Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cross is getting popular

Cross is getting so ridiculously popular. On Sunday we had 130 senior riders competing in the London League at Reed Court Farm in Kent - the cavalry charge across an open field at the start must have looked utterly mental.
I started ok but not great and had to work pretty hard to get across to the second group. Fortunately there was quite a bit of singletrack where one rider was as fast or faster than a group, and within half a lap I was part of a group chasing the two leaders, a flying Jamie Newall, and Dan Duguid who was just ahead of us. Darren Barclay was riding in our group but eventually had enough of us and pissed off after a couple of laps to go round with Dan. That left three of us riding for fourth, me, junior Taylor Johnstone and Gary Lingard from London Phoenix.
Taylor was smashing it and so was Gary, so I wasn't feeling too hopeful, but with so many riders, we were lapping riders all the time, and with three to go, I hit the front as we approached some traffic and managed to ride away from the other two to come fourth, 1.53 behind Newall.
So many riders did present a few challenges in overtaking and I reckon it can't be long before the London League has to split the senior race into two, maybe a 40minute Vets race and a 1hr senior race, I don't know. A shorter Go-Race for non-license holders and beginners might be an idea too.
Anyway, fourth, I was pleased with that, but I'm only just beginning to feel normal again. It was pretty hard work.
This weekend is the National Trophy in Ipswich. I raced there last year and enjoyed it, but I'm hoping it's going to rain between now and then - I've had enough of off-road crits and I want to ride some mud.

1 comment:

Alex Murray said...

As someone who resides at the back of the field I think it's less an issue of numbers and more of etiquette.

If you're a back marker you have to get on with your own race but you also need to be aware of those around you.

So if you can get out of the way in the singletrack, do so and let the faster riders pass. Don't dive in and then slow people. If someone is trying to pass you coming into a corner, back off and let them. Go wide in corners so they can get past.

I think lots of the crashes slower riders have are the result of them panicking about holding up the leaders and going too hard.

And for the faster riders, negotiating traffic is part of the deal. Very rarely have I had any issue with riders in the first twenty or so. It's always the guys battling back between 30 and 80 who seem to do the most shouting and pose the biggest danger to me. Not sure why that is.