Velo Club Moulin

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Wild Thing

This probably isn't going to be the most informative blog post you've ever read. As I'll explain I barely know what happened in my race, far less any of the others.  I'm trying to write this on a tablet so hopefully the predictive text won't take over.

We woke this morning to the predicted strong winds and pouring rain.  Unfortunately the weather conditions meant that anyone who was trying to catch the ferry today was stuck on the mainland.  The biggest loser was undoubtedly David Lines who just needed to make the finish line to take the series title.  I'm sure all of us who witnessed Davie's fantastic run of form as he won four races on the bounce will agree that this is a sad end to a fantastic season.

A trip to the Co-op left us soaked and needing our first change of wet clothes of the day.  Our B&B is at the top of Tobermory looking out over the bay.  The exposed location made the weather feel even wilder. So much so I was slightly surprised to hear we were still racing.  For the first time I seriously considered knocking it on the head.

We decided to head up to Glengorm much later than normal and I figured that an hour before the race would leave me plenty of time to get ready. I certainly wasn't planning to ride the course and there was no way the rollers were leaving the car.

Things started to go downhill (quite literally) from there.  I managed to get the car stuck in some soft ground.  Attempting to get out I only succeeded in making it worse and ended up totally stuck. Realising that I needed to sort it out while it was still light my preparation was abandoned as I set about trying to find someone to help.

My saviour was a guy from Cycle SOS who managed to pull me free using the winch on his Land Rover Defender.  His clever use of some paving slabs meant that the car came out without any damage.  Unfortunately I had to unpack everything, including the rollers, to get to the towing hook and jack.

Now I only had ten minutes to get to the start line and I was soaked through and frozen.  Fortunately in the midst of the chaos Graeme Warren had taken my single speed to the pits.  Luckily I didn't need it as I remembered later that it had 50psi in the tyres.  A speedy change later and my Garmin was showing 13:43 as I raced to the start line. I was relieved to see that the race hadn't started but a bit concerned to see everyone lined up. I tore off my extra layers as fast as possible while everyone else probably cursed me as they stood in the freezing rain.  I hadn't even clipped in when the gun went off but somehow I got a pretty decent start.

The race was a blur to be honest.  My head wasn't exactly ready for a race to be honest.  On the plus side I didn't feel under any pressure.  Twenty minutes earlier I had been convinced I would miss the race, anything that happened now would be a bonus.

I remember lots of running, even more mud and feeling like I was in a washing machine on a cold spin cycle.  I also remember more encouragement than we deserved. I can't believe so many people stayed out in those conditions to keep us going. Special thanks to Simon Muir who was stood at the wettest, wildest part of the course and was every bit as enthusiastic as ever.

I was so cold at the end I was a bit concerned about how to dry off and warm up. I could barely control my shivering to open the car.  The Hardie's Bikes guys came to my rescue and I was able to get changed in the back of their van.  Thanks, my day would have been a lot more miserable without you.

Well done to everyone who braved the conditions to put the race on. Well done to all of those who pinned a number on.  As Euan Lindsay said at the end if anyone says 'Easy points on Mull'...

Same time tomorrow?

No comments: