Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thirty five flights of steps

photo by Boom

The ViCiOUS armada rolled into Essex on Sunday for the Eastern League at Springfield, Chelmsford. Kev and I raced there last year and enjoyed it, thus the return visit, this time with Ben, Boom, Matt, Paul and Wayne in tow.
Eastern Leagues tend to get good fields and the front row on Sunday was as hot as the weather. And that excluded the hitters who were un-gridded thanks to it being their first Eastern race. The start was pretty hectic, budging 30mph, flat-out on parched playing fields.
I was up with the leaders, rolling round in third until two thirds of the way round the lap, I rolled a tub. The ground was so hard that I was running a bit more pressure than normal - about 2 bar - but that means that if the tyre catches an edge (such as when you're desperately trying to get a pedal in out of an off-camber corner, and the wheel steps out...) the tub can roll.
And that's what happened.
photo by Boom
I stopped, wrestled it back on and rode round to the pits to get my second bike, from Wayne who was helping out (cheers Wayne!). That put me down to about 20th place, a good 40secs back on the leaders, which included Kev. I worked hard to ride up to Ben over the next three laps or so, but the effort and the heat took its toll and I rapidly got dropped by him again.
I caught him a second and final time after about 40mins of racing, and went straight past this time. By the time we hit the bell, one hour in, I was up into sixth and that's where I stayed to the finish. The course was a killer with three flights of steps on every lap - and we did 12 laps - so that makes 35 run ups (we skipped one on the start loop) in total. By the end of the race my legs were jelly, and so they stayed for longer than normal. This course is really excellent training for National Trophy racing as technique comes into play, but not just that, you have to maintain that technique all the way to the finish. By the end it was as much as I could do to lift my bike up the steps, let alone sprint up them two at a time. That's god practice.
So a decent result given the circumstances. Now it's back to tub gluing ready for next weekend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wahey! I took a new photo!

Out today with the National CX Champ Paul Oldham, shooting photos and video for the upcoming Rapha Supercross series. First photos in weeks! Been a while...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Something to say?

Yeah, I know I've been pretty quiet huh? It's because I've been busy: if you hadn't heard, I just started a new job at Privateer magazine, the mountain biking sister magazine to Rouelur. I jumped straight in the deep end, bypassing the office on my first day of employment and heading straight to Germany for Eurobike.
Honestly, if you want to get to know your new colleagues, I can't recommend trawling a bike trade show for four days highly enough. By the end of the week we were all pretty "intimate". Essentially, Eurobike is like going on a four day stag weekend in a gigantic Evans Cycles. Sounds weird, is weird.
Since then, you might not have noticed, but cyclcross season started. Two races in and I've scored a third and an eighth. It looks like cross is getting popular, not just with newbies, but more seasoned racers too. I think I'm going to struggle to get a front row start position at the London League this season...
So that's it, working and riding, riding and working and not a lot else!
Hopefully I'll have some moving images to show you next week after I've filmed the promo for the Rapha Supercross series.