Sunday, 22 March 2015

Equinox: using time wisely.

High pressure, stable weather and a yearning to ride all day long. A twangy lower back muscle after a bit of singlespeed induced hernia-popping climbing action notwithstanding, it was time to grab 'Maul and run to the hills.

Out through Mugdock, taking in some choice trials that haven't been dry in months. Pinballing around and loving every second of it.

Then down to business on the West Highland Way: missing the gates, considering my forward progress at Garadbhan.

The back was holding up and the legs were still going round in circles so I could cut north for Aberfoyle, then Callander but I could not think of a fun way back home. So: Mangrunt? Even sans Conic Hill, I had to have a chat with myself and see if I was up for this so early in my spring mileage build-up.

Nothing ventured….

Round the lochs through Queen Elizabeth forest park and then the terrain opens up as you approach the upper portion of Loch Lomond.

Lots of wildlife to be seen.

Some in worse shape than others...

Take the fun trails down the Lochside until Balmaha and ducking in and out of the woods, follow the West Highland way back home.

Seven hours, 75 ish miles. My body reminded me that this building up every year is always a battle, an act of perseverance, but oh, the places you'll go…

Friday, 20 March 2015


Today is the vernal equinox. Day and night in balance. For VCMers in the northern hemisphere days are now longer than nights and a long Spring, Summer and Autumn of bicycle riding awaits. What've you got planned?

I have a hankering for long rides in the hills. The eastern Cairngorms still have a fair few trails to hit and soon it'll be time to get high. 

Adventure awaits teamies. Get some. 

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

It's the off season so time to start preparing for next season

Last year I looked at my bikes after a hard season and realised that running two different, but kinda similar bikes made little sense so bit the bullet and ordered two beautiful Shand cycles bikes

Well this year I have gone for the slightly cheaper option of looking at nutrition to help with not only my day to day living but also for racing. Cue internet searches and the purchase of this beauty

To go with the hand grinder I also got some Cuban coffee beans from here

I use an aeropress to make my brew so had to resort to more internet searches to get instructions for the Porlex grinder as my Japanese is slightly rusty.... So three clicks from home and off we go, first cup was with the recommended 12g of coffee, about a palm full, was no where near enough so second go was fill the fecker to the brim

to the neck
I also slightly dropped the amount of water in the inverted aeropress and that was pretty much spot on for how I enjoy my coffee. I always let the water cool from the boil before adding it to the 'press and allow it to mix with the grounds for well over a minute before pressing

I got the mini grinder as it fits snugly into the aeropress and will be travelling with me to all the races now as part of my pre match routine as well as my pre out the door routine every day
snug as a bug
The grinder is beautifully made with the only downside being the handle isn't held on by anything but   gravity, so far this hasn't proven to be any problem. I can thoroughly recommend the aeropress for making good consistent coffee and the hand grinder just adds to my new beardyness, skinny jeans wearing fixie riding persona.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Three Races of Significance

Long overdue bloggerage but these three races really deserve some recognition.

Dig in at the Dock 2015.
There has has been plenty said about this event, be it about the cheeky chaps that organise it, the blustering wind that cuts in in two every year or the blessed drum troop that kept the beat for the entire race, so I will concentrate on what I saw of the racing. The race usually the last day of winter holidays before we all head back to the grind of our respective employment, is a great way to kick off the year and blow any remnants of the previous year right out yer skinsuit. It fills a category that previously hadn’t existed in that it is a mass start, every rider for themselves, battle charge for the line, this is good and bad but they get away with it.

To win you need to be at the front as within minutes a race with 140(ish) riders committing for the holeshot only ever ends one way, for us great unwashed mid packers this means accepting you will loose sight of the race very early on, getting your head down and seeing what materialises. This year I left all my warming up to the turbo trainer and checked out the bikes of those who were ‘hot-lapping’ to determine what the race may or may not be like. It was looking from the bikes like it might get a bit mucky, it was also cold, the sun dropped minutes before the start and never returned.

once the gun fires, fuck the team

It’s easy to forget how social the Scottish cyclocross scene is, in fact very easy to forget, with the swell in numbers over the past couple of years and the amount of new faces around it can sometimes all seem a bit alien but within the belly of the beast lies a passionate group of folk with one common goal. But anyway I digress, my warm up consisted of half an hour turning cranks on the turbo and my preparation consisted of two weeks of winter holidays eating more cheese than one person should and generally being a bit lazy. It felt a bit uneasy squeezing into lycra, that’s all we need to say on this subject. So despite this warming period I managed to be very late getting to the start line by which point approximately 120 folk had already established their place and dug their little tight shoes in to not let a chancer like me sneak in, thems the breaks.

solid season for Ainsley, though she needs a better cap

Soon enough the race was underway and then some time later we moved such is the effect, I charged as best I could to get further up the field and then settled in. I love this course, it really does have a bit of everything only missing gradient but as someone not renowned for their climbing prowess I don’t mind that. Very quickly I was in a group containing riders I didn’t know (one of the goods or bads of a mass start race) wondering if they were going to explode or charge, I hung on. As it transpired I ended up for most of the race with a couple of guys from Pedal Power RT exchanging places and generally keeping each other going. By the end it had got really rather cold, in fact fucking freezing, the coldest I have been at a race this season.

this dude dared to pass me, so I threw down a hex and out he went

Thanks to the amazing electronic timing, results were available pretty much as you crossed the line, I will only mention this once but this alone has the ability to make or break a race, gone are the days of waiting till the next race to see how you did in the previous one, possibly the biggest advance in our races over the last couple of years.

So how did we all do?

6th Simon Fairful
9th Ian Dunlop
11th Steven Turbitt
13th Addy Pope
9th Davie Graham
9th Fraser Waters
13th Martin Steele
4th Chris Duncan
3rd Maddy Robinson
8th Ainsley Turbitt

All in all not such a bad day out but by fuck was it cold.

SCX 6. Cross At the Castle 2014

Cross at the Castle hopefully shouldn’t need any introduction to anyone familiar with Scottish Cyclocross. It is as legendary as it is opinion splitting, “a cross race on the edge of the world” is a fair starting point when trying to describe it. For those of you who haven’t been, you’re selling yourself short, yes it is a ball ache to get to, yes it is always blowing a hoolie, yes it does involve at least one ferry but what do get in return? Well a gut wrenchingly beautiful venue, a gut wrenchingly torturous course and gut wrenching good time. There are opponents to this race as part of the series and I have in the past made my feeling known on this too. But a return to the race this year reminded me of just how important this race is, both for Scottish Cyclocross and for the culture, heritage and friendships that our humble little scene has nurtured. Celebrate the old school.

The course takes place on a bucolic outcrop jutting out into the Atlantic on a piece of land that could have been landscaped specifically for the purpose of holding a cross race but alas this is nature, raw and unforgiving. This years lap was a shortened one from the last time I was there, a cavalry charge had us careering into the sloppy descent that led to all the fun grassy cambers and corners before sloggin our way back to the cafĂ© and into the ‘jungle’ portage and back into the wet stuff.

Marty gets his lean on

It wasn’t the weather for hanging around and when the pistol fired all the sprightly old blokes gave it their best and charged to be first into the technical section. I’m not so good on the all out cavalry charge starts so seemed to flounder a bit to find my pace but once on the grassy stuff I got into the swing of things. I loved all the tough corners at this one and hard to nail every lap I have to admit though my skills get flattered with the Challenge Limus tyres. As always happens the race quickly settles and you find yourself battling to get the guy in front and keep the guy behind at bay. In the end I got tantalizingly close to Rob Bloor but the laps stopped coming and he pipped me to the line. At the front Colin Shearer and Brendan Roe were having a right old ding dong with both of them being caught out by the unforgiving conditions, great rides from both of these gnarly stalwarts. Alongside us Maddy was having her own Battle Royale with Kerry McPhee, if anyone dares to think there are easy points to be had on Mull this battle for the series very quickly dispelled that theory. To the line the pair gave it everything and once more proved how close and fiercly competitive the womens series has became, brilliant to watch. Unluckily for Maddy, Kerry was the stronger on this day and took the series by just 2 points.

