Thursday, 30 December 2010
CXNE RD9 was a local affair.. only 10 miles from my house.. the event had been upgraded from a fun race to a league event and I had convinced a visiting friend, Ian, to race on a borrowed bike.
The course I had pretty much ridden a few months prior but the sloppy mud had been replaced snow and Ice... the car park was filled with riders having ridden a lap putting more pressure into their tyres.
The start was one of the best I have ever had.. although the front rows were gridded I found a cheecky hole in the middle and was up into the top 10 off the start and holding the pace well.. by the end of the first lap the top boys superior bike handling had seen gaps opened.. a rushed mount after a short run up saw my unship my chain and lose 5 places trying to wrestle it free from the chain device :(
The rest of the race saw me clawing back the places I had lost seeing me finish back in 12th ... Paul Oldham took the win chased by Steven Ward.. Ian Bibby after a heavy first lap fall was back in 6th.
After the race I packed up the car.. fired home.. put more bags and the whippet in the car and drove to meet Grace at her parents in Manchester.. as well as the excellent meals and coffee's on offer at her parents it gave me chance to fit another race in just a few days later.
The Macclesfield Monster is the first race in the North West leauge after Christmas so the turn out was good... as well as a leg stretching it offered a chance to catch up with a friend I hadn't seen for 10 years.. Duncan Astle.. creator of Here Come the Belgians.. after a quick chat we lined up for another kicking.
The conditions at Macc were the opposite of CXNE race.. raining, sloppy mud and greasy corners... the course was fantastic.. some great little climbs.. boards up for dismounts and run ups and some off camber corners from hell :)
The gridding at this race went league top riders first then national points leeaders so I was a fair bit back... with the National Cross Champs looming alot of the big hitters were out.. Oldham, Bibby and Craig to name but a few.
Straight into the race I was into a battle with 4 other riders as we switched places so many times I lost count.. and when I thought I was clear the slightest mistake and a rider would pop past..
My first mistake was a late dismount before a board and I slid shin first into it.. ouch!! ... I still maintained contact with the little group I was riding with.. next I washed out my front wheel on a corner and unshipped my chain again although this time it went on quicker but a gap had opened.
As the race progressed I noticed that I was running wider and wider into the turns t bottoms of descents.. my brakes were almost non existent.. with 3 laps to go and just before I was lapped by Nick Craig as he rode to 3rd place I started a little descent that went into an off camber 45 degree left.. Nick Craig railed it.. I went for some brakes to check my speed and both levers came to the bar and I accelerated into the corner.. I briefly held the drift before the front wheel washed and I was left comically sliding down the hill on my back.. wet grass offering no resistance to slow me down.
At that point I called it a day and accepted my second DNF of the season.. too many cheeky descents to ride with no brakes.
Not the most productive races with a 12th and a DNF but entertaining all the same.. the only downside being a sore throat and cough I have so training will be minimal and hopefully I will be good to race again on Sunday 2nd :)
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Wasn't sure how I was feeling before this one... training is going pretty well.
The venue, Dalton Park, was almost free from snow but in leaving it left behind a pretty soggy mess so full mud tyres were perfect.
The course wound its way front and back of a big hill feature with a section along an exposed top... the climbs were pretty short, the descents nicely off camber or slippy.. all good cyclocross elements.
The start was on a narrow path on a slope only a few riders wide so the field spilled onto the grass either side and as we set off I was nicely cut up by a guy that came from above me.. with the anger of that move I was out the saddle on the first short climb and up into the top 5.. by the back half of the lap I had moved into 3rd with a clear view of 1st and 2nd riding away.. the severity of the start strung the field out quickly leaving myself and 4th place to battle out most of the race with 5th a comfortable distance behind and the guys in front now out of reach.
I love the intensity of cross racing... its something you don't get in endurance events... you ride the whole race with people breathing down your neck.. the pressure never lets up.
Towards the end of the race I notice 4th place wasn't there anymore and I got to relax a little and just maintain a gap... then the bell lap came and then it was done.. first top 3... now i just have to do it when there is no national on and the field is at its strongest.
Friday, 10 December 2010
Thursday, 9 December 2010
Good luck to all the team who are going, look forward to hearing tales of courage and victory.
Simon, behave yourself, you are warned!
And for all those attending the dance on Saturday night, you've still got time to practise.
