Velo Club Moulin

Sunday, 2 November 2014

creatures of the night


Lets open with a nice little snippet from the Jehovahs Witness website (
"The Bible warns: "There must never be anyone among you who . . . consults with ghosts or spirits, or calls up the dead." While some view Halloween as harmless fun, the Bible indicates that the practises associated with it are not. The Bible says: "I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the lord and the cup of the demons too."

When I read this off the back of a web search about the origins of Halloween the penny dropped with the precision of the guillotine slicing off the head of naughty aristocrat who had been caught with his pants round his ankles at the foot of the queens bed. Within that little paragraph lies all the reasons I would want to dress myself in suitably stupid, dumb, scary (probably not) and unsuitable for cycling outfit, throw a leg over my cross bike, flick the switch on an overly bright light and race around a damp (but oh so warm) country park in the dead of night for an hour. Yes I do want to consult every last one of those ghosts and I want to embrace every ghoul and goddamn demon that’s ever wandered across my path. Because for one hour in October nothing else in the world really mattered, except the sheer beauty of riding bikes hard with smiles on our ungodly faces.

dumb, stupid, scary. pick any two (pic by Addy Pope)

First up well done to James for picking this event up when it needed someone to, there aren’t many occasions when bike racing is fun while you are doing it, sure afterwards as we dwell on our awesomness we realize maybe we do enjoy it but while we actually race it never usually feels that awesome. Cyclocross perhaps lends itself to the weird, for it is indeed a sport that lacks a lot of sense, a sport designed to punish and brutalise both rider and equipment, throw a bit of self humiliation into the mix and it almost makes more sense.

"When you're dead, you're dead. Thats it."
Marlene Dietrich

So on what was possibly the mildest Halloween evening on record over a hundred mostly suitably dressed and like-minded souls prepared to go into battle with the demons of the night? And battle we did, mass starts like this are a bit hair raising anyway, add into the mix unsuitable attire and darkness and the spicy cocktail is complete. We pedaled and cranked our way around the start loop, to start the race proper (did anyone else hit that hidden rock right on the race line before the swinging sponge section?) The pace as you would expect was frantic and the short but sweet lap made for some super fast racing, no let up at all with only a couple of muddy sections to give you any bother.

loved this section. (pic by Addy Pope)

By lap two I was feeling ok and riding in the mask wasn’t as bad as I had thought it was going to be but then I went to hop over the log, front wheel up, mask slipped over eyes, kerashhhh. I went down like a gravediggers sack when he hears a Bobbies whistle. In the few seconds between flying and hitting the deck it occurred to me I hadn’t crashed for quite some time, in fact this was the hardest I had hit the deck in ages but bounce I did. You can’t beat that adrenaline rush that you get from a crash. Elbow, hip and knee felt a bit sore but everything was working so back on the saddle I got and tried to compose myself as best as possible.

The laps seemed to keep coming until eventually there was a bell, nobody really wants to hear about my race that much so I wont bore you, big shouts to all who entered into the spirit of things, too may to mention but all winners in my opinion. And on that subject, anyone turning up to a Halloween CX race and rocking out in their team skinsuit, I’m sorry that’s a mighty fail and you have missed the point. There are plenty of opportunities throughout the year to keep it tight and ‘pro’ Hallocross is not one of those. If you cannot love the absurdity or the overwhelming positivity that this event encouraged then stay at home. We all need fun and Hallocross delivered. Until next year. . .

thankfully he put the mask back on shortly after this pic was taken (Jimmy Mac by Addy Pope)

how we did:

7th Ian Dunlop
14th Andy Wardman
20th Simon Fairfull
2nd Maddy Robinson
10th Chris Marquis
15th Martin Steele
2nd Colin Shearer
4th Chris Duncan

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