I didn’t follow much of the seniors and V40 as I was trying to stay warm, take photos and heckle hard. Chris Marquis again looked deceptively strong and Addy and Stevie T took advantage of the reduced senior field to get some much overdue top ten time.

Cross At The Castle is ten this year (something that came as a shock to me as someone who was at the first one!), something of a landmark for both the organiser, landowners and hardy racers who make the pilgrimage every year to race. It is looking like it will be the oldest event on the calendar for 2015, may I suggest you embrace it, forget everything you thought you knew, leave your prejudice at home and race/party hard in one of the most stunning parts of the world. You wont regret it.

We did this.

3rd Addy Pope
4th Steven Turbitt
V 40
9th Chris Marquis
17th Martin Steele
V 50
2nd Colin Shearer
8th Chris Duncan
3rd Maddy Robinson
9th Ainsley Turbitt

Knockburn Loch Scottish Cyclocross Championship

 “In sport, a championship is a competition in which the aim is to decide which individual or team is the champion.”

Knockburn Loch was the venue for the 2014 SCX champs, snugly nestled way up north a hefty stonesthrow from Banchory. Organising club Deeside Thistle have had a few races up here now and have proven both the venue and their organising skills to be right up there with the best that the Scottish Cyclocross community has to offer. A good solid mix of surfaces, relentlessly pedally and (god forbid) some singletrack, its fast and torturous.
Having spent the previous night in Aboyne with Mr Steele, we managed to pitch up good and early and got to soak up all the early action.

pic by Marty

I should now go on to talk about Shearer getting the holeshot, Addy messing the holeshot, Maddy missing the podium. I should really go on more about my good start about watching the sun rise and dip behind the mountains and the torturous drive home over Glenshee, I should but events took a bit of a turn for the worse.  Cycling legend and commentator extraordinaire (Jammy) took a bit of a bad turn and panic and confusion ensued while medics attended to him and an ambulance got him to the right place in good time. A sense of community followed as riders from the senior and V40 races held back any sense of frustration they may have had and respectfully did as they were told. Plenty has been written about Jammy and it was great to see him back recently but what it did remind us for a brief moment was, this is only bike racing, nobodies life depends on it, most of us are well fed (and if we aren’t its through choice) we have families, we have lovers, we are alive. Jammy, in a twisted kinda of a way thankyou for reminding us of this.
I’m not sure I mentioned this but I love this course.
No real surprises on the national champion front, which proves at least it works and the right people got the medals.

Senior. Rab Wardell
Senior Women. Isla Short
V 40. Gary McCrae
V 40 Women. Sian Tovey
V 50. Brendan Roe
Junior. Mark McGuire

its over

What we did.

Colin Shearer 4th
Chris Duncan 10th

Fraser Waters 27th
Martin Steele 38th
Davie Graham 41st

Maddy Robinson 4th
Ainsley Turbitt 10th

Addy Pope 11th
Simon Fairfull 13th
Chris Marquis 22nd

So there we have it another season bites the mud and yet again it was another good one, controversy, all out war, laughter and tears in abundance. But one thing that we tend to overlook about our little race scene is how each race has a character of its own that gives us a little portal into the environment its taking place and also into the minds of the respective organisers, they say that variety is the spice of life, well, lets go hard on the seasoning then. This year really has had it all.
All that remains is to say that on behalf of Velo Club Moulin, thanks to each and every one of the organisers and your army of helpers. Enjoy the off season and charge your batteries for 2015. Thanks to The Press Room for the Dig In pics

Friday, 23 January 2015

Rouken Glen CX

Buried south of the River Clyde is a park defined by fine, tall trees, rhododendron, the waterfalls on the Auldhouse Burn and old, Edwardian buildings. A gem in the heart of this gritty city, Glasgow. 

