Monday, November 22

CX racing

Few races in the last few weeks and a few other things:

Week off the bike bar a single day MTBing in COrk with Enda. On some killer antibiotics to try and kill whatever has been getting me down. Appears to have worked. At the same time i concentrated on some work and got myself in a better position in coaching and work circles so double plus good.

New bike:
It happened, i have been crashing way way to much and a double bike opportunity came about. Will post later about it but HUGE thanks to Paul at the Bike Hub in Howth for sorting me out.

Super Cross Cup - Rnd 4: Tymon
Much much muddier than last time. Felt ok going in. Rode hard as i could as i was gridded pretty badly. Got into top 15 after the first lap then pushed up to outside the top 10. Crashed out following Andy Newman into the off camber on lap 3. Buggered up the bike, so hit the pits for the other bike. But eneded up in 30th. 20 places in 30seconds on the deck. CX has become compeditive now... Pushed as hard as i could but the ribs were killing me. Managed a 26th place but honestly spent the last 3 laps just riding and restraining myself for Sunday. Beers on Sat night were good though :)

Ulster CX - Belfast, Ormeau Park:
After crashing on Sat i wasn't sure how id race today, decided to call it on the morning of the race. Woke up, hurt, but not enough not to go up. Freezing cold day. Horrible course (only cause i felt intimidated by 90% of it) and i was close to not racing. MTFU after i watched Pauline ride well (to 3rd, well done that girl). Course raced well, can't deny that, it just was on the border of what i can ride. All my time was made up on the lower CX section where i could go 100%. One crash resulted in 5 places lots, of which i caught back up 3 to finish 9th. Rode the UJC and switched to the new bike when i realised i needed tubs that were attached. First race this year i am actually happy with my result.

Monday, November 8

Lisburn Cyclocross, Ulster CX Rnd3

Ok, for the first time this season a positive race report. First off to the race orginiers...what a course. Chapeau. You stepped up and it was excellent, fast, flowing, slow where it needed to be, painfull everywhere.

Have been sick for weeks with some sort of viral thing, cant get rid of it, been to docs, have stuff to go on as of tomorrow. Turned up to the Lisburn of the Ulster CX league just to ride, not to race.

Surprised that i got gridded as i'd missed the last round, but always a nice feeling to get called up, sat on the third row. Sitting in a bunch of guys i know but am used to being ahead of was a bit odd, but so be it.

Easy fast start saw a quick stretch of fireroad into a 100m section of grass. This had got boards on, which are a stong point of mine, but they were removed at the last minute and we ended up riding a quagmire. All i can say is thank you tubs and 30PSI. Short fast sections of gravel which rode like mini Belgian sand pits lead to a quick tarmac/carpet climb up to the return section.

Fast rolling descents with some tight off camber corners meant that you were trusting your tires to grip at huge speeds sometimes. Underlying rocks were there to punish those running clinchers, but it turned out that rear mechs were the food of the day. 9 mechs...9 ...were counted as being off bikes by the end of the race. Mud, gravel and speed do not combine well. Personally no chain suck. WD-40 the bike the day before, it works.

Had a few great laps racing Jason Henry until i managed to drop him. Then got dropped by my own team mate and spent 5 laps racing on my own (out of 9). Slowly made my way up from 16th on the grid and first lap, to 11th overall. Two places due to mechanicals, the rest...they just were not willing to suffer.

Positives: No mechanicals, no crashes, never even a single sketchy moment
Negatives: I could go harder, i can push the corners.