The Catton Park Curse

(pic – Singletrack Mark)

Back in 2009, I had a good day at Catton Park. I came 3rd in the solo category at Sleepless in the Saddle, the first 24 hour race I did on the Ragley prototype. It was ace. The only bad thing about the whole weekend was that my wedding ring went missing. It didn’t spoil the weekend or anything, but I think it triggered some kind of gypsy curse….

I’ll keep it brief because I’m getting bored of it now. The last time I was here at Sleepless the course almost broke both of my wrists without the excitement of having a crash. This time at the weekend’s Enduro 6 I had a couple of punctures due to some of the largest thorns I’ve ever seen in the UK and a tyre-related ‘thing’ to follow that cost me about an hour. Which was nice, as I was doing pretty well (that’s me in that pic, going reasonably fast) and all those people I’d ridden past earlier in the race were now having the opportunity to say a cheery ‘hello’ as they rode past me…some of them going past twice….arrggh.

I remembered that I was there to warm-up for next weekend’s 24 hour solo champs so I sacked off the ‘racing’ in favour of walking back to the car with my bike on my shoulder.

Tubeless setup – Wednesday. Looking forward to it like. you. would. not. believe.

On the plus side and in the interests of focussing only on the positive aspects of anything, I felt pretty damn good. I had a good 2-and-a-half hours of riding at not-really-flat-out-but-pretty-quick-all-the-same and was still there or thereabouts before I flounced off, I managed the Le Mans-style 800 metre run without any grumbles from my car accident knee, some bits started to rattle on the freshly built bike so I had chance to sort those out ahead of next weekend’s big race, I chatted to loads of nice people that I only ever see at races, I watched all my mates have a good day out…including  Jacqui who managed a brilliant 4th place, Budge, Andy and Lee all recorded great results and I saw Chris and Shaun royally kick ass in the solo by claiming 1st and 2nd place.

I’m packing a witchdoctor next time.