Sunday, 5 December 2010
Friday, 3 December 2010
Monday, 29 November 2010
The recent cold weather had seen a good foot of snow dumped over the week and there was no more putting off my first snow cross experience.
The first challenge was digging out the car... the next negotiating the various driving styles I encountered on the hour drive to the race venue.. afterthis nothing would be a problem.
The car showed todays was racing would be in a very manly -5 degrees ... the event car park park was already filling up as I arrived... you can never underestimate peoples desire to get out and ride :)
Near 60 riders and a few fields wiith 8" of snow covering the race was going to be amazing... made better still as although last week was my first sign on for Velo Club Moulin this was my first week wearing the colours...
The course had some really tough sections but on the flipside also had some compacted sections were you could get good speed up but overtaking would mean coming off the good line and fishtailing through deeper snow... doesn't get any more fun than this.
My start was less than ideal... 50 metres of clambering to get both feet in the pedals then riding squarely into a plastic marker post saw me distinctly mid field with lots of work to do.. seems like this is becoming the norm for me every week so it didn't worry me.
The racing went... sit in on the deeper snow sections into everyone elses groove... pop out on the wider compacted sections and steal a few places.... repeat.. any foot down on the floor would lead to you not being able to clip back in so running any sections was avoided.
I cut my way up through the field and could see a group of 4 riders ahead.. then I heard the commentator announce they were fighting for 4th place so the chase was on to get across to them... when I did we had a great battle.. everytime I got up and past I would panic a corner and dab loosing the ground and places I had made... I ended up sat in 5th place on the bell lap.. just behind 4th place.. as we got to a steep climb 4th place went to the side to look for the better line and I gambled and smacked it straight up the middle through the crap of mud and snow... both of us coming to the top close but I had a half wheel and nipped through... a quick blast out the saddle and a few turns later saw my best result so far with 4th place.
The power of Velo colours is strong :)
Next week Northen CX champs.. weather and roads allowing i'm hoping to break the top quarter of the field.
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
A week after the Gateshead race and an £80 parts repair bill later I was back at another cross race.
The Stainton venue was windy and cold... watching the Junior race from the comfort of a warm van the motivation to get changed and get riding was low.
With no National Trophy race on the field was stacked with some top quality rider... Oldham, Ward, Collins, Murray, Moss, Nixon.. the list was extensive so today wasn't gonna be easy.... as I walked the car park checking out who had turned up my top 5 hope went to top 10 then to a more realistic top 15... I'm not frightened to admit I still have alot to learn and it was obvious that I was about to get taught a few new tricks.
First sign on for Velo team :)
After a quick change Ipedalled out onto the course... to not long after turn around and head back to the van.. I had changed rear wheels and forgot to fit a spacer to inside of freehub so cassette was rattling.. luckily I had the other wheel with spacer with me and was able to borrow tools and sort it.
The course looked pretty awful but once on it it rode really well... plenty of turns, a nice climb, transitions from dirt to tarmac which were only surpassed in their bike sliding ability by a set of off camber bends which were really tricky made more so by having to slide up and though a gate only a rider wide :)
I was mid field on the start line and spent the first lap executing some high risk dubious cornering overtakes to cut my way up towards the top 10.
On a set of low boards that could be bunny hopped I saw new team mate Dave Crawley standing with his bike, later found out a snapped rear mech... I feel your pain Dave!!!
The race was excellent... I had a great battle for most of the race with the same Malton Wheeler rider as we exchanged places two or three times a lap.. he still had the memories of me overtaking him last lap a few weeks earlier... He would be a little quicker through the turns but I would get on the gas on the climbs and take position back.
About 45 minutes in I was overtaken by the leader ... Paul Oldham... no great shame as the form he has at the moment I was surprised it didn't come earlier... another 40 seconds later then Steven Ward came through... a North East rider having a great battle with Oldham and squeezing out the other Hope factory boys for the second place spot.
A lap to go I was just behind my Malton Wheelers rival on the start finish climb so I rode hard past and then buried myself for the rest of the lap.. one final out the saddle effort and the race was done... 13th place in a good field of riders... I know I have both more to give and to learn so looking forward to North of England CX champs in a few weeks.
