Fast forward to Sunday morning in Crosby, Liverpool at Ros's folks house and the good fortune of visiting on the very weekend the NW League have a race on a mere 25mins drive away at Stadt Moers Country Park.
A 2am turn in and slightly fuzzy alcohol induced head is perhaps not the best pre race prep, but coffee seemed to fix that. Signed on and kitted up, I spotted fellow VCMer and NW League regular Alex who has been ripping it up this season. Randomly both of us managed to ride through fresh 'brick orange' dog turd... pre riding the course. Non plussed.
Still the course was a good 'un, with a healthy mix of grass, tarmac, brick paving (!), rougher paths, trails and short, steep ups. All rideable in the big ring with no dismounts needed.
The start was a bit wild with Vets, Juniors, Women and Seniors all off together. Alex was off like a scalded cat near the front, my start was 'um rubbish. Never mind, the first few laps were fun working my way up the field a little. At race pace the whole course flowed really well with plenty of zip, a little slick and sticky in places but far from a mud fest.
Passing through the finish with what I thought was around 15 mins to go the laps to go board said FIVE! Cue (wry) smile and curse at the same time. Time to dig in princess! Dig I did, albeit with rapidly tying up legs.
Update: I finished up 13th, ~1hr 14 of racing! Happy with that given 4 weeks of hit and (mostly) miss training, poor start and rubbing rear brake...(oh the excuses)...but it was ace to get back racing again.