Once owned by the Crown, the park was given to the people in 1904, and the RGCX team took the natural contours and beauty of the park, applied considerable skill, and created a hard fought, icy cyclocross race of the highest caliber. 

Split into an A and B race the vibe was relaxed, but no less competitive. With sub-zero temperatures for a week before the race, the ground was hard and snow lay several inches deep in places.

VC Moulin was represented well in all classes: it was good to stretch out the gammons with my homies for only my second 'cross race this year.

I was slotted into the B race, along with Fraser, Ainsley and Maddy. There was some of the usual, nervous banter before the start, at the bottom of an access track. A quick warm up was not enough to keep the cold from our bones but then the hooter signaled the off - 55 minutes plus a lap to go.

I was fortunate enough to have some appreciation of music from 'the man' for this round and Gibby Haynes laconically worked his way through 'Dancing Queen' as we climbed back up to the course, getting the sluggish blood moving through cold limbs. It seemed appropriate, as the legs wound up the climb: "you can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life".

Joining the course, it was clear it would take no prisoners. Off camber into the soft mud under a canopy of trees, then a sharp drop and climb to skirt the top of the course and the race MC. (Iron Maiden, 'Hallowed be thy name').

After the lap finish line, a grassy bank acted as a kicker to jump if you wanted, before another off camber traverse into a run up and then a rolling section before a series of chicanes and a steep climb - rideable with the application of some sausage - into a section routed around copses of trees, a double barrier hop then back to the top of the course. AC/DC, 'Sink the Pink' - the beat helped with the pedal stroke. With welcomed recovery sections allowing me to come down from red line after pumping the big meat up the climbs, the course and me were making friends, fast.

A few laps in, I was lying in third place to Fraser. I knew Maddy was close behind and a charging Matthew Smith was sitting just ahead - so close that I could hear his breath at every turn. The pace for the first 30 minutes was blistering - The Bronx, 'Young Bloods' suited the high heart rate and physical exertion. There came a point where the traffic thinned enough that I could clear the longer, steep climb by going hard right and I knew I could use this to pass Matthew, who was shouldering the bike.

True enough, I forced the pass with a hernia popping effort. Faith No More's classic 'Epic' and a smattering of Clutch fed the fire and my legs felt strong and willing. My new tubeless set up allowed me to get ragged around the corners, adding to my traction and I was truly enjoying myself. Idly, I began to wonder if I had it in me to challenge Fraser, who was still out in front, but serious consideration gave me clarity. Barring a mechanical issue or implosion from him, our positions were set.

Matthew kept battling, coming back at every opportunity. There was no way to stretch and break our elastic bond: several laps from the end, just as I began to feel a little comfortable, I nearly opened the door for him to drop me for good. A poorly judged jump into the off camber corner before the run up, led to a squirrelly landing and I dropped my chain. AC/DC - "Thunderstruck". No doubt!

I had to pull the rear wheel out of the frame to get the chain back on. As I began to tighten the qr again, Matthew came flying past and I could see him exert his will on the cranks. This was going to be tight.

He tore off into the distance, aiming for the chicanes. I gave chase but tried to stay calm. No need to red line straight away - assess the moves and situation. Still feeling good, I tackled the steep climb on the pedals after the chicane and gained some ground. Memory fails me but I think I may have even slipped past here. We were so close - it was no suprise as he took me again just on the top section of the course before the finish. I hung on and gasped for air. With one or two laps to go this was going to go to the wire. Another hard effort on the steep climb while Matthew dismounted and ran gave me just enough to stay away - ragged breathing, the taste of blood with every respiration. I dug deep to make the pass and could only hope it was the definitive move of my race. Rob Zombie, 'Superbeast' - it couldn't have been a better tune.

So it was. I rolled home extremely happy with my second place, a firm hand shake and mutual respect with Matthew and happy for both Fraser with the win and Maddy in 5th overall, first women home.

