Sleepless in the Saddle 2008

The weather forecast was almost right. It didn’t rain on Saturday and dry on Sunday. It rained on Sunday too. Well, it rained when I was getting ready for a lap anyway. Under the horrendous circumstances, we did quite well. The results haven’t appeared yet but we think we were 15th in the mixed teams, and interestingly, 6th in the vets sub category. Not bad for a team with 3 riders in their 30’s.

I took the singlespeed as I knew it was going to be muddy. At times it was really really bad, easily as bad as it was in 2006 with the clay mixed with grass adding at least 20 pounds to the weight of the bike, overwhelming the tyres. I ran my second lap, getting round in about 1 hour 15 – not bad really. Whilst I was running with the bike I was passing loads of riders and shouting “on your left” in an ironic fashion. How we laughed. My third lap, again preceeded by a huge downpour, was the low point of a difficult weekend. I returned to the camp in a foul mood, claiming that I was going home (sorry guys). A few hours later I borrowed Budge’s geared and full suspension carbon Scott Spark and scorched around the course in about 51 minutes. I needed that – the only redeeming feature of the weekend that will mark the last time I race at Catton Park.

In some ways I can’t really complain. Hit the North was a mud fest so I know what it’s like when an event that you’ve worked hard to organise is spoiled by bad weather. I’m pretty sure that the mud around here isn’t as bad as that Catton Park stuff though. Or maybe it is. Maybe someone who did both can enlighten me.

Our team alone suffered 2 broken bikes (mech hangers) and probably at least a couple of broken washing machines.