Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Well I had plans to head to sunny Oz for Xmas or stay in Luchon for a warm winter of biking action........but no we Potters chose freezing cold UK for our Christmas break. Ian and I left Luchon behind at 2am for our 20 hour plus driving adventure to the UK. It certainly was an adventure as I mustered the courage to drive Mini Blue across France...yes KP behind the wheel...WATCH OUT!!!
The last vehicle I owned I crashed, or rather I was crashed into three times in the space of a month. As much as I love Mini Blue (AQR mini bus for those 'not' in the know) I do believe I'm jinxed in the machinery department, especially as the last time I drove Mini Blue across Spain she suffered a mechanical....but all I did was turn the key? So I said to Ian I don't mind driving, BUT if anything goes wrong en route I'm not to be blamed.
6hrs later I discovered how much I really enjoy long as it is in a straight line and I don't have to slow down. I braved all the snow, sleet and ice of northern France, but had an almighty scare as my over imaginative brain started dreaming about bike bunny hopping. Ian has spent a long time teaching me to manual and bunny hop the American stylee way, and I was going through the motions in my head when suddenly Ian was screaming at me and taking control of the steering wheel....I was off the road, onto the hard shoulder and heading towards a massive ditch. Luckily Ian had woken up as I just may have tried to bunny hop the mini bus across the ditch (gulp) the moral of the story is don't try and bunny hop mini buses as husbands get angry AND dreaming about mountain biking whilst driving should be avoided at all costs....especially if it causes husbands extra hair loss and elevated blood pressure.
Ian took over the driver's seat until I complained of boredome and begged to drive the last two hundred kilometres to Calais. All was going very well (I thought) until we reached our destination. Now it was time to slow down. However my leg had gone numb, or was it my brain, suddenly I had to think about gears to use and the brake...oops I'm accelerating...oops oops I'm best to give way to the lorries as thay are a tad bigger....oops oops oops a roundabout, another near miss, WHICH ONE IS THE BRAKE IAN!!!!! this stage Ian had lost his summer tan and looked ghostly ill...........and relax. Wow that trip was far more exciting than usual. But now it's time to board the ferry and head across to the UK....Ian decided to take over just incase I crash into the ferry and it if !?!?
Ian and I had purposely chosen a ferry time so we would miss M25 at rush hour.....but as ever all good plans in the Potter department once again turn into another adventure.
I love snow. I'm a Sydney sider born and bred by the beach who never saw snow until she moved to Europe. Now as we hit the UK roads I find myself truly excited about a proper UK winter. That excitement didn't last long mind you as within 30 minutes we stopped and remained on the M20 for over 6 hours. The only fun I had was seeing Ian leave Mini Blue for a pee stop in the trees before a tidal wave of snow and water washed over him as an emergency vehicle rushed by on the hard shoulder.....I truly expected facial fireworks from Mr P and alot of moaning. But instead Ian showed signs of SHOCK! I quickly assessed the situtation especially when he started laughing.....these were ususual signs, so as any experienced first aider would or perhaps might do, I quickly took control of the situtation and went through my DR - ABC.
D is for DANGER..... I locked Ian out of the van as I had to think about 'danger' to myself and others, that be Miss Mini Blue. There was no way a cold and wet Ian Potter was jumping in my Mini Blue warm zone.
R is for RESPONSE......Ian was responding in such a childish manner, jumping up and down, banging on Mini Blue....that he could yell/sulk as much as he wants to, but I need to see sweet smiles before he would be allowed in my warm zone.
A is for AIRWAYS......well no problem there as he moaned and groaned and threatened revenge!
B is for BREATHING.....I told Ian to take a deep breath to help him calm down!!
C is for 'CRAP'.......Ian found spare keys to Mini Blue......Now I'm truly in danger!!! (GULP)
Luckily just as Ian was about to chuck me out of the bus, we moved......well slid down the road. There was no more time for sillyness on my part as there were too many lorries playing dodgems with the cars who were driving too slowly for the lorries to accelerate over the small rises....HENCE why so many lorries remained stuck in the snow and then caused a massive backlog of traffic.
24hrs later Ian and I reached Nottingham and since then it has been full steam ahead in every mountain biking way.... in full swing for the 2011 season, whilst not forgetting the last few guiding and skills coaching sessions Ian and I are running before Christmas. It has been perfect biking conditions to help those of you wanting to flow with confidence on the trail. Whilst the snow is slippery and hard to read, it means the ony way to stay up right is to trust your bike and keep it rolling. There has certainly been some slips and slides, but every off has meant a soft landing and a huge smile, and of course a little bit of know how as to how much grip your tyres have.
At the same time I'm busy preparing for the 'AQR in the ALGARVE' weeks in Portugal March 2011. I'm even more excited because the first week begins on my birthday (5th March). We already have a group booked on the week to help me celebrate another 21st I don't believe in ageing.....age is just a number :) Ian and I have now added another week to Portugal, so 4 weeks in total where we will be overdosing in sunshine, as we Potters take other likeminded bikers on some great trails in and around the Algarve. 
In the racing department, Ian and I are very excited to annouce a new and impoved AQR Race Team. Three small teams, including the original AQR racing line up, are joining forces to become one big team that will see AQR as one of the title sponsors. That is all I can reveal right now, but Cotic bikes will be out in force in more ways than one next summer, so look out!!!!
This weekend we Potters are off to Sherwood Pines and then down to Swinley for some pre-Xmas trail action with the AQR Crew. I will make sure I take some proper winter pics and post them instead of all the Autumn pics I have on me at the moment, which look just like Luchon in the summer really....actually October and November felt like Luchon in July, which is hardly motivating, as I'm sure I won't make friends when I tell people how warm it can be in Luchon during the winter months when UK is covered in snow.....anyway here is a little Xmas card of Potters in our Santa outfits for you all.
Cheerios for now
KPxo and the IMPxo (Mr P's offical sign off name)

AQR - A Quick Release Holidays
AQR - A Quality Ride Coaching


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