Prior to the start the commissaire flexed his 'I am the law' muscles by demanding that I remove my tiny speaker and iPod from my bike. A safety issue, apparently - potentially doing as much damage as a bar end. I never knew my music taste was so, well, tasteless? I hope he felt good. It made me a bit sad: has it really come to this?
The start was not as furious as expected: perhaps the heavy going through the grass and mud slowed the pace, or perhaps I was simply too far from the pointy end to notice. The MC Escher designed course had us looping in an impressive, laws-of-physics defying, circle of taped off grass. With the previous classes and our huge number of wheels, it rapidly disintegrated into a mud bath. All good fun, for a while anyway.
It was bizarre to come in to the second lap and hear Jammy over the tannoy yelling that it was only 29 minutes to go. That would mean I was probably only going to ride 4 laps. Of a entirely flat ~2km course. Do the math and you will see that the average speed wasn't exactly electric. Very 'cross.
It was good to loop around with my main men Chris Marquis and Martin Steele. Chris pressed his advantage, moving easily up the field, after I crashed out, sat on my rear wheel, one hand barely maintaining a grip on my bars. I had lost the front wheel around a corner, whilst rebelliously trying to get AC-DC to play out of my stashed speaker.
Martin and me traded places for a little while, until he left me fighting my own private battle with the build up of organic debris and mud that was all but bringing me to a standstill. I can't say I enjoyed the race - but that is not the same as saying it wasn't good to do. The team acquitted themselves well: see the placings in the Scottish Cyclocross link and a big thank you to Sue for taking care of VC Moulin's smallest fan.
So, perhaps I'll see you in a field some time soon. Ride on.
Pics by Trina.