An insight into what last night felt like

Strap extra wheels to back. Why?

Justification: I’m racing at Addington Park. I’ve been told it’s grassy. I’m not confident in the Continental cross tyres I’ve got on. So I carry the other wheels, which have Conti Speed Kings on. Which have a bit more of a knob, ha, on them. Which gives me some confidence, whether this is real or not, in my “gripping ability”. (Stay with me, this is gripping stuff).

I ride into work with wheels on back. I ride from work (Elephant and Castle: current situation FUCKED) to Addington Park.

I get there. I realise I probably could race on the wheels I already had on, but I swap them anyway.

Hello Steve. Hello Andy.

Let’s do some circles to chat and “warm up”. WAIT! ANDY! COME BACK!

HELLO SAM!

HELLO DAMIAN!

Oh. I need a piss.

Better.

Let’s line up.

That Vicious Velo kit is banging.

There are lots of people here today.

AND WE’RE OFF!

OOh. Ah. this is fast. Up the hill.

WOAH TECHNICAL CORNERS. WHY ARE THEY ALL OFF CAMBER??

PLANKS. OH FUCK. That dismount was shit.

WOAH MORE HILL.

MOAR CORNERS.

DOWNHILL OFF CAMBER.

OOOH MORE HILL.

FUCK ME WHAT IS THIS? TIGHT CORNER WITH A BANK?

MORE DOWNHILL AND CORNERS.

DOWNHILL

LAP OVER

 

Repeat that (8 times?).

It was fun, but I think I bonked about lap 5. When I saw 3 on the lap counter I picked up a bit.

I had a couple of races within the race (meta) and even a sprint to the line. There was a crash and which led to the course changing mid race. I couldn’t work out where I was in the race after that. Dead FUCKING LAST. Is probably about right.

As I got tired, I found myself moving over to let the faster people through. I think I probably let more than the faster people through, but I don’t really care. They’re racing for points, I think I’m racing for experience and fitness.

This is my 4th or 5th bunch race. (1 failed road race, 3 or 4 cross races). This was definitely the hardest one, even harder than Herne Hill on single speed. I found out that I’m not fit enough, still/yet, and I could do with sorting out dismounts and cornering. Only one of those facts surprised me.

 

Here, hopefully, are some photos. I look so tired.  I WAS. And I think this was only the first or second lap.

http://www.moranphotography.co.uk/ss15rd2/e512abee2

http://www.moranphotography.co.uk/ss15rd2/e5136e01d
http://www.moranphotography.co.uk/ss15rd2/e5136e20b

 

 

An insight into what last night felt like

A near perfect post

Look. BEER.
BREWING BEER.
DATA.
CENSUS DATA.
BREWING BEER BASED ON CENSUS DATA TO REPRESENT DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE USA BY BEER TASTE.

HOW FUCKING COOL YA?

Brewing Multivariate Beer

A near perfect post

A new one.

A new bike adventure! A new blog! I am totally predictable.

Last night I actually raced a bike. For the first time in a long time.
Summer cross series 1 at Bethlem.
There were 120 riders in my race, Juniors, Seniors, Veterans, and Women. As a grizzled veteran I started at the back of the pack, 30 seconds down from the first starters (the juniors). I think I was at the VERY back of the Veteran pack. It certainly seemed relaxed where I was.

It was a fast course, I fell off once, I caught 2 out of 3 teammates, I had a bit of an ongoing battle with a rider on a blue Trek and another rider with very squeaky brakes. The organisers were great.
I look forward to the next round.

What a review.

In other news I’ve been reading:
This

Sinister, imagined life in the 1970s. Bleak. AND FUNNY.

And:

A Corinthian Endeavour

FAN BOY ALERT: It’s written by PJ (Blog)

It’s a really well crafted book.

Why do I like this book and why would I recommend it?

It’s funny, it’s moving, it’s nerdy. It’s a fairly niche subject, the fastest people on a bike up a hill from some time back to right now. However, this is not really a book about gear ratios (though they’re in there), lactic acid (that’s described), and hurting yourself (sort of in there, but not in a machismo way). What I got from it was a spiritual reflection on life, riding a bike, being part of something, connecting with the world, the struggle of life, and the type of person who will say yes and no to  a Belgian chocolate biscuit with their tea.

Buy it. NOW.

A new one.