Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Mud, inglorious mud

lx207, originally uploaded by LondonCycleSport.

Sunday's London League at Hog Hill felt like a World War 1 re-enactment. The mud was so deep for large portions of the course, that riding was not just impossible, even attempting to ride was unwise, and would likely have resulted in a knackered rear mech. And while we battled our adversaries in the quagmire, organiser Michael Humphreys cheered us on from the sidelines with only a hint of menace in his voice, as if you'd be shot for desertion if you dared to complain that the conditons and the course were not conducive bike racing.
As it happened, the racing was actually pretty good. The usual suspects of Darren Barclay, Taylor Johnstone, Hugo Humphreys, Matt Holmes and Gary Lingard got away on the first lap, behind them was a group containing Phil Glowinski and Felix English, and behind them was me, in about 10th place. Having not raced for a couple of weeks I was going with the tortoise and the hare approach, and it seemed to work well in the conditions. We only did five laps as the course was so long, but by the fourth I was beginning to get into a rhythm and the guys ahead were beginning to tire — a winning combination.
Over those last two laps I moved up to fifth and finished the race just 2mins behind Darren who won, which is probably closer than I normally finish when I start faster. Interesting.
The one really good thing about Hog Hill was that I could get off my bike and jump straight in the shower to warm up. I reckon I would have got ill without it.
This weekend it's the inter-areas in Ipswich and then after that I'm off to Bradford for the National Trophy. I think my Vittoria Evo XM mud tubs are going to be seeing quite alot of action over the next few weeks.

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