It’s fun at first, even for a few days, but this snow is starting to get oooolllld now. There’s more forecast for this week too, just when I need to have one more big week before tapering for the Strathpuffer (which incidentally is under a good foot of snow and is basking in temperatures of minus 15 currently). At least I’ve got some really good ice tyres on the 29er ready for it.
For some reason I thought I’d probably not need ice tyres at the Todmorden cyclocross race today. I figured that any unrideable sectons would be re-routed; after all, how many people actually own a pair of ice tyres in the UK? I took them anyway, hidden in the boot of the car. When I arrived I had a look at the vets race that was going on, nobody seemed to be struggling with the ice. Chipps told me that the dreaded cobbles were not included in today’s racing on the orders of Brithish Cycling…so I left the standard rubber in place. I would need studded tyres today.
I shouldn’t have needed them anyway. What I didn’t know was that I was about to SUCK more than I’ve EVER sucked in a race, EVER. Lap one – crash. Smashed my elbow into the ground. Excellent. Crash again, this time, make sure there are at least 10 specators. In fact, make them people that you know. Get overtaken a few times. Gingerly negotiate the ice covered course, zero traction going up, out of control coming down. I was ace on the flat bits in that I wasn’t being overtaken. I was crashing on every lap. Like I said, I sucked.
After 6 or 7 laps like this my luck was probably running out and so thoughts turned to the race in 2 weeks; the effort, expense and time I’ve poured into it and the fact that an injury today would be a disaster. As a result of my total loss of confidence I started to self-preserve, got slower, got overtaken a bit more then sacked it off. Pants. Great race though; well organised and held together under the circumstances. Chipps and friends did good again.
I joined Phil and Dave afterwards for the ride back home (and Ibuprofen) – the summit of the Bacup Road climb providing a slightly surreal pink snow photo opportunity…