Mid week I'd all but convinced myself not to race. Rest up, stay healthy, never really enjoy Mugdock anyway.... Then Miffae called looking for a lift and I instantly changed my mind.
After watching Maddy and Lyndsey tearing things up in the Womens/Vets/Juniors race (well done!), I pulled myself away to try and get warmed up. A failed attempt at riding rollers with 25psi cross tubs on had me warming up on the narrow back road. A slightly skipping gear 3rd from top not helping pre race nerves much. Much closer to race time, my front tub decided to let some air out of a hole i've never really got sealed up properly (it's fine so long as you don't try to put more than about 28psi in... ). Yikes. Too late to try and fix and not wanting to meddle I decide to just race on it..
The start is a little crazy. With only one rideable line on the left of the uphill lumpy, grassy start, the whole 10 or so wide field makes a bee line for this immediately from the gun. Gridded on the 2nd row I get blocked in but do get to enjoy a shoulder on shoulder, handlebar on handlebar moment.
Not the best start but by mid lap I manage to move up a little. Ahead a group of 5 has moved off the front. I try hard to make the back on this group but a rapidly moving forward James Fraser Moodie blows things apart and takes off alone in front. A few laps later i'm feeling pretty good and chuffed to realise that i'm holding my spot in 4th or 5th, riding pretty well, enjoying things immensely and crucially able to push myself really damn hard.
My efforts to stay away from Greig Walker and Colin May just behind bring me closer to Neil Walker in front. Not quite believing i'm catching him, and with lots of fantastic encouragement from Lyndsey and Maddy I try to ride straight past him through the start/finish. It doesn't quite work but then a little later I hear the (horrible) sound of metal and carbon on ground behind me... I don't look back but hope Neil is ok (he is).
I then pass JFM with a mechanical. Up into 3rd! Through the start/finish more cheers and encouragement that i'm closing on Davie Lines. This well and truly fires me up and with 2 laps to go I pass Davie through the start/finish, jump away and manage to hold onto 2nd spot.
Eye of the tiger. Raar! Photo by Duncan Gray. Representin! Photo by Steve Turbitt (SCX photog and race reporter extraordinnaire)
At the finish I need a lie down. Miffae comes in soon after and we think he's made the top ten (11th in the results). So, both well chuffed with our rides. Me - chuffed with pretty consistent lap times, pleased I stayed upright. Chuffed my tub stayed up and that Tufo's don't mind being bottomed out onto the rim lots. Chuffed with the course too, it was a lot of fun, not too muddy, still quite techy, tough run up, ace log to ride over, more flow. Mugdock I take it all back!