One, Two, Three
The last time I added to my Racing blog was for Battle on the Beach way back in 2015 and, although I have raced a lot since then, I’m only now getting back into some serious, season-long, eat-sleep-drink type racing.
If you’ve read any of my previous posts, or had the misfortune to ask me what I did at the weekend, you will know what this means: Cyclocross.
The first 6 or seven races of the year have been largely dry, warm and mud-free. I’ve had 5 wins from 9 races and I’ve been enjoying myself more than ever.
Halfway through the season the muddy races finally arrived…
Round 8 in Bury St Edmunds was a proper bog by the time we started racing; the kind where claggy soil and wet grass combine to form a material that was once used to build houses. It certainly doesn’t agree with the finely balanced workings of a modern racing bike, and I started to lose my chain after 3 laps, swiftly followed by the demolition of my rear mech and gear hanger.
Round 9 at Hempton wasn’t quite so sticky, but it was cold, windy and wet, and my gears started giving me grief before I’d finished lap one, thanks to the schoolboy error of risking a slightly worn cassette with a brand new chain.
A ‘proper’ cross race on a bitterly cold day, this instalment finished with a 1-2-3 for my new Forest Side Riders team (FSR), with Roger Maidment taking the win on his single speed! Second place went to me, and Ben Lewis was third. It was a particularly satisfying result, as Duncan Crossley – the welding wizard who has been building beautiful steel single speed bikes for our team – was watching the race with his young son. Visit Duncan’s web site to see more of his creations.
It was another podium full of FSR last weekend, too, as the Eastern League returned to Hillyfields in Colchester, although the contrast between the two races could not have been much starker. Dusty single track and a beautiful late autumn day made for a fast, furious race which was won by Ben Lewis after a race-long battle between the three of us and another veteran campaigner – Mike Mooney of Hub Velo.
Can we make it a hat trick in Diss on Saturday? My teammates’ form seems to be improving as mine diminishes, but I’ll give it my best shot. It’s a double this weekend, with a crack at a National Trophy on Sunday to really test the legs…
Wish us luck!