I missed the third round of the 2012 UK Gravity Enduro and didn't have time to write a blog of the fourth round at Eastridge. I really enjoyed Eastridge but had a few issues with my MRP 2X chain device failing to do it's job so I turned up to the last round at Dyfi Forest with one of them new fangled clutch mechs attached to my Ibis Mojo HD and lots to improve on.

I arrived Friday lunch time and met up with Beef and Danni to do a practice lap in glorious sunshine. I've ridden the ClimachX trail and some off piste stuff in the forest before but still wasn't sure what to expect?

Usually I am prepared well in advance for any weekend away on my bike especially if it's an organised event or race. However for a variety of reasons, but mostly just laziness, it was a case of just bunging everything together on Friday evening ready for an early start on Saturday morning. Shakey and I were heading up to Innerleithen for the first round of this year's Gravity Enduro series.

When we arrived the car park was full and the fog we had endured on the 5 hour drive was just beginning to lift. We got ready and headed out for a practice lap without really studying the route map. Half way up the first climb I stopped to remove a layer. T-shirt and shorts in Scotland in March! Amazing!

I was doing my ride report for the Trans Hajar but frankly the report below pisses all over mine.

I was a complete mess on day 3. A 120 km stage where I completely blew. Horrible. Just Horrible. I lost about 40 mins to Youceff (the report writer). Some of this can be put down to the heat compared to last year. I did the Yitti Stage on Day 2 almost an hour quicker than last year! Day 3 was about 20 mins quicker. In hindsight I can be pretty pleased with my effort. I suspect what happened is that I put too much in on Day 2 (after Day 2 I was so tired I fell asleep as soon as I got home (after eating)) leaving me with no energy for Day 3.

I applied to ride for GB in the Tour of the Himalayas last January with no idea what was involved and got declined. Then Matt Page emailed me at the start of August informing me they were a rider down and did I want to take part and join himself (national and euro 24hour champ), Rikkie Cotter (national 24 hour female champ), Mark Spratt (national vet 24hr champ) and Elite woman Mel Alexander (currently 2nd in the NPS). Yes!

Then I found out where the race was. Pakistan. Fly out to Islamabad on 9/11, tenth anniversary, travel up the Karakoram Highway, through Abbotabad (where Osama got caught) and race in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region. I must admit Islamabad wasn't on my hitlist of city breaks, and I was slightly concerned about the Taliban. The foreign office website read: "We advise against all travel to specific regions of Pakistan and against all but essential travel to other specific regions of Pakistan." More specifically it advised against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa travel, stating increased risk of militant activity, kidnap, robbery and murder. It advised against travelling on the Karakoram highway. Finally, it advised against all travel to Abbotabad following Osama’s capture.

I was having doubts about the trip, but the organiser of the race emailed me stating it would be alright...