March 1, 2009

This month has been far too busy, I’ve had my dissertation looming over my head for far too long now. It has been interesting to do and I’ve done most of the words so I’m just in the process of checking and writing the conclusion etc and will all be over in less than 2 weeks now.

I haven’t done much kayaking this month, only getting out on 3 rivers, the Kent and the Crake in the Lake District and the infamous Dee in Llangollen. None of which are particularly extreme but it is always nice to get up to the lakes where the water is always nice and clear. However there has been a lot of things going on within the club that haven’t been on the water, I’ve been climbing more and more and have had the chance to do some leading now that someone has their own rope which is considerably more tiring! A group of us went to Castleton and Hope for a pub lunch and for a little walk in the peak district which was a great day out.

HopeWorking up an appetite in Castleton

However, the highlight of the activities this month has to be going to the velodrome. I organised a trip for 7 of us onto a taster session which included bike hire and an hour coached on the track. To set the scene, these bikes have no brakes, no gears, your feet are clipped in and it’s fixed wheel which means you can’t stop peddling. Once we got a few practice laps on the flat inner circle getting used to the bikes are more importantly braking with your feet by slowing your peddling down we gradually worked our way up the slope. At the corners the track has a 40° incline and you would think that you have to lean in for it to take you around, but this just causes you to come down, once we realised that you just have to brave it and stay upright it started to get fun. I don’t know how fast we got but I’m sure it was approaching 30-40 mph.

VelodromeMe at the Velodrome, Photo – Rhi Walker

On a completely different note, a few of the girls off my course have been slaving away for months making costumes for a production of the Sorcerer so we went to go see their hard work. The show was the RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music) and was really impressive, especially the costumes!