Monday, March 31, 2008

Tango & Cash Triumph at Baronscourt

There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth in the Sperrins on Saturday 29 March, as a slight departure from instructions by a couple of other teams gifted Tango & Cash with victory at the CCAR Baronscourt Adventure Race.

Baronscourt 2008 Race Results - XLS file, 33K

(A younger, fresher Tango & Cash at last year's Baronscourt race)

Warning: Race Report - danger of boredom ahead

The weather was brutal for the start, too wet even for our blazers, with lashing rain dampening everything including spirits. However, the rain was soon forgotten as the hooter sounded and 70 eejits galloped up a mucky slope in search of 2 bits of laminated paper.

Back down the slope, the car was our brief campaign headquarters. We quickly marked our checkpoints up, and were the second team to hit the trails, just behind Team Purple 2 (the Purps), who set a helluva pace.

We tried to stick with them as best we could, with NTSR right up on us too. The Purps, just ahead, were extremely gracious in telling us where the first few checkpoints were, but after they cocked one up a bit later on, we decided we couldn’t risk listening anymore, heheheee!

A long slog and a superb tarmac descent took us to the main road, and then the Ulster American Folk Park. The traditionally-clad Folk Park team were all very cheerful in their duties, if a tad bemused at all the frantic activity, and we were soon in and out and back on the bikes.

Still pretty much neck and neck with NTSR and the Purps, the superb tarmac descent was markedly less enjoyable as a climb, but we all dragged ourselves up and slogged out the climb back up into the forest.

The Purps were FAST up the long drag to the forest and we lost sight of them, but for some reason they stopped for a KitKat half-way down the descent towards the bike-drop, and we whizzed past them in full tuck.

Just as we entered the gates of the estate, Davy lost his chain, but thankfully we were freewheeling too fast to pedal anyway, and we made it down to the bike-drop first.

We picked up our map and headed down to TA3, then wondered where the other guys had gone to, as they would definitely have taken us easily on the run down - we assumed (correctly, as it turned out) that they had headed straight out to clear the map checkpoints instead of visiting TA3 first (where they would have learned to only collect 3 markers at a time), and this ultimately proved to be their downfall.

We decided to hit the boats first. The weather had by this time turned gorgeous, and in the beauty of the scene paddling up the lake, we allowed our minds to wander briefly to consider how jarred off the guys were going to be when they finally made it to TA3 with a bunch of markers already picked up! But, snapping ourselves back to life, we hardened our hearts and got back to task.

We picked up the 2 lake markers, beached the boat to pick up the one on the earth bank, and headed back to TA, staggered round another 2 loops to get the rest, and we (Davy, that is) also managed to nick an extra 3 minutes at the bean bag task.

Utterly spent, barely shuffling, and bereft of any more expletives, we pulled off our bibs and collapsed into the vat of soup at the finish at 3:20pm, after 4hrs and 5 minutes of racing; trying to hang with the guys on the bike section wasted us, and made this definitely our most tiring and painful race to date.

Nice buns again, Joan. A genuine thanks to all the folks at CCAR, who, in the face of many unseen challenges, put on a great event every time. Fantastic fun to take part in, and superb innovations to be found in every race. Well done, guys.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Ulster Way - 600 Miles, 6 Days, 0 Gears

The new Ulster Way is a proposed 600 mile loop of Northern Ireland over roads, tracks, mountains and bogland. When completed, the new route will take in many of Northern Ireland’s portfolio of waymarked ways.

Tango & Cash are attempting to complete the entire proposed route in six consecutive days all under our own steam, on foot and by singlespeed mountain bike, beginning 3 May 2008. To the best of our knowledge, this has never been attempted before.

The Ulster Way in Six Consecutive Days Blog

Is it doable? Who knows, and we are not really fit for it, but we’ll give it a crack anyway, and see how we get on. We intend to make an early start each morning, and we will finish when we finish, most likely in a quite appalling physical and mental state, according to our calculations!

If you would like to join us for a day, or part of a day, email us or leave us a message with your email address - your company is almost certain to be a breath of fresh air, no matter how tedious you may be deemed in other social contexts.

(Note that cycling is not sanctioned on much of the route, so anyone joining the party will need to be prepared to carry their bike for some, possibly long, sections)

Worse Things Happen at Sea

Whilst this is first and foremost a personal challenge, we are going to try and raise as much money as we can for the RNLI, which anyone would recognise is an extremely worthy cause.

Our Ulster Way route will take us within touching distance of all 9 of Northern Ireland’s lifeboat stations.

Make a donation to RNLI at

Thursday, March 20, 2008

TrailBadger Biking Tops Steal Show in Milan Fashion Week

Well, so maybe there was a minor flurry of excitement on the outskirts of Antrim town.

Find out more about the TrailBadger tops, and get yours!

TrailBadger Biking Top TrailBadger Biking Top