The Arm Coolers …

In 2013 I was very fortunate to be on the slopes of Mont Ventoux on Bastille Day during the Tour de France … it was an epic stage in searing heat up one of the most ferocious mountains out there … Chris Froome won the stage and I walked around 9km up the mountain that day and perched myself on one of the hairpin bends, camera in hand waiting for the race to explode.

Amongst the hundreds of images I captured that day was one of Jens Voight, riding up on his TREK and subsequently I tweeted Jens, who is very social and he replied to confirm that the strange black arm bands in the image were in fact special team issue arm coolers, produced specifically for that stage. Very interesting.

Fast forward now three years and through a friend I had the opportunity to get a print of the image signed by the man himself.

This week that print arrived in my office.

Jens Voight

A really personal message from Jens …. “To Martin, all the best and we both know that I am rocking the arm coolers” – that is something really special.

I plan to get the image framed and start to add to the collection !

In other news, it was stage 3 of the cycling themed tattoo this week and the outline and shading of the back piece is complete …. more to come on this one, but side by side with the chest piece it is starting to look amazing !

Chest and Back

Hopefully I will be getting out tomorrow for another good training ride around the Lancashire hills, building well towards the Tourmalet !

It’s 2016 and already lots of changes !

The new year generally tends to mean two  things for me, a reorganisation of the various projects I have in place and also some focus on my fitness and plans for racing in the coming year.

Well, lets start with the reorganisation and particularly with my photography – I took a year out last year to try a couple of new things and a bit of diversity, some of which worked some of which didn’t but that was kind of the whole reason for doing it.

All that work lead me to the creation of my new website, where I will now focus all my photographic work – Martin Holden Images – centralising and simplifying lots of the work I have done over the last couple of years. This will now be the main focus area for my images.

martin holden images website

I am also quite looking forward to getting back to taking some images at races, something that I have missed over the last 12 months and whilst I won’t bombard the site with those images, it will be nice to build a portfolio of them going forward now – there are still over 13,000 images of cycling on my Flickr page and all those will stay there too.

Now on to the not-so-good news …. unfortunately the knee problems I had back in September have flared up again, following a short run I did last week – a very gentle 5km jog really but I was in real pain the next day and the pain did not go away for the rest of the week – time to visit the physio.

I have torn my posterior capsule (cartilage at the rear of my knee) – at this point we don’t think it needs surgery, but until all the swelling and inflammation has gone that’s not 100% but it does look hopeful on that front at least. We can then start the weeks of rehab that it will need, but and this is a pretty big but, if I start running again then it will get worse and will almost certainly need an operation, which in itself is no guarantee.

Cycling is fine, no pain, no issues afterwards and no impact.

That makes is a fairly easy decision.

The running shoes are hung up for good and I have retired from triathlon, after 10 very enjoyable years and 4 Ironman finishers medals and lots of great fun.

And so now for the next couple of weeks, its time to hit the anti-inflammatories, do the physio work and get back on the bike.