2018 World Cup #2 Fort William, Scotland

We interrupt your regular programming to give you some brief observations from the weekend in Scotland:

1. Midges are miserable little cretins that don’t have a place on this earth.

2. The Scots have yet to discover reasonable cell phone service.

3. As above, but Wi-Fi.

4. It rains… a lot.

5. I hate midges.

6. It also gets much hotter than you would expect…I was quite sunburnt.

7. The preferred form of accommodation appears to be caravans.

8. They are really small.

9. They normally put them in really nice places.

10. There’s a shit load of midges at these places….and I hate them

Looks can be deceiving, beautiful place, shocking bugs.
Pic: Dan Griffiths

11. As its hot and you stay in caravan you want to open the windows.

12. If you do this, the midges swarm in and you get eaten.

13.Taping the window shade over the window doesn’t stop the midges coming in.

14. Neither does shutting the door after evacuating the bedroom to sleep in the kitchen.

15. Sleeping inside a duvet cover does help.

16. I hate midges.

17. Having holes in the floor of the caravan doesn’t help keep the midges out.

18. I now look like I have scabies.

19. I also can’t stop itching.

20. Fort William is still very rough and very long.

Chateau du Caravan.
Pic: Dan Griffiths

21. Its bloody good fun.

22. There are heaps of people there.

23. They are all mad (in a good way!).

24. Practice is intimidating because everyone goes really fast, really quickly.

25. Practice is fun, because you go really fast, really quickly.

26. If you stop in the woods to look at lines, you get eaten by midges, I hate them.

27. The jumps at the end of the track are still really fun.

28. Qualifying is hard, because the track has been the same for years and everybody knows it inside out.

29. Qualifying inside the top 40 is very satisfying, especially when it rains and it’s slippery.

30. Thunderstorms the night before the race don’t always make the track better.

Pic: Dan Griffiths

31. All this excitement momentarily distracts you from the bigger issue of hating midges.

32. There are even more spectators on race day.

33. I still don’t like haggis.

34. It’s hard to relax before a World Cup race run.

35. Having a good mechanic helps with point 34, thanks Ben.

36. Racing in a World Cup never gets old.

37. When you are racing, the midges can’t get you and this is good.

38. It’s really hard to tell how slippery wet rocks are when you are breathing your nuts off

39. Pedalling for 45 seconds at the end of your run is much easier if you train right in the off season, thanks Adrian and Malcolm.

40. Dropping into the finish area in Fort William with 30,000 spectators there is something else.

Pic: Dan Griffiths

41. After you cross the finish line you realise how tired you are.

42. Improving your qualifying time is satisfying.

43. Finishing higher than you qualified is same as point 42.

44. 38th Place is consistent, though you always want better.

45. I’m now 34th overall in the World Cup, woohoo!

46. It’s a really long way to Leogang!

47. I have 97 midge bites on my left leg alone.

48. I F**king hate midges.

See you next weekend!

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