Despite my resolution at the end of the 2010 cyclocross season to “have a half-decent ‘cross season next time”, my effort this time was a bit lame. I managed to attend just two cyclocross races, one was the Macclesfield Supacross – an hour-long tear-arse around a park in Macclesfield. Conditions were quite nice, not too cold, quite dry and the course didn’t turn into a total bog. So it was fast. Saw lots of friends. Budge’s dad brought his hip flask. Great fun.
My second race was the grand Yorkshire League finale (I think) – the Todmorden Cyclocross event, where the vets’ race was a mere 40 minutes long. 40 minutes? I’ve had longer showers than that. I entered the vets race and to satisfy my tendencies for stupidity, I also entered the hour-long seniors (under 40s) race. At least I’d have 20 minutes or so between each race to compose myself, change into a clean jersey (how pro), etc.
The course was hell. Shin-deep puddles of thick mud, the usual thigh-mashing steep climb up the slippery cobbles, more mud…some barriers to heroically leap across…some mud…
I finished the vets race in mid-table mediocrity then with only 10 minutes of the second race to go I pulled a muscle in my leg during a ‘flailing arms and legs’ dismount in the middle of (you guessed it) a bog. Off I limped to a dnf. Great fun.
There were some summer cyclocross races last year. I think they might be the way forward for me….I’d only enter one at a time in future though.
This weekend I’m finally going to make it to the start line of the Strathpuffer (I’m not going into why I didn’t make it last time again). Normally the weather forecast hovers somewhere between ‘ice’ and ‘snow’ or even both, so this is the only 24 hour race I’ll ever do where I find the current ‘wind, rain and mild temperatures’ forecast encouraging.
Despite having raced for 24 hours several times before, this time I feel like I’m stepping into the unknown. I’m tackling the race singlespeed this time. I’m also hideously under-prepared, but that’s a subject for a very boring blog post so I won’t bother.
To be fair the course suits singlespeeding quite well plus there are a few benefits in having no derailleurs or gear cables at the Strathpuffer. I’ve got a pair of On-One Scandals, one of them a brand new one that Brant personally delivered to my house last night (in return for the obligatory cuppa). Despite it having only one gear, it’s got a suspension fork and a tapered headtube. Yeah, I’m bouncing and stiff-front-ending my way into the 21st century, readers. I’ve also got a huge bag of brake pads, all ready for the conveyor belt of destruction.
I’ve been scratching my chin for weeks about appropriate gear ratios, I think I’ve settled on something just about sustainable for the full race on both bikes so here goes…..