This year’s course was significantly different according to the organisers. “a varied and challenging course for Saturdays race. Whilst there is wet (very) grass, the sections are split with tarmac to give riders some respite. I would advise wearing clear glasses and have tyres reasonably hard as even on the grass there is plenty of grip. The steep climbs have been omitted, so too has the rough track running parallel to the Motorway, scene of many punctures.”
I nearly didn’t make it to the start to witness the changes. After reaching unanimous agreement that the whole family would travel down to Liverpool. Best laid plans and all… Fast forward Saturday morning, it turns out that our eldest daughter had a singing rehearsal early afternoon. Thankfully, David came to the rescue and picked me up. David, I owe you one. We lamented it was yet again a sunny cyclocross race. How wrong would that turn out to be?
Arriving at the race, we noticed the under 12s riders were caked in Mud. Yet, sun was shining. The Youth race was under way. Sun still shining. Ha! It was great to meet Dave Haygarth and Tim Kershaw in person — CX race tweetups are the future.
Time to practice. OK…. Oh, that’s boggy. One practice lap, 2 falls. Mm… Not quite confidence inspiring. I got to the start line with my tail being my legs, so to speak. Great. Dark clouds and the rain starts to fall.
The start was quite tight for the 100+ riders. I managed to squeeze in a sufficiently high start position, learning from previous races. Fast forward, whistle blows. Argh, I can’t clip in. I get passed by quite few riders. Ok, first corner. All good. Somehow, a rider on my left looses control of his bike and gives me a nudge. I go straight into a ditch. At least three quarters of the field go past me. Oh well.
A long race. I overtake people, I run over the overly boggy sections. dismounts where I had my face plant on the practice lap. Tough race that felt much longer than the hour, requiring a lot of concentration to stay on the bike. I hear the bell. Wohoo! Well, not that fast… Now every few pedal rev everything grinds to a halt. I hop off the bike and run. I cross the line. Phew.
My finish is 66th place. Far from great and worse than past two races. Hey ho 🙂
Painful, hard, falls, fun, mud… I love it. Cyclocross rules!
Things I have learned on Saturday:
- Practice course more than once even if 1st time around is not that confidence inspiring.
- Need to improve bike handling skills. I could have avoided going into the ditch at the start.
- Clean the crud accumulated on the bike during the practice before the proper start. I think I escaped a serious mechanical by the skin of my teeth.
Full Results on NWCCA website: http://www.nwcca.org.uk/2010/11/lady-of-the-manor-cross-nw-league-round-8-6-n…
Good result by David (27th), getting stronger every week and Ella (4th Lady, 72nd Overall)
Many thanks to SportSunday.co.uk for letting me use photos of David, Ella and I for inclusion on this website andon the Lune RCC Website.