How much is too much?

When the spinning plates start dropping…

I can’t deny it; I do have a lot going on in my life most of the time. It has been my nature since I can remember, running clubs at school and long evenings out exploring the local countryside with mates on whatever ramshackle bikes we could get our hands on.

Getting older has just seen this evolve into career choices like starting my own business, life choices such as getting onto the property ladder, bigger & more sports and travelling a little bit further than the local countryside.

But have I bitten off more than I can chew this time?

Nearing my mid-thirties, and I find that my colleagues, friends & family all suggest the same (and with increasing emphasis) – Birdman, you are doing too much.

I’m a stubborn kind of guy, but I’m not blind to the fact that the ambitions I wanted to achieve this year are now suffering in what has become the plight of an incredibly hectic life schedule. There are more tasks than I can multi, and the plates farthest from my reach are wobbling with intent.

I find I revert to a student-like state hours before an exam. “What do I need to know, and what can I get away without reading”. I’ve been through that in the last 2 months and it isn’t a good long-term approach, and heavily fuelled by energy drinks and matchsticks.

How do you deal with it?

Answers on a postcard please…  


Keep on, keeping on

It’s a quote from an early noughties film, Joe Dirt which often pops up in my head if I’m in a bit of a grind. I might be stuck with a mathematical problem in work, cycling up a steep climb in a hefty headwind or pushing tens of metres of speedfit plumbing pipe through the floorboards of my recent house project.

In actual fact I think the Joe Dirt character is a fantastic role model, the theme of the film being Joe overcoming any obstacle that fell (or landed!) in his path in his own, albeit sometimes naïve, accepting way, taking life as it comes. As filmland predicts it’s a rosy outcome for Joe, but I like to take heart from this and remember that in life the majority of the time things really do work out for the best, even if it seems downright wrong at the time.

So yes, when I’m feeling like I’m stuck in a bit of a rut or feeling a bit blue, its Joe’s catchphrase that’s on my mind because sometimes you just have to get your head down, and get on with it.


Pre-race nerves…

Every time. No matter how short, long or hyped the event is – there it is, the little niggle of uncertainty of what is about to unfold. I can’t deny, that’s part of the appeal…

It’s the first enduro of the year, the Wentwood Forest 50km Goshawk Challenge down in South Wales and a chance to see friends I have ridden with since last summer, put the new steed (an almost luminous red On One 456) to the test and to see just how many mince pies and pints of Gunniess I consumed over the winter months. Sadly I already know the latter…

After the Irish Singlspeed trip last August I decided to pursue the 69er build and the 456 comes sporting 29 inch Rockshox Rebas. The shakedown rides have proved fun, the 29 inch front wheel and forks eating up everything in their path. My partner on the trip has gone full blown 29er and it will be fun to see how they both ride over the weekend.

New bikes. Untested fitness. Uncertainty. But we’re all in the same boat and will come out grinning.

So will 2012 be the year of the 29er? It’s been an explosion of activity from manufacturers, and a great deal of hype. Personally I’m already planning a venture into the 29er world, eyeing up the Giant Anthem X or the Scott Spark. @BikeMagic have been tweeting about some great featurs and reviews on the latest in 29ers.

Are you tempted?