Some of it was filmed at the Bebbington Oval, on the Wirral, you know.
The theme music being piped through the changing rooms/showers/toilets suggested it was still it’s main claim to fame (and lets be fair, it’s not a bad one), but I wasn’t there for a spot of sightseeing, I was there for another fast bit of cyclocross racing (I hoped).
The dry weather in the run up to the weekend meant the ground was rock solid and some long, wide straights meant the average speed would be high, but there were enough twists and turns to keep your interest high and give those with some technical skills an opportunity to open gaps over the power house riders. Basically it was a great course to race on. Even with my usual rubbish start I had a lot of fun battling my way up into the top ten – there was plenty of room for overtaking on the fast straights and enough twisty sections to try and outcorner everyone around. A couple of crashes in the dusty singletrack meant I did myself no favours in trying to get a good result, but I ended up 5th. Can’t argue with that, really.
Sunday saw the annual Nick o’ Pendle hill climb. Another event I’d wanted to do for a while, so even though my shoulder and stomach were sore from the ‘cross race tumbles I signed on and gave it a go.
By the halfway point I’d decided that the Hill Climb Season being short was A Good Thing. In fact I started to hope someone would step out in front of me and say ” you can stop now, it’s all over”!
They didn’t, of course, I just grovelled my way to the top, barely any quicker than when i’m out for a ride with pockets full of gels, a bike laden with bottles and spares and hundreds of miles still to go. Ah well. Something to improve on next time round I guess!