Picture courtesy of Lee Adeola (http://www.flickr.com/photos/leeandamanda/)
Videos of the race can be seen here;
Velo jersey arrived yesterday so will be fully representing from now on in :)
Monday, 22 November 2010
My last three races have been good, bad, then good again as I snatched a good start at the first race in Huddersfield and valiantly battled for 30-oddth with my pal Simon on a smooth and very fast playing field course.
Pic by 'Here Come the Belgians'...
Next time out was the Bradley Woods round that featured a lot of woody singletrack. A real mountain bikers' course. Unfortunately, after a bad start and some frankly rubbish legs and lungs, I was presented with an excuse in the form of rolling first my front tub, then, as I was limping back to the finish and waiting for the winner to lap me, my rear. Don't rely on last year's glue folks!
And then this weekend: Bingley - a race where I've had mixed success. Two years ago I crashed my car on the way to the race, just made it there on time and then my crank fell off - but not before I'd worked my way into last place. This year, fate was a little kinder to me. I showed up to sign-on eight minutes before the start, just managed to pin my number on and get to the start for the start - which went well and I found my way somewhere up the top half. Then a combination of low tyre pressures and low (34T) gearing kept me riding when others were bumbling, giving me my first top 30 for a long time (out of a sizeable 81 in Vets)
Anyway, here's to the next lot... Oh, and my own race that I'm running on January 2nd if anyone's looking for some New Year resolution riding to do in Yorkshire...
Sunday, 21 November 2010
Friday, 19 November 2010
Tyne and Wear based, Paul Errington has been riding for Genesis bikes for the last two seasons and before that for the XC Racer/29'ers. Whilst primarily an endurance rider he is also a dab hand a cyclocross, so far this year getting a 6th and a 9th at the North East Cyclo Cross League. Other than that he is looking to get his cat2 license in 2011 and take part in some team events. I think he will be a really useful guy to have around and it also gives us some representation in North East England.
By his own admission its been a lean year mainly from kicking it off with a couple of biggy events, the Arrowhead 135 and the Yak Attack in March. 2009 was the bigger year, being 1st placed SS rider in the Keilder 100 and taking part in, Transportugal, Transprovence and Salzkammergut.
Anyway I'm sure some of you may already know him, so welcome Paul.
Thursday, 18 November 2010
A quick De-mudding of the bike at the start line and we were off, I had an amazing start and quickly found myself in the top five, I knew it would be difficult to keep it going and i lost a couple of places in the first quarter of the race. Still I plodded on nursing the bike through the mud as best i could, meanwhile all around me riders were tearing their rear mechs off as though they were going out of fashion, Including Simon who luckily had a spare bike waiting in the pits. The massive support on the course spurred me on and i managed to grab back a place in the last lap which bagged me sixth, My highest placing so far.
The Crosslight must have weighed twice what it should at the finish but it survived to tell the tale and hopefully my rear mech demons have now been laid to rest. I have to give a big shout out to the extremely vociferous, Cowbell wielding VCM fan club out on the course the noise was deafening at times and was a welcome boost each lap, Thanks guys & girls you know who you are.
Iain had rotten luck with his rear mech, out before he had even started. Maddy and Lyndsey had yet another good showing in Third and Fourth respectively and Simon even with his bike troubles finished Thirteenth.
Sunday, 14 November 2010
Saturday, 13 November 2010
Sunday, 7 November 2010
Friday, 5 November 2010
Thursday, 4 November 2010
I'm sure he'll fill us in on the finer details over the coming months but highlights of the year include;
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Thursday, 21 October 2010
Finally I feel the race legs. Strathclyde Country park was the first time I've got near the top ten. So the hunger is on for more Scalps, shame about Gordy, hopefully next week we can flight the opposition together. Hail the VCM's a force to be reckoned with..
Monday, 18 October 2010
Well done to Andy 5th fantastic and Simon 13th. Maddy and Lyndsey dueled it out for 3rd and 4th respectively, Visiting Don Leet pulled off 20th vet with Iain following in 31st.
Great support on the course for VCM along with Marty popping out from behind trees every lap.
Monday, 11 October 2010
Thursday, 7 October 2010
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
- Bambi legs
- Feeling nauseous
- Gibbering inanely
- going an odd puce colour
- crust of gel and drool in beard
All ticked! It wasn't cold enough and only moderately wet, though. A glamorous setting for the first cross of the year, all the same.
