Photos kindly supplied by Joolze Dymond
On the 10th of Jan I was up in Yorkshire to race at the National Cyclocross champs. Phil and I had driven up in Rosie admiring the ice floes pouring off the over passes, frozen in state. We clocked an impressive average 40mph all the way to Bradford. Yeah.
Race day for the girls was Sunday. The course was tough without being technical. It was flowing and fast but a devastating head wind made flats feel like killer hills and featured two cheeky run-ups to flog the legs and lungs. I had a good start but got some poor girl's foot properly caught between my down tube and crank when she slipped negotiating the hurdles. After dislodging her from my bike, I'd lost the leaders and spent the next portion of the race slipping further down in to the pack. I finished 14th out of an impressive field of 28 girls. And as expected, Helen Wyman took the title she deserved. It was an amazing turn out and although I wasn't lapped, I was darn close to it, suffering the humiliation of crossing the finish line moments before the prize giving commenced.
Apart from watching the juniors race, we didn't hang around, and just as well. Poor Rosie got us as far as the Woolly End services before she snapped her alternator belt. We were left to spend the evening waiting in the back of Rosie with beer and DVDs till roadside rescue loaded us on and towed us back to London. To be honest, they got us back sooner than if we'd actually manged to drive there under our own steam!
Massive thanks to Phil for the mechanics and heckles. I think his presence may have lightened up/torn up the pits just a touch..?
The next endeavor was Strathpuffer. After solid (maybe somewhat counterproductive) preparation of my sprint strength off the back of a season of Cross, I decided it would be smart to have a crack at my first 24hr solo. On a singlespeed. Aided by the ever helpful Singletrack Savalas crew of Dr Jon, Chris Marquis, Dave MacDonald and Phil, I managed to keep it together for just over 22hrs. Whereupon, I went a bit doolahly, couldn't ride up anything or down anything and had managed to warp the wafer of brake pad that was left around the break piston. I won the girls solo category and was 2nd singlespeeder... to Shaggy.
Shaggy put in an effort of all efforts to win the solo event with 27 laps. I'm wholeheartedly impressed and his win bodes very well indeed for his forthcoming Alaskan Iditabike mission.
Some kudos is due to Rory at Exposure Lights. I managed the whole 17hr of dark without a light or battery change. I had ample light and was only running my Joystick and Maxx D on half power. These are seriously good bits of kit. End of story.
Good luck to those in the VCM colours in Belgium. You'll look just like locals. I'm sorry I can't be there, but I'll be thinking of you. i expect much beer and many photos on your return!!