Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Cyclo cross virgin broken

Right, first things first, work: the last few months big feasibility study done and the chainsaw lads move into Grantown woods tomorrow to clear the way for my next build - the new jumps and skills area; weather, it's turned much colder and there's snow on the hills (please stay there 'til the Grantown job is done) family; kids off and all hands to the pumps....
Now to the important stuff - cyclo-cross racing!
So I did my first race last weekend at Plean near Stirling, there was a huge turnout with around 270 riders turning up to do battle in the mud. Mud, now, when I used to mtb race I loved muddy courses and got some of my best results in foul conditions, so I foolishly thought I would be ok...
I was not ok, from the off I went full out to try and get up through the field, knowing we would all 'bottle neck' on the first stretch of muddy single track and basically that was me then 'on the rivet' 'til the bell. No chance to 'enjoy' it, no easing off, no flying past people on the tricky bits (turns out most of these riders can all handle mud perfectly well, thank you very much) and basically I just wanted it to end. In fact when I heard over the PA that there was 7 minutes and a lap remaining I almost felt like doing that 24 hour 'lurking' thing that people do to avoid going out for another lap!
My carefully practised dismounts and mounts went to ratsh*t, I over braked, over steered, crunched gear shifts and generally rode 'rigid' due to mental and physical exhaustion. Oh and my rear wheel jammed resulting in some off bike ranting and wheel kicking (old Middleburn ti skewers now retired from brutal cross use)
'Old' hands all said, you'll love it when it's over, bloody right I loved it being over, but not because of some post racing endorphin high or adrenaline buzz, no, just glad the suffering had stopped.
Then a long drive home in post race shock, no radio on, no iPod plugged in, just me thinking about what had happened.
Nineteenth! I've got podium placings at mtb races for nowhere near this level of pain!
Positives? I only started training 6 weeks ago, I didn't get injured and the bike was not expensively broken. Negatives, I'm not sure whether I want to do another!
But, I'll have to give it another go just to make sure...