Nervous on the start line. I got gridded (no idea why, but it helped get a decent start). Number 13 mounted right way up to confuse the gods-of-luck. All the usual small battles that mean so much for an hour then disappear just as quickly. Did better than expected - always good. A lot of fun and a lot of pain, who'd a thunk it.
More this weekend...
Into a group of six or so for the spin along to Pen-y-ghent. This gave a chance to spin the legs but the cramp was determined to stay. Pen-y-ghent is the most rideable of the three climbs and normally has been my favourite hill, I was grovelling up it this year though. Just a case of getting up and over the final hill, not really able to attack this one at all, glad to only loose a few places as I was scared of blowing completely.
So all in all a good day out but a long way off the ride I know is in there. It's always frustrating not being able to race to your maximum but that's all part of bike racing I guess- you can't be 100% in every race. Still pleased I made the trip to Settle though and a good chance to see my folks who came down to be support crew. Massive thanks to Emma and my whole family who followed round as support, don't think we could have squeezed any more spare wheels in the little Corsa but thankfully none were needed. Good to see Steve McInnes absolutely ripping it for 7th spot- top bloke and a quick bike rider- well worth the journey down from Mull. Thanks to my mate John who had a year off riding, took the pics in this post and provided some much needed encouragement going up Pen-y-ghent.
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Thursday, 30 September 2010
So, where to begin? I did the weekend of racing in Dumfries, which included a criterium on the Friday and a road race on the Sunday. The criterium was too fast for me, but got my legs going for the road race which I enjoyed. It seems odd looking back to those races and thinking they were at the start of this season, because I feel so much stronger now. After that I did a really hilly women's National Series race at Capernwray, which had a 1 mile climb we had to ride up six times. This was a slightly frustrating race as I was at the tail end of the bunch the first time up the climb and we were cut off from getting back into the lead group by people in cars over taking us and pulling in, the roads were too narrow and bendy to get back past. It is possible I shouted a few things at the car drivers. I don't remember what.
I also did a 3/4 cat race near my home in Cumbria. I was a bit nervous, the last time I raced with men I found terrifying, the pace was too high and crashes seemed inevitable. This time though, I was really pleased. The pace was a lot lower than the Capernwray race, it was a lot easier to move up in the bunch. In my over excitement at not getting dropped immediately I went with a couple of attacks, sat in a bit, and really, really enjoyed it.
I've also been doing a fair bit of time trialling, and was really pleased to beat my 10 mile pb and go under 24 minutes for the first time. I also travelled down to South Wales to do the BC National TT Champs, I wanted to get a bench mark time against the likes of Emma Pooley. It turned out to be a good bench mark to get, as she is now World Champion. I also got 3rd in the Espoir Category which was great, and had the advantage of not having to saw my bike into bits to meet the UCI regulations as a lot of competitors found themselves having to do.
Another event I really enjoyed was the Erskine women's crit, the course was quite technical, but the race was great. If I get my points from this event (I think the electronic timing didn't work) then I will also have my 2nd cat licence.
The Darley Moore Women's National Team Series race was another highlight of this year, because it is the first time I have felt on a par with the girls in those sort of races. It is a flat motor bike circuit, so the race is sort of like a big crit. I finished in the main bunch sprint, in the same race last year I was lapped.
A couple of weeks ago I did the Tour of the Campsies. I had never ridden the course before, so decided to take it easy-ish up the Crow Road in case the back section turned out to be really hard. I was 2nd up the hill by 10 seconds, and 2nd in the event by 2 minutes. My descending was horrendous, and the road surface really bad, but I enjoyed the event and was honestly pleased to finish with my bike in one piece after some of those pot holes. The cake at the end was beyond compare, definitely worth doing the TT for the cake (mm, and the sandwiches, I've just remembered the sandwhiches - ham, cheese AND mustard...in one sandwich!).
Last but not least I went to Ireland to do the women's Ras na mBan. It was...awesome. Fast racing on terrible road surfaces with stunning views and a nice mix of terrible weather on the last day too (which I strangely really enjoyed).
