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…..
All the best at the Strathpuffer Jason. Hope all goes well.
There is more than one SS ratio?? :0o
All the best Jase and the rest of the Team JMC crew. Have a good one guys.