I'll let someone else tell the story of the A race, but congratulations must go to the organisers for a fantastic race. Strongly competitive but with a relaxed and welcoming vibe. Sweet as! Looking forward to next year already.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Foxlake 2014.

Foxlake – 29 November 2014

Foxlake was a return to what felt like proper racing following a
tedious slog in ever decreasing and muddy circles the previous week.
It’s not fair to criticise a race due to the organisational effort
that’s required, but I’m afraid Lochore Meadows a week earlier was not
my cup of tea.

Foxlake, however, ticked the boxes. A muddy lakeside field, woodland
single track, some cheeky climbs, dismount in a beer tent and a fun
atmosphere with the race being part of the John Muir Winter Carnival.
It was also a non-championship series race, so with just a single race
it was good to be racing alongside different faces from the usual old
goats in V40 of which I proudly belong.

After initial gridding by Jimmy McCallum and making clear it was his
race and his rules, he set everyone off on the dash for the first
climb reached by a fast and sloppy right-hander after a muddy field
crossing. Front riders rode the rooted singletrack, but further down
the field a nifty dismount was required to navigate the bottleneck and
avoid clash of pedals on frames and the occasional carnage from a
misplaced foot. Hitting the graded road at the top gave a chance to
clip in again and muscle through the crowded 10 meters before a tight
right-hander over a small drop-off and descend to the second climb.

Crossing the same metaled road at the top, pine trees changed to beech
and the field started to open out. A wide loamy surface provided
opportunities to overtake and be overtaken. The loam bottomed out into
another tight right-hander followed by a steep pull to the road and a
fast grassy slope down to the main arena. This required speed to be
shed to weave round and over some partially buried roots.

Popping out of the woods into the field again, more nimble maneuvers
we called upon to traverse a small banking and avoid off-camber
slippage before hitting the beer tent. A mandatory dismount over a log
in the tent brought quality beer-fueled heckling and then a short
climb around a sloped banking on the final part of the course. The
course marked here was different to the previous year, giving easier
opportunities to pass on the climb or in the corners.

And so it went on, settling into the rhythm of the race, picking
places to push or catch a breath. Improving lines on turns and chasing
down those in sight and keeping at bay those behind. Gradually the
three climbs dubbed the ‘Foxlake Alps’ began to take their toll,
giving advantage to the fit and I managed to gain a good number of
places in the final 5 laps.  This effect was more pronounced due to
short laps with riders completing 12-14 laps compared to the normal
6-9 before the final bell.

My personal battle was with Davie Hamill and although I was quicker in
the tech, he eventually got me on the climbs and I just couldn’t pull
back the 40-50m he put in. Although tough, I liked the course and
think it suited my fitness and head at the time. Settling into a
rhythm and grinding out climbs are unusual in a cross race, but
definitely worked for me with the addition of just enough tech thrown
in to catch out the weary or napping for a bonus place.

The personal VCM battle was missing with the usual V40 riders of
similar pace not racing, but Graeme Warren lapped me mid-race with
Simon Fairfull also passing at some point, no doubt battling with
Colin Shearer. Graeme went on to place overall in 8th with Simon 17th
and Colin in 19th. Marty was behind me in 54th a bit back from our
usual close finishes.

Overall it was a great race, rounded off by some big screen action of
Milton Keynes World Cup in the tent along with oven baked pizza and
Knops beer from nearby Direlton. Can’t say better than that.

Overall and category positions out of 125 entries:

1 – Mark McGuire
2 – Rab Wardell
3 – Sean Clark

8 – Graeme Warren (6th senior) VCM
17 – Simon Fairful (11th senior) VCM
19 – Colin Shearer (2nd V50) VCM
34 – Russell Stout (10th V40) VCM
54 – Martin Steele (18th V40) VCM

23 – Anne Ewing (1st Female)
28 – Jane Barr (2nd Female)
58– Katie Carmichael (3rd Female)


Friday, 16 January 2015

fast. bad. dangerous.

Fast. Bad. Dangerous. 

Pick any two. 