I was pretty tired before we started from carrying my bike bag around at the airport, I didn't have a pound coin so couldn't get a trolley, and had to pull my bag from the parking to the terminal. On the first day I was really frustrated as I thought I was last, I spent the first half of the race chasing attacks and being in attacks and then got dropped going over the top of the first big climb and trying to chase back on on my own. As I was coming up to the line I looked behind and saw two girls chasing me, I knew I would be really gutted if I got caught so I just put my head down and pedalled as hard as I could, but my legs had nothing left after the chasing I'd been doing. The girls were about 2cm from catching me on the line. It turned out I was not last, I was in the top half of the field (34th/69).
The next day was a gravelly circuit with a long climb, I decided to try and conserve some energy and sit in a bit more to see if I could recover for the next days stage. I finished with a group of about 15 girls, and enjoyed the tactics of the sprint.
The time trial in the afternoon wasn't great for me, 2km down hill. I was something like 52nd compared to my 34th on GC, so moved down to 39th overall.
The last stage was a 60mile road race with over 800 metres of ascent. I opened the curtains in the morning to see that it was raining sideways. I spent this stage really trying to concentrate on sitting in. I think I've been so excited to not get dropped I've been doing too much attacking, chasing attacks and sitting on the front. I tried to sit near girls I knew were unlikely to get dropped, and see that they really do just sit in the bunch as much as possible. There was a cat 1 climb which we had to climb over, ride down the other side and around a circuit and then back over the climb. I was dropped the first time over the climb, just near the top. I was then in some sort of crazy chase on the descent which I would rather my Mum didn't find out about. It was fast. I was so happy to get back into the bunch as I wasn't expecting it. I sat in again until the next time up the climb where I was dropped again really near the top of the climb. I rode in on my own, and caught and passed a few other girls. I had no idea where I had finished, so was really pleased to see I was 35th on the day and had moved up to 36th on GC. Last year the racing was slower and I was a lot further down on GC, and moved even further down on the last stage, so I was really pleased to beat all the girls I was near in GC on that last stage.
After the stage I had to scrub my legs to get the 'mud/oil lines' off. Who needs tan lines?
Good Lord, I've not even said anything about my riding in France...well, I went to France. I rode there. I won three races and was second in one. I rode Alp d'Huez in a pb time and beat a girl who races for Max Gear and got in the top ten for all women who have ridden the climb using the Timtoo timing system. Number 1 is Jeannie Longo. It was 42 degrees C in the Haut Jura and I went for a bike ride. I had to shelter under a tree, and thought 'man, I'm lame, I can't even cope with a little bit of heat'. Only when I got back did I see what the temperature had been. I SAW LANCE ARMSTRONG. I literally went weak at the knees. Kolobnev stared at me as he rode by...no, really. He actually LOOKED AT ME.
Right. Wow. Sorry about that. That is a lot of writing. Here are some pictures. And yes, no matter what country I am in, it would appear I do race in those terrible green shorts.
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Monday, 20 September 2010
Sunday, 12 September 2010
Saturday, 11 September 2010
Having the week off before was good. It meant i could try to shake the mild sore throat that had been bugging me for a few days and get lots of rest, do some stretching and get the bike sorted. My decision to race with gears (albeit only 5 of them!) was based around the course having a high quotient of rolling fire road. I just didnt want to apply the washing machine spin for that long.
Unfortunately, two days before the event i managed to develop an arse problem that rhymes with 'smile'. Not pleasant to discuss, but this race report might act as a warning tale for others.
I got down to the race centre in good time on friday, with the race due for kick off at 6.30 am on the saturday. I signed on and had my compulsory racer equipment checked with the help of steve makin, who was due to be racing but a back injury meant he was helping out instead. Next up, cook pasta, and pack the drop bags. Whilst i was doing this, the shady, river-side and wind shielded campsite came alive with midge. The warmth after the recent rains meant a bumper crop too, so eating was performed whilst walking around as i swatted and waved maniacally. The rider briefing was more of the same: some 550 racers all frantically trying to avoid being bitten too many times. I met fellow Moulineer Deano, Phil the horse racing for Morvelo and Gareth Jones racing for Singular cycles. Biff was also there, aiming to complete not just the 100 miles on saturday, but then do a very significant triathlon on the sunday.
