Alpkit team manoeuvres- May

By Col

Trans Iowa 2013 - courtesy of Vin Cox

It's been a pretty busy month for the Alpkit team and looks to continue right up to the end. However, sadly it's also been a month of mixed fortunes, showing that any of these outdoor activities can throw up obstacles and unforeseen problems at any time. No matter at what level you are pushing yourself it can simply be part and parcel of the game, it's then a case of getting back up and going again, it's the love of doing what you do that will bring you back.

At the very tail end of April we mentioned Vin Cox and Paul Errington were heading out for the 323 mile Trans Iowa race. Paul has finally written up his Trans Iowa Experience on how it all went. He finally came through in 12th spot with a time of 28 hours 39 minutes. Vin unfortunately had to pull up after an impressive 235 miles as he simply got too cold during the night and couldn't get it back.

Pete Rhodes set out on his SkateLeJog challenge to skateboard the 900 miles from Lands End to John O'Groats in 18 days with brother Mark. All seemed to be going well as they put in days of 40-70 miles despite the wet weather, however things started to go wrong on day 5 when Mark suffered with Achilies problems which resulted in him having to switch from his board to a bike. Following this Pete pushed on for another couple of days before having to pull up due to severe knee problems. Despite the training, injury reared its ugly head again. Mark continues on the journey by bike.. safe travels to him.

Consistency rules for Claire O'Hara, who despite travelling all over the world continues to pull out the competition performances. After spending the last couple of months in New Zealand and Australia, she pulled out a 6 day 13,000 mile journey via the UK onto the Plattling EuroCup freestyle event in Germany. Not letting jet lag get her down she duly pulled off the win to claim gold in both freestyle and squirt.

Scott Swalling started the month with solid singlespeed preparation at the Gorrick 100 before moving onto his main focus of the 24hrs of Exposure, however the fickle nature of this kind of racing came to the fore has he suddenly and unexpectedly had to stop. We're sure he'll come back stronger!

Alpkit Kenny couldn't let the team have all the fun, so he packed his van and headed out to Italy for the 10th edition of the bouldering festival MelloBlocco, before hitting the Italian Singlespeed champs the following weekend. He doesn't know where he finished, other than it wasn't first and it wasn't last. So not a bad result.

Amongst the climbing Ramon Marin has already ticked off one of his summer goals by completing Cider Soak at Ansteys. His first proper 8a. You'd think that would mean he can ease up, but we get the feeling he might be pretty psyched now... exciting to see if he takes this form all the way through to the winter when he gets his hands on those axes again.

But wait! May has still got time to run and we're not letting things ease up. There are a couple of bikepacking events taking place over the bank holiday weekend. Alpkit's Nick and Kenny will pack up their framebags and head over to the annual Welsh Ride Thing to enjoy this great 3 day event put on by Stuart and Dee. While up in Scotland Paul Errington and Paul Pomfret will be joining a strong list of riders taking on the challenge of the Highland Trail 400, a self-supported mountain bike route over 400 miles in length with around 12,000m of climbing. We're looking forward to hearing how it gets on.

For those of us in the UK it's the bank holiday and school half term, so a perfect opportunity to grab an extra day or two and get out on an adventure. If you want to let us know about your adventures then we love to hear what people have got up to so drop us a line or join us onFacebook. Whatever you get up to, have a great end to May and bring on June, and maybe some more summer weather!

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