I've been out & about a bit over the last few months racing bicycles. I should have been more diligent at scribbling things down about them more regularly to give a more lucid & interesting account of what’s been going on, but I haven’t so instead here’s a summary of what I’ve been up…
March – Kicked off with the Midlands XC at
Cannock. Decidedly rusty on the skills side
of things meant it took a lap of mincing and a spot of inadvertent tree hugging
before I started to remember what to do and get into the swing of things regaining a modicum of riding ability. Good
to open the legs and lungs up fully, eventually finishing 9th. Then lined up at the back of 70-odd Masters (due
to no national ranking from last year) for the opening round of the Nationals
at Sherwood. Once I got through the
traffic it was ok. Getting 24th was not
an amazing result, but I felt competative, so it’ll be filed under ‘satisfactory’.
April – Things went well in April. 6th on an ace course for the next Midlands round – long grassy climbs rewarded with lovely natural woodland descents with the odd jump & drop thrown in for good measure. Then picked up 9th at the Nationals held at Dalby Forest. Really horrid wet conditions made it nasty to wait around in but great fun to ride.
May – May however was less good. At the final round of the Midlands I started well, then faded, then faded some more, then crawled my sorry ass round to the finish. Shame, as Hanchurch is a killer place to ride. The disappointing theme carried over to the 3rd round of the Nationals at Hopton. A classic 1 massive hard climb, followed by 1 long downhill kind of course. The climbing was fine, but for some reason I was doubly rubbish at descending on the day. In a nutshell, I was 4th at the top of the first climb & finished 18th.
June - Thankfully things were back in order for the next Nationals at Kirroughtree. Again there was some hard climbing & thanks to all the persistent rain some nicely squirmy, techy descents. This one went more to plan, really enjoyed the course & finished top 10 again.
July - And finally, on to the National Champs to finish off my xc season. A highly competitive field turned out, as you’d expect, to contest the champs. Finally the rain had stopped & we were treated to glorious sunshine & a super-fast course. Nothing particularly technical, but loads of corners & lots of roots which were tricky enough when ridden at pace. Pretty happy with how it went, good consistent laps and winning a long sprint at the end for 13th place.
Now, time to start thinking about getting a new cross bike together. Any suggestions?