Attention women cyclocross racers.
Velo Club Moulin is recruiting riders for the 2015 cyclocross season.
Now that the mud has settled on 2014, its time to start planning and getting in shape for next winter. So if you think you meet any two of the requirements then send your resume including a brief rundown on who or why you are to;


Basic requirements
1. You must be a women (no youths)
2. You must race cross
3. You must race cross
4. You must race cross

Other than that you are a free spirit.

Velo Club Moulin is an independent race club with the primary focus on cyclocross. though any other form of riding bicycles hard is encouraged. We have no structure or clubhouse or chainganging or training sessions or coach or performance plan or money but we do live for cyclocross. Imagine a band of privateers all racing in the same kit and you are close to where we are at. We are affiliated to the mothership BC and endorse responsible and aggressive riding. Full details of what we can and can't do for you will be available to any successful applicants

Good Luck

pic by Michael Martin

Monday, 24 November 2014

Don't call it a come back.

It has been a long time since I threw my leg over a cross bike and my cross bike over a barrier. Still, the last day of my 40th year seemed a good time to dust off the flying dismount and test out some under used legs in the ever decreasing circles of Lochore Meadows. I have never raced there before and it was suggested that I wouldn't fall head over heels with the course. I was willing to put that to the test to see my good buddies from VC Moulin and get some blood pumping.

Prior to the start the commissaire flexed his 'I am the law' muscles by demanding that I remove my tiny speaker and iPod from my bike. A safety issue, apparently - potentially doing as much damage as a bar end. I never knew my music taste was so, well, tasteless? I hope he felt good. It made me a bit sad: has it really come to this?

The start was not as furious as expected: perhaps the heavy going through the grass and mud slowed the pace, or perhaps I was simply too far from the pointy end to notice. The MC Escher designed course had us looping in an impressive, laws-of-physics defying, circle of taped off grass. With the previous classes and our huge number of wheels, it rapidly disintegrated into a mud bath. All good fun, for a while anyway.

It was bizarre to come in to the second lap and hear Jammy over the tannoy yelling that it was only 29 minutes to go. That would mean I was probably only going to ride 4 laps. Of a entirely flat ~2km course. Do the math and you will see that the average speed wasn't exactly electric. Very 'cross.

It was good to loop around with my main men Chris Marquis and Martin Steele. Chris pressed his advantage, moving easily up the field, after I crashed out, sat on my rear wheel, one hand barely maintaining a grip on my bars. I had lost the front wheel around a corner, whilst rebelliously trying to get AC-DC to play out of my stashed speaker.

Martin and me traded places for a little while, until he left me fighting my own private battle with the build up of organic debris and mud that was all but bringing me to a standstill. I can't say I enjoyed the race - but that is not the same as saying it wasn't good to do. The team acquitted themselves well: see the placings in the Scottish Cyclocross link and a big thank you to Sue for taking care of VC Moulin's smallest fan.

So, perhaps I'll see you in a field some time soon. Ride on.

Pics by Trina.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

this aint no picnic

With two feel good rounds under our chamois, it was time to head to Irvine Beach for Joksijde. The Walkers Cycling race is now part of SCX folklore, it’s a course like no other and one that always delivers. I shouldn’t need to tell anyone reading this about the course but in case you need to, please refer to last years review of this race here or alternatively here. And like last year, I would reiterate the point, “yep, I could race that course every week”

Stevo in full flight and smiling (pic by the Press Room

After the balmy heat of the first two rounds we could be forgiven for speculating a lovely sunny day beside the seaside. Mother nature had other plans though and as the weekend got ever closer the weather warnings got ever more severe. Wind and cyclists have a peculiar relationship, it is very much like that slightly creepy, heavily fragranced aunty who demands a kiss at Christmas but then slips you a tenner when your mum isn’t looking. Today the wind was demanding a lot of kissing and in fact some heavy petting in a strictly one way relationship.

