. So off I went to race and actually had a not bad race having been gridded dead last! On finishing the race, I grabbed my bottles, thanked the kind lady who stayed to help and went to get my jacket only to find that a light fingered cycling fan had indeed been to work and taken my money and my phone out of my pocket. Why they didnít take the whole lot I donít know but at least they thought about my warmth. So racing abroad on your own is pretty stressful, and stress is energy you donít need to burn, particularly as I already suffer from nerves as it is. So to cut a long story short- thank you Braveheart for facilitating the beginning of my international mountain biking career and removing the potential for stressful situations  Donít get me wrong, there have been numerous stressful situations too but itís good to focus to the positives and from this relationship, you have helped minimise some potentially hairy episodes  - Iíll fill you in on the nitty gritty stuff too in my upcoming blogs!


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