Growing old disgracefully

  • Sympathy for the devil

    Crashing out of the World 24’s the other week was a bit of a blow (pun not originally intended…but welcome), but hey-ho, life goes on and nothing got broken so I decided the best way to get over it was to get straight back out on the bike and get back to doing some racing I’ve been enjoying.

    So far this season, all the ‘cross races I’ve done have been dry (well, dry enough for mud to not be an issue, anyway). Last weekend saw all that start to change though, as the 5th round of the North West league featured a few nicely sloppy sections. Nothing too bike-clogging, but a few two-wheeled drifts came into play round the wetter corners. Great fun and, despite still feeling a tad jaded (and sporting a fine collection of bruises and scabs) I got another good result (for me) – 7th. Chuffed! It was hard fought, with great, close racing from start to finish and hopefully a sign of what’s tome come for the rest of the season.

    (Pic from the Weaver Valley CC website)

    Finishing in the top 10 meant I was handed a lovely brown envelope of cash at the post-race presentation, containing almost enough to cover my entry fee. I couldn’t think of anything better to do with it than re-invest it in another ‘cross race the next day, so headed over to Skipton for a round of the Yorkshire series, that coincided with the Rapha Supercross.

    Sadly that race didn’t go so well – multiple crashes on the first lap left me at the tail end of the field and, with over 150 people on the course, it became a day of overtaking whenever the course allowed. Saying that, I did bugger up numerous times in the following laps on some of the off-camber, slippery corners (more mud, y’see) so I can’t blame anyone but myself really. In fact I was lucky to finish at all – bringing just one bike meant that by the bell lap my rear mech was so clogged with grass and mud that changing gear was wince-inducing and back pedaling just didn’t work, how it didn’t jam up and rip off I don’t know!

    (Pic from the Weaver Valley CC website…again!)

    I ended up 46th. Pretty naff compared to how I’ve been doing recently, but it was still fun, the course was good and it was nice to catch up with people while I was there (also: pizza for post race lunch is definitely the future.)

    More ‘cross this weekend with another North West league race in Liverpool – in the park that saw my 2nd ever bike race, back in the mid nineties and then on Sunday (insert doom laden music here) the National Hill Climb Championships. My fastest time so far up the hill being used wouldn’t get me in the top 50, had it been done at the time, so I’m not holding out much hope of a fantastic result there. Should be good experience for the future though…


    11:21 am on October 22, 2014 | 1 Comment | # |


  • Simon 11:44 am on October 22, 2014 | #

    That appears to be young Ag trudging up the hill behind you in the first pic 🙂