Tuesday, 28 July 2015


It’s been a long time since I wrote a ‘blog’ and I think it’s about time to put fingers to the keyboard again.

I’m in Solothurn, Switzerland, which has been our base for most of the year. By ‘our’ I mean me and my partner Jarrod; who doubles over here as my mechanic, driver, manager and souigneur. Although we’ve spent most of our four-month stint overseas hotel hopping, it was nice to have a base to store our belongings and somewhere that we could call ‘home’. And an added bonus was that we were living with the much loved Nathalie Schneitter whose friendship has certainly made the trip worthwhile!

It’s nine days until the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Andorra, of which I was selected to race. But it’s only four days until I fly home to Australia. The decision to pull out of the World Championships was actually an easy one. Not only would my result be embarrassing (the last six weeks have seen my results plummet to the point where I DNF’d the final World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy), but the two week stint would cost me in excess of $2,500 and I find it unjustifiable to spend that much money on bad memories.

So instead I’ll start my off-season a little earlier than expected and in a slightly different manner. Jarrod and I will only fly home as far as Perth, where we're stopping off for a week to prolong the return to cold weather in Bendigo and to ‘participate’ in the Dwellingup 100; a National Series marathon that Jarrod is yet to tick off the bucket list. It was my return to racing following a back injury two years ago and I really suffered through it (read about it here). I assume this time will be no different after a two-week hiatus from the bici. The purpose of the event is to help me find my love for MTB’ing again after a roller coaster season, so thanks to Tony Tucknott for making it possible!

So on reflection it’s been a long season. I wouldn’t say that I’ve overdone it, or that I’ve raced too much (lord knows I’ve raced a lot more in the past). I just think that perhaps my racing could’ve been blocked better and after ten months the body needs more than a few days rest. The continuous mental strain of preparing for one important race after another has drained me to the point where I have no mental fight left in me and my body is empty.

But looking ahead I’m excited to return home, recover, get back in the gym, and of course get my arse back into ‘Ham Land’ to pack some meat and earn some coin to do it all again next year! I get to escape for a few of my favourite stage races including the Pairs format at Hellfire Cup (thanks to Dunc and Sarah), and of course the Cape to Cape and the Forrest Festival (of which Jarrod is yet to miss a year). So if you’re looking for a few races to add to your bucket list perhaps you can steal an idea or two from my 17 week calendar here!