Twinkly Dave – Mud splattered bicycle and pizza enthusiast Growing old disgracefully

November 20, 2017

Haigh Haigh Haigh

Filed under: Uncategorized — dgpowell @ 11:26 am

IF you are of “a certain age” you just read that title in the style of Fat Albert.

Which is kind of how I felt on the Sunday of the weekend’s double header at Haigh Hall.

Saturday wasn’t too bad, the standard rubbish start followed by working my way back through the field while genuinely having fun in the super loose, loamy earth. Getting sideways drifts through all the corners on the descents and generally having fun. 4th place, a good workout and some great skills work. Ace.

Haigh Hall Mega Cross
More pics from Dave Haygarth here

Sunday’s course followed much the same route, with a few extras and a loooooooong flight of steps to run (hobble) up. Weirdly I did better running (hobbling) up those steps than I did anywhere else on the course. OK I expected to feel yesterday’s effort on my legs a bit (and I did…) but I just rode really badly. Missing lines, not letting the bike move around when I should have and not wrestling it under control when it needed it. A good few crashes and stalls in deep mud meant I was miles off the pace. Even if I’d been able to match the fast lads on power I just couldn’t get the technique-requiring bits ridden properly. 8th in the end. Whatev’s.

Pic by Alan Gibworth

Here endeth the whining though. Because, really, the whole weekend was ACE. Racing nice (and fast) people is always good. On a tricky course like that all you can possibly do is get better and improve. Doing little jumps off the bridge (yay for bridges!) while the kids cheered on was immense fun. Properly fast (well, it felt like it) descents through the trees offered a chance to really lets the bikes fly and rewarded bravery. Nasty climbs that were doable if you were strong enough gave you something to focus on trying to clean each lap. Basically, I’d do it all again in a flash 🙂

Haigh Hall Mega Cross
More pics from Dave Haygarth here

November 13, 2017

A day at the seaside

Filed under: Uncategorized — dgpowell @ 11:31 am

Ulverston cyclocross
Pic by…ME! For once…

A new (to me, it’s been used in the past apparently, but I’ve never raced there) venue last weekend – near Ulverston in Cumbria. Parking up in the car park for an industrial complex had me slightly worried about riding over toxic waste or something* but a short walk to the actual venue laid any fears to rest as the race itself was being held right on the coast, with views from the start straight across Morecambe Bay. Properly lovely, with a beach and everything – where most of the under 12s seemed to disappear off to immediately after their respective races (and who can blame them!)
The course was brilliant, fast flat bits, short sharp climbs,s a few little descents to fling yourself down, off camber bits (right outside the sign on building, so you always had an audience for the tricky stuff…making for a great atmosphere) and several different types of mud. Yep, different types of mud. Some “catch you out” slidey stuff on the flatter, grassier sections, some “clog your bike up” stuff on the swoopy up-down bits round the back of the course and even some stodgy “make it hard work” stuff on the climbs. Brilliant. It remained all rideable too, which made it even better.

Unsurprisingly, the race itself was really good, with different sections suiting riders strengths/weaknesses so people would get gaps/close up/overtake/get dropped etc as it progressed. No mechanical issues for me this week, with bike changes taking place just to make sure I didn’t knacker anything drivechain related by riding it with too much mud stuck in the mech. No brilliant result either, but I felt good and rode quite well (for me, in fact I found myself genuinely enjoying sliding the bike around a bit!) with no crashes, just a few minor mistakes allowing a gap to Martin to open up which meant I finished in 5th.

I also (accidentally!) shoulder barged a marshal as he tried to repair a bit of course tape on one of the tighter corners mid-race. Apologies to him for that!

*GSK actually make antibiotics there (I think…) so it anything, it’d probably be the cleanest, most sterile race course ever!

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