Ella Sadler-Andrew has started her regular blog with VeloNation.
Check it out here.
Well, I made it. In one piece, both the bike and I. Just…The bike nearly had to come wheeless after my luggage was about 10kg over, despite me cutting my suitcase down 50%. Running out of underwear already. Only kidding, I’m in my togs every day! Knowing that my luggage was well over, I prepared a little speech to give the check in person. Really didn’t think he was going to budge, and I was waiting for the painful 250pound bill (no frikking pound sign in this country). Duno how but I blagged it. Big time. Walked away massively relieved.
The next step was to endure the most tedious journey ever known to man. Twenty hours cramped up like a battery chicken. Usually I’ve flown with my family, meaning that you can spread out, lay, lean on them. There was no way I was going to get away with that this time. Both flights I was stuck next to buisness men who weren’t in the slightest interested in having any sort of communcation. I was on the window seat meaning that to get to the loo, everyone had to get up. Knowing that this would majorly pee my row off, I held my bladder until I actually nearly went. The aeroplane was mega hot and stuffy, so I was drinking litres of water in an attempt to stay vaguely hydrated. Grumpy neighbours + lots of fluid = very, very uncomfortable flight. Continue reading
Well the time is here (nearly) for when I depart for my lovely hot, sunny ten weeks in Australia and New Zealand. Not going to lie, not going to miss any of you. The only person I will miss is my cat, Paddy. I reckon he know’s I’m going soon; before when I was having a post-ride nap, he came and joined my, positioning himself so I had no other option but to spoon him. The cutest thing ever.
I’m pretty organised. Friends are picking me up from the airport, I have made some cycling contacts and I have some money. I still have to get dollars, arrange what I’m doing when I go to New Zealand, get my broken camera fixed (courtesey of NYE…) and amongst 500 other things, pack. Packing is proving a major difficulty. I’m still waiting to hear if my bike can be excluded from my baggage allowance, meaning I can take 30kg of clothes over. If not, I’m gona have to be real careful with what I pack. One bra, one pair of knickers, one pair of shoes…That sort of thing. Fingers crossed I get to take more than one of everything, if not, double days are going to be fun. Continue reading
Well my trusty steed (the four year old Specialized Tri-cross) survived another cross race last week. After taking it apart and re-greasing bearings in the headset during the week (yup all on my own), I was worried that half way through the race either the forks would come loose from the frame or that it would completely seize up. I was open to any of these possibilities as it would be a perfect excuse for not having to finish what can only be described as a mud bath disguised as a cross race.
The race was yet again in Liverpool but this time at Sutton Manor. I did this last year and remember it being rainy, muddy and pretty damn lethal. Nothing much had changed this year apart from a different course. But as predicted, still as lethal. For everyone else it may not be so dangerous but my X bike handling skills are limited and in mud, they dissapear.
On the start line it started raining after being sunny for the Youth races. If only I was still 16 =( Same as always it was a big bum fight (which I have been told is an incorrect saying, the correct being ‘bun fight’. I prefer my idiolect). I thought my start was OK; at the end of the day it didn’t matter on this course, as soon as we hit mud people flew past me, shouting abuse as my wheels slid out from under me. 500 metres from the start this girl (who I now know is Becky Preece) came flying past me. Seriously, flying. If it hadn’t have (or is it ‘of’?) been so muddy my mouth would of resembled this – =O. I mean, she’s a Junior and completely kicked my ass. As did Hannah Layland and Melissa Bury. Maybe I should give it up?! Continue reading
Well winter is offically here. Rain, wind but also cyclo-cross! Yay! My first one was at Otterspool Park last Saturday. I had the pleasure of taking a fellow Lune-ite Nicolas Bertrand and the not so pleasure of taking local Herbalife rider Jack Pullar with me (only kidding, Jack kept us entertained for the entirity of the journey). It was a really nice day, slightly windy but the course was pretty sheltered.
Course looked so fun when practicing, including a cobbled climb, some very steep ascents and descents and some pretty techincal single track. Despite the technicality, it was a fast course and not too long to get bored. Continue reading
With a week to go to the Three Peaks Cyclocross race I had my first ever mountain bike race – Grizedale Mountain Bike Challenge covering 30 miles. 30 miles may not seem a lot, but on a mountain bike and in the conditions of the day, it felt an eternity. The week before I had been praying for good weather but as always, my wish didn’t come true and it rained non-stop Saturday, Saturday night and all through Sunday. There wasn’t one single second (I’m not exaggerating) where it didn’t rain.
I tried not to let it faze me but there is nothing worse than starting a bike race cold and wet, being cold and wet for the duration, then finishing cold and wet. There were around 500 starters but I had no aspirations. I’m pretty poor at off-road stuff but seriously love it! I did it in preparation for the Three Peaks. It was mad to begin with but with a big section of fire trail spreading everyone out. Despite not being particularly fit at the moment, I seemed to be going past quite a few people!
Finding a flight to Australia is proving to be one massive headache. Six weeks ago when I realised I was serious about this adventure, I went looking for tickets. £700 seemed to be pretty average, but it wasn’t with the best airlines. Six weeks on and I still haven’t got a ticket. I’m looking now and it looks like I won’t be paying anything under £1000.
I am a pretty accustomed traveller but my parents have always done the organising for the big trips such as Australia and New Zealand. I can get myself to France for £50 no problems!
Since my last update, I have been pretty hectic. I started my new job last week…looking after the elderly (which includes a whole range of unpleasant jobs). However, it is flexible. I work 5-10pm 20 days a month but can get extra day hours. Which leaves me plenty of room to go training. It seems a bit weird going from full-time education to a job, but it’s all for my trip to Australia in January.
To sort of celebrate the end of my bad knee season and before I get back into full training, I booked a very last minute trip to Paris to watch the end of the Tour de France; with the ulterior motive of trying to marry Andy Schleck. I had planned on keeping myself entertained but luckily enough Stuart MacLean was in Paris too after his epic London-Paris 24 ride so we, along with his Right to Play friend Mona spent the time together.
So, finally I have had my knee operation. I went in Monday morning and came out Monday evening with a piece of my cartilage removed. My surgeon, the lovely Mr. Marshall was unsure to what he would find; I didn’t care, I just wanted the pain gone so I could get on my bike. Post – op he showed me pictures of the bucket handle cartilage tear in my right knee, very similar to my last knee operation on the left knee.
For the past few days I have been hobbling around the house slowly getting more and more cabin feverish. The pain has died down a lot but it is really uncomfortable and awkward to move. I still can’t weight bear making a trip to the shops impossible. Yesterday I managed a walk with the dogs with my neighbour, but it wasn’t long until my knee gave in with incredible cramps! In fact, as I type now I can feel my leg cramping and needing elevating. Very annoying! I feel I need to do some exercise or get outside, but the weather is also crap. The fact that my knee is also the soze of my house doesn’t help mobility…I currently have no kneecap. Continue reading
A couple of Friday I’s ago made the long journey from Lancaster to Oxford for Horizon Fitness’ photoshoot and then the Bedford 2 Day. I timed it perfectly for rush hour when I hit Wolverhampton – my bike got jammed on the train and I very nearly was left on the train with my bike and my suitcase on the platform. I basically yanked my bike out and jumped (poor bike I know).
The hotel was ridiculously big! Thinking my room would reflect the enormity of the place itself, I took my bike to the room only to find a cubby hole. Needless to say, I squeezed everything in. Lucky I was sharing with Penny…there definitely wasn’t room for another Ella.