only a few days left until we’re packing that van with 2 monkey rigs, 1 danler sled, 1 diggler scooter, 1 santa cruz heckler, 1 dyson vacuum cleaner and my fly fishing tackle. not forgeting the 5 boys and Helen, of course. today I slipped out to buy a fast sinking line from the tackle shop – ready to fish the trout ponds in Aviemore. it was at that point, clutching my bag of goodies, i realised the annual holiday is just around the corner. my business, SimpleUsability is moving to Leeds whilst away on holiday. i return from holiday to spend a weekend fitting out an office, ready to receive some very special clients. whilst the leasing aggreement states no dogs, I’m tempted to reinact our own iditarod with some of these orange dogs from Alessi.
only 2 weeks until we’re off to Aviemore for that world famous race and we’ve already been out on the sled twice this season. Christmas 2005 was fabulous. fab turkey from the farmers cart, fab company from down south, but unfortunately Santa forgot to leave the psp under the tree so Fairy Dixons may have one saved for me next time we’re passing through duty free on a Swiss mission. many new things happening at Aviemore this year, new venues and activities to build on the vintage that was last year. i must remember to pack the new rod and flies for a spot of trout fishing on the Rothiemurchus Estate. after all the money we’ve raised for the race, will be nice to spend some time pulling trout of an edible kind.
We finished the rally season by winning the D class at Bowlands. we’ve had a really good year with the racing and did our bit to keep the drinks industry profits high. we had our best Aviemore yet – trying lots of new places to dine out in with a great bunch of people – oh and I smashed the 20 minute barrier and even got faster on the second day due to chasing my new trail buddy, Justin. our new puppy, Mookie, is very happy with his new pals at chez Redwood. he’s definitely a character and putting a lot of effort into doing the usual ‘chew everything’ that puppies do. we’ve got a few shows on the horizon, but I’m keen to enjoy a bit more of he garden this year and that fab warm weather we keep having.
so we got snowed in at Aviemore and ended up coming back a day late from our annual holiday…. spending two days on the sled with really fresh snow at Feshie Bridge. Helen came 28th and myself 13th out of 46 in the two-dog class. my runs were slow at times, with Elvis barely trotting along in a world of his own. on the first day we overtook a few malamute and Samoyed teams – one lead Samy took a chunk of hair out of Elvis as we overtook – and I thought Samys were sweet? the second day was more interesting after meeting Sue Blake and Jim Taylor in the first mile of the course. we went around as a group, overtaking and chatting to keep up momentum. for me, that’s one of the great things about Aviemore, we have one minute start intervals so you do get to meet others and enjoy the spirit of one of the largest sled dog races in Europe. car needed jump-starting in the rally car park thanks to the technicians at our local Jeep dealership loosening the battery connectors at its last service….. the trek was absolutely magical. Snow everywhere and was the first time with the monkey for over 10 miles in rough terrain. the monkey rig made it so much more fun. Really stable in the tricky rocky descents, brakes worked a treat and the high footplates didn’t hit a thing. you may have heard me laughing all along the goat trail. it reminded me of the first time I rode a full suspension mountain bike off-road – just so much better than any other rig I’ve used.
- meeting Sue on the trail on Sunday
- playing in the snow with the dogs and running the sled
- awesome snow covered scenery on the trek
- 8 days spent with a really cool bunch of friends
– stopping Mick Bray’s loose team running towards me whilst marshalling, after he fell off his rig when his handle bars snapped on the second day.
Aviemore low points?
- my sniffling cold
- a stack of mobile speeding cameras on the A66 on the journey up
- being too tired every night to party (old age?)
- missing Leslie Monk and Andy Pullen comparing trophies in the bar on Sunday night.
before Aviemore we had a very enjoyable rally at Clipstone. Mick and Ann with helpers put on a really good night and day rally. Saturday evening was a classic with the bar running out of glasses and mixed grills. it’s all down hill from here. the dogs are looking fitter and making more noise in the dog run but the rally season heads