Arriving around 3AM Saturday morning after driving up from London Myself, Deano and The Boy Jones discovered where we would be sleeping and tuck into a beer before retiring to bed. The alarms started going off in the chalet at 7am as Chris, Mark and Andy arose to get things sorted for the days racing.
After a much needed trip down to the Mountain Cafe in Aviemore for coffee and breakfast we returned to Glenmore lodge and prepared to race.
With a rubbish start for me as my body decided to not want to work up the first tarmac pinch, followed by a traffic jam into the first section of singletrack the race was not going entirely as i had hoped it would. By the third pinch on the course i was warmed up and started trying to winch my way up through the field. Then it started to rain, coming into the start finish area my bike decided it was time for me to have a spin in the mud and dumped me on my ass, once i had stopped sliding and spinning (skin suits slip well on wet grass) i retrieved my bike and started on another lap.
As i entered the grass S's John Macullam was a couple of turns ahead and heckled with me with a call of come on the pony. Sweet! extra inccentive to try and chase him down. and so the race continued making ground up on John and passing him on the last lap. 6th place and time for food and beer.
Sunday morning rolled around and the weather was starting to roll in as had been predicted. Bikes were prepped and warming up was done, then standing in the rain cooling down as we may have been a little to early with the warming up.
We all lined up on the start and much to my suprise i was called up for the gridding. The whistle went and i proceeded to go back through the field as my body baulked at the pace of the start, a better start than Saturday but still not great! A couple of laps in and i was starting to feel good when the sinking feeling of a rear puncture entered my world. I carefully made my way around the lap and came into the pits with no spare wheels i was dejected and ready to pack the race in when Directeur Sportif extrordinaire Chris Duncan says i can use his singlespeed.
I joyfully grab his bike and set off on another lap, realise he runs shimano pedals and i have Time cleats on my shoes and try to convince the two of them to co-exist together. They work to a degree but i spend too much time going down the descents legs akimbo. Going out on another lap i pass The Boy Jones looking in some pain lying at the side of the course i stop to check he is ok and he tells me to carry on.
Another lap down and i notice The Boys bike not being used, discover he had canned the race and proceed to remove the back wheel from his bike so i can jump back onto the Beloved Yeti and carry on the race. I claim back a couple of positions and finish the race to discover The Boy needs a trip to the doctors with a suspected broken ankle.
The Boy gets a lift into Aviemore to get an X-ray myself and Deano pack up our collective gear, say our goodbyes and go to find the invalid. When we collect him it is confirmed by the cast on his leg that he has indeed broken things.
We head back to the Mountain Cafe for sustenance and then begin the drive home.
It was great to meet up with some of the new additions to the team. A massive thankyou to Chris and all the others that helped make for such a brilliant weekend. Can't wait for Mull and more Scottish CX action :-)