From the Lions' Den - A freestylers' journey.


It's on my left arm & the 'tapered' end is towards the string. What's wrong with that?
The writing should read from top to bottom so everyone knows what brand it is. It is a serious part of their advertising. Unless of course it has been fitted on the outside of the arm by mistake... or for the photo only.


This is getting needlessly petty Geoff, so I'll make this clear & then I hope it'll be an end to it...

1) In the photo, the guard is EXACTLY where it'll be during shooting.
2) The writing on the bands is in the correct orientation when my arm is by my side.
3) The logo on the guard is in the correct orientation when my arm is extended towards the target.
4) I don't give a **** what Beiter thinks, unless they pay me!

Fairy Nuff?


Again, no scoring. Friday was all about setting the new sights, which I'm well happy with, & practicing the process.

- Good decision really, as it took well over an hour before I was happy with both. Started high left, then low right, eventually got the grouping just about centered but man, I was all over the place in the middle part of the session - 'surrounding the gold' would be an apt description.

If I can start shooting tomorrow as I ended yesterday, I'd say there's a chance of a top-ten finish, going by last years' results. Towards the end, once I finally felt 'in the groove', I was hitting 2/3 golds - but still nowhere near enough X's.

- Although if they have a 'most reds' medal, I'll deffo be in with a shout of that!

Biggest concern is actually the weather, as the 'direct' route is up the Pennines to Alston then down the windy side (Hartside Pass) to Penrith.

- Could be an interesting trip in a car that doesn't weigh much more than me ;)


Fun is where you find it.

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger"

This is me coming down Hartside a few years ago - briskly but smoothly ;)



I was too shattered to do the write-up last night.

It sure was an interesting day!

When I set off, the skies were clear, the winds were relatively light, even the sun peaking through from time to time.

- A big change from a couple of hours earlier when I wasn't sure if I was walking the dog or flying a kite, in a car wash 🌧

The run up Bellister Bank was incident-free, there was some standing water but mostly avoidable. The run down Hartside was an absolute JOY! No traffic to get in the way, totally stunning vistas over the Eden valley to the Lakes, with a hint of dark, foreboding storminess lurking over the peaks, I loved every damned second of it! Even in a clapped-out Micra, that is a road to challenge & delight, a road which separates 'drivers' from mere 'motorists' with every swoop & bend.

Langwathby. 5 miles from destination, 15 mins ahead of schedule. In a great head-space. What could go wrong?

The Eden bursting its' banks all the way back to Appleby, that's what! The single-track box-girder bridge was impassable - apparently a 'snorkel' Land Rover had attempted it earlier, made it over the bridge but then got carried away by the current on the flood plain (the clue's in the name, guys) on the other side.

So, on the advice of a group of 'Red Socks' I made my way north towards Lazonby, along back roads not totally unfamiliar to me. Here's where the Lazonby road ended:-

Last chance. Armathwaite. 2/3 of the way back to Carlisle. HOORAH, the bridge is open! The water is within a foot of the arch tops but it's do-able.

I made it to the venue in time to register, build & judge-check Magaera, only missing the first round of sighters.

Sighters! I may as well have spent Friday night knitting for all the good that sight-setting session did :( High right from the start, took four ends before I got it even close, eight before I was happy. The stressed last hour of travel & rushed set-up had ruined my previous buzz of course, groupings were pretty awful really. The first session ended with a paltry 234, although the last 2 ends were somewhat encouraging.

A break barely long enough for a quick half-smoke outside helped calm me again. The second session felt much better, even a couple of 29's, but a couple of loose ends - including an embarrassing 16 on the very last end - left me on an improved but still barely acceptable 248 for a total of 482. Hey, at least I wasn't last.

So that's my first county championship in the bag. My own is next month.

The journey home, I decided to take the longer-but-safer A6/M6/A69 option but even that proved to be only just do-able. Although the bridge at Warwick Bridge was OK, the plain on the east side was inundated, there was about 100 yards of slow-flowing water to crawl through, axle-height mostly but deeper on the inside.

Take-away: I know that I can shoot the groups/scores/ends that I think I should be shooting - All I need to do now is to learn how to shoot 20 of them consecutively, then I'll reach 570+ land.


Yeah, and we have round two of windy winter wetness rapidly encroaching 🌪

Shot much better tonight than I did then, much tighter groups, at one stage I was on a run of 11 consecutive golds - until an 8 ruined the run :(

I'm putting a lot of the improvement down to the arrival today of this wee gadget-

-which fitted nicely onto my old SwooshBand, which can be worn over my DuRag without slipping & sliding around. Never had to touch it all night, once I'd found the sweet spot. Didn't need to flip it up between ends either. The only thing it obscures is the pin to my left eye. Apart from those, the benefits are exactly what you'll read when you research them.

The rest of the improvement, I think J-Kam deserves the praise. I've watched many hours of vidz this week, due to being bored silly flying spaceships for now.

... I might even do a scoring round on Sunday ;)


Last Sunday just didn't happen. Stayed home, full of snot & phlegm, drinking lots of tea & hugging a heater.

Yesterday was better.

Again, no scoring, just practice of the form changes. For a while, I was banging in good, tight, central groups with the odd loose shot sneaking into the red but it didn't last, an hour in I was back to 8" groups again.

- So I made a 'big change' I'd been thinking of for a week or two & removed the shelf & pinky-grip from my tab a la J-Kam.

It felt WEIRD!

...NO WAY could I get the index-knuckle hard against my jawbone - but it's so easy just sitting here in front of the 'puter.

It would be understandable, I hope, if I was re-assembling the tab right now, and sayin' nowt. But half-an-hour is too short to properly assess anything in this inscrutable sport, so I'm sticking with it for the next session at least.

To be fair, my groupings weren't too bad, certainly no worse than before the strip-down. I did have to come down a whole 15 turns to get the group on the face though. Didn't worry at all about zeroing, all I was interested in was tightening the groups. So I'll persevere.

...but I have the feeling that might be next Friday, I have a hankering towards spending Sunday afternoon watching England v Ireland with a beer or two ;)