An early night after a glass of red wine allowed me to spring into action at 5am when the first of my 4 alarms went off. I was taking no chances on missing the start and i was hopeful that i could get a bit more prep done without midge. No such luck! they were already up and about, although sluggish in the cold morning air. Despite significant cloud cover, it was meant to burn off through the day, so i kept clothing minimal and just used a gilet and arm warmers to keep warm before the start. The queue formed early, so i was happy to be at the front end and minimise any overtaking or over zealous mid packers.
The van lead out almost ended in tears when it stopped to reduce the riders getting strung out too much, then stalled on restarting. After 2 miles it pulled off and the game was on. Five gears isnt many, but the ratios were well picked and my legs were feeling good. I kept in a bunch near the pointy end for the first couple of hours, riding through low lying cloud and on very rolling trail and fire road. For the most part we were going to be on forestry roads, so it wasnt demanding riding. There was the odd section of connector trail which was tricky due to the amount of angled, de-barked branches lining the forestry machinery's deep rutted tracks, but it wasnt for long. Due to the cloud i had removed my glasses and i nearly freaked when i got one of the trail side conifer's branches in my eye early on. Fortunately it settled quickly and i got on with the job at hand.
As we approached the border between england and scotland we hit some man made trail. At first glance this was typical trail centre stuff, but after only a brief time it was apparent that the quality of workmanship and materials used was sorely lacking. It was basically just a prolonged pile of sharp mid sized stones filled in with sandy mud. The gradients and corners were poorly done and at times 'jumps' appeared to have just been dumped with little regard for flow. Nevertheless, before long we were back on forest road and approaching the half way mark. I was still feeling strong and was dead on for 9 hours, which was my personal goal.
However, it was becoming clear that with any serious effort at pedalling or gradient, my pile was beginning to take on the qualities of a red hot poker. Often, i would have to stand up, coast and relax in order to settle things down before going tentatively back to it. There was nothing i could do: i was just going to have to grin and bear it.
By the time we got near Newcastleton and the beautiful trails around there the sun had burnt off the last of the cloud and as i stocked up on a little water and had my 'passport' stamped for getting back into england, i was enjoying the warmth. Unfortunately the long section of fire road from Newcastleton at mile 65 to the last aid at mile 80 was into a head wind and by 10 miles in my arse was so sore i could have screamed. Ironic, given the absolutely amazing Endura pro inserts comfort. I had to stop for a few minutes at one point and just lie down. Then on again and finally i dropped down to the check point, where i met phil, who had pulled earlier and was helping out instead. His encouragement was great and i knew i was still doing pretty well at that point, but stupidly failed to pick up any extra calories from my drop bag. So far i had been using my feed bag (kind of like a climber's chalk bag attached to the handlebars) filled with peanut m&m's and skittles and honey roasted nuts with a little top off of mule bars and heed perpetuum in the bottles alternated with nuun tabs from my drop bags at the aid stations.
The next climb out of the aid station brought me to my knees as all available energy drained from my legs. Cursing my stupidity i scraped the last of the food from the feed bag and nodded as gareth jones pumped the big meat past me up the fire road. By the top i had regained some composure and, despite it looking very unlikely i would break 9 hours, i tried to keep it rolling steadily.
More fire road climbs and searing arse pain followed and a further section of appalling man made trail before we started the final ascents leading to the top of the (again poorly finished) man made trail down to the finish. Pain meant i walked some of the uphills and i could feel time trickling away. Racers were coming by thick and fast and I knew i was hitting the wall as well: i had nothing with any calories and several miles to go.
It was a pretty low ebb for me at that point. My vision was gone and it took all i had to pilot the bike into the finish area at 9 hours 54minutes. Disappointing, but i was done. 50th place.
Packing with very wobbly legs whilst trying to eat hurriedly cooked hot dogs and avoid midge was the order of the day and i sped off home after dropping in my timing chip. As good as it would have been to have chilled out after the race, i just couldnt cope with the plague of midge.
The race itself was *fantastically* organised with many, many volunteers making it easy for the racers to give their best. The course had some great views and was generally good for a long distance ride, save for the horrid man made stuff. I think the forestry need to admit that trying to get more for less doesnt make for great trail.
Next year? maybe. For now i am enjoying - guilt free - a significant chunk of gorgeous Smoked Ardrahan from the Mellis's cheese emporium and taking a week or two off the bike to try and get my arse settled down. One thing is for sure, i wouldnt recommend racing any distance if you develop a pile. Really....
Pics are both from Joolze Dymond.