I’m getting into the earlier start of the V50 race, it gets it out the way and the courses are generally in better shape because they haven’t been hammered by all those fat V40’s. I did however get myself into a bit of a flap and it all became a mad rush for the line in the end. Now as we all know the start is a pretty crucial element of cross racing, you certainly don’t win from the start but you can very easily lose. Bizarrely it was announced that we would all start together (J/50/W) and if that wasn’t odd enough the gridded women were put in behind the gridded V50, this added another layer to getting a decent start and was a real blow for the un-gridded women more than the old blokes as they had to hustle for position amidst grumpy old men. The resulting start was messy, we all charged into the switchbacks and farcically attempted to find our place. I may have swore here and said some unpleasant things, I’m sorry if I offended anyone.

Ainsley, calm collecting some more points (pic by the Press Room

I love this course as I think I have mentioned on numerous occasions. The off camber sections, the big dipper, the sand, the bumpy lumpy singletrack, its got it all. Today it also had a brutal wind that tore away any rest you might have got on the descents and pummeled you with sand and sea at every opportunity. I tried to get into a rhythm but it was so fucking hard to keep momentum going at times that my head went up and down like a demented yoyo. After a couple of laps out on the furthest of the off camber section I thought I felt my rear tub roll, I pedaled on and looked down it seemed to be rolling fine, I then forgot all about it. A wee group had got together and it was hard to shake riders off with the weather, Billy McCord snuck past and pulled one of the Angus Bike Chain guys with him but they were still within clear sight for the duration of the race as I did battle with another couple of dudes, whose names I haven’t worked out yet.

Last lap and at that same place I got the squirm from the rear tub only this time it wrapped itself around the wheel and I ground to a halt, fuck fuck, fuckity fuck. I floundered around attempting to pry it back onto the rim, this was a big mistake as I wasted way too much time, I attempted to run it back but by now my legs were fried and my run resembled a death march, slowly riders of every age and shape passed me as I hauled myself to the pits, grabbed a bike and finished the last couple of hundred metres. I was disappointed I wont pretend.  In other news, first time crosser Campbell Hall managed to get round one of the toughest rounds in one piece which is mighty impressive, I think he may have got the bug. .

Steady does it for Addy (pic by the Press Room

A quick change and reloading of the car and I was out to watch the V40 cavalry charge, damn there are so many of them, I missed the start but can only imagine what it was like. Our guys seem to be doing battle mostly with each other in this category; we were missing Gavin May and Simon Muir who are usually the fastest of our 40’s so it was up to the rest. Everyone finished (except another first timer Bikelove Carl) and speculated the glory of the mid pack hustle.

No sooner had they finished than the seniors were off, another packed field and they were blessed with probably the worst of the weather.  Our seniors are having a great run this year and this race was no different, Stevo, Graeme, Ian, Addy, Simon, Steven and Gareth all turned up for this one and made there presence felt. Meanwhile at the front Rab Wardell was wondering what he was going to do to shake off Grant Fergusson who made a rare appearance. The answer was nothing, a season of racing at world level has certainly put a gap between Grant and his domestic rivals. He stepped up a gear and cruised his way around never looking particularly phased by the weather or the effort, a different class. By the end of the race Grant had lapped the entire field right up to 3rd place! That third place was held by our own Steve Halsall who is having another great season as is Graeme Warren with another top ten finish, in fact all of our seniors are riding themselves inside out, mucho respect, 7 riders in this category, possibly the best represented club out there.

Irvine was over for another year and despite the weather I am already missing it. It goes without say, well done to Walkers Cycling.

How we doing.

Maddy Robinson 3rd
Ainsley Turbitt 10th

Colin Shearer 10th
Chris Duncan 18th
Campbell Hall 30th

Martin Steele 45th
Davie Graham 46th
Russell Stout 48th
Fraser Waters 52nd
Chris Marquis 59th
Carl Lottering-Geeson dnf

Steve Halsall 3rd
Graeme Warren 7th
Gareth Jones 8th
Addy Pope  16th
Stevie Turbitt 18th
Ian Dunlop 19th
Simon Fairful 24th