8 minutes is all I had from the point I parked the car and applied the handbrake to the point where the race started. 8 minutes to get my number on my bike, get changed and drag myself to the start line. As if it wasn’t bad enough that I’ve not ridden a bike for the past 10 days…
“YOU’RE LATE!” shouts the British Cycling commissar. Thanks for that.
It’s ok mate, I’ve been battling through the traffic on the M6 to get here but you feel free to shout down the earhole of a paying punter. I wasn’t late anyway. I’d been there for a whole 3 seconds before you called my number out, so a bit confusing that one.
Resisting the urge to treat him like a glue-sniffing Spanish mugger, I lined up with the rest of the (probably relaxed and nicely warmed-up) riders on the start line and waited the few seconds for the start. “DON’T LEAN ON THE BARRIERS OR YOU’LL GET A PENALTY”- the British Cycling Taliban continued to bark their orders.
And we’re off. 4 laps of blood-vapourising misery on a course made up of pebble-strewn fireroads and very narrow and tree-lined singletrack. Good job my handlebars are unfashionably narrow.
The course at Cannock is ok really, in fact it’d be a lot of fun if you weren’t racing and/or trying to warm up by riding as fast as possible while trying not to puke. The whole event is really good in fact – the organisers Run and Ride clearly know how to provide a slick, friendly event.
It’s a shame then that the British Cycling lot seem to bring their unnecessarily crappy attitude with them….
Still, I didn’t get lapped, we met up with friends we’ve don’t see anywhere often enough and I cooled down afterwards with a ride around the Chase with Rachael.