and now I'm off to marshal at the Strathpuffer - the worlds stupidiest Bike race - 24 hours of non stop endurance cycling.
In the the Scottish Highlands.
Makes for good pics though.....
This is Scottish Cycling's Neil Walker - the boys Performance Coach last year - who was a solo rider - yes 24 hours on a bike - in the Strathpuffer. He led most of the later half, and eventually came third.
This was taken at 1:30 in the morning......
The news that a BA 777 crash landed at Heathrow today comes as a bit of a shock to those of us who are regular fliers with BA, on 777's out of Heathrow. Well I'm not that regular but at least 3 times this year on trips to the East Coast of the US.
However the fact that everyone survived - only six minor injuries - and the evacuation was straightforward and there was no panic does give comfort.
But you always wonder - how would I react if I was on that flight.
Magnus's training schedule calls for long rides at the weekends, here he is at the start of a five hour ride around Easter Ross, just before Christmas. As a parent you always worry about him being out on the road, even the quiet roads around the Black Isle.
Well the perils of road cycling just took on a nightmarish quality.
Last night we heard the tragic news that Fort Wlliam based Jason Macintyre - one of Scotlands top cyclists - had been killed when training near his home. Its headline news on the radio this morning, and we just received this e-mail from Gary Willis - Magnus's coach.
"Jason MacIntyre, one of our Affiliate athletes was killed yesterday on a training ride near his home in Ft William.
Jason was an amazingly talented athlete and lived 100% for his racing and his family. I raced with him for around 5 years, we started racing together in first year as senior and taught me a lot about being a bike rider, a lot of that info I am still passing on to you guys.
Jason was supposed to come down and ride with the junior guys at the innerleithen camp a few weeks ago, unfortunately his bike broke over the new year. He was disappointed he couldn’t make it as he was really keen to meet all you younger riders coming through and help, as he put it, "if he could"
He was training for the Olympics in Beijing, something he had kept close to his chest. He was just a lad from the highlands that found he could compete with David Miller, Bradley Wiggens et al. That was such a motivation for him to compete on the world stage, an opportunity he never had a young athlete.
Most of you probably never met Jason, but as part of our programme he will be dearly missed, he was a leading light on what can be achieved if you put your mind to it. I hope we can all strive to go that extra mile to challenge the best in the world, I'm sure he would have liked that!
National Olympic Talent Coach
So all of you who read this blog, please remember that a cyclist could be just around that next bend, and drive carefully.
The weather has been fascinating over the past month or so. Its been cold, frosty, some rain, then cold and frosty. There has been lost of snow on the hills, and the skiing is great.
We are having a proper winter again. It's quite remarkable. The mild warm westerly airstreams that have marked winters for the past 10 years are remarkable by their absence.
Of course now I have written this it will turn mild and wet, thereby ruining my argument, but you know what I mean. It’s a proper winter.
No snow in the town yet, but an interesting business interview with Colin at Sutor Creek in Vicky Brocks Highland Business research blog.
The wind has been from the east the past few days, making the beach at the links bitterly cold, and creating quite large breakers (well for Cromarty!) on the sand.
Conversely the beach in front of the Royal Hotel and Bayview is quiet and peaceful, just the place for a stone throwing with your Dad as the sun sets in the west.