Monday, 19 December 2011

Audax Cyclo-Cross


Sunday morning and at 7am I was outside in my PJ's checking for ice, if any of my neighbours had been awake they probably would have thought I had lost it. Both the main road and the side street were completely clear and with a weather forcast of above freezing for Cheshire I was all ready to ride the Winter Solstice Audax. I had spent saturday sorting out my bike and Ali was giving me a lift to the start in Bredbury. Although I was still coughing I felt fine.

Then it all changed, it started snowing, my friends were tweeting that they weren't going, the organiser had suggested not riding. Ali sensibly pointed out that driving in the now snow covered road was not a good idea and I reluctantly went back to bed. Getting up an hour earlier and reading on the forum it sounded like I had made the right decision the roads over in Cheshire were a mixture of slush and ice. Only one thing for it cyclo-cross. It was the day of the Horwich CC 4 Season Cycles Humdinger Cross which is held less than two miles from my house, it would be rude not to go and race.

I had to change my bike back from its off-road commuting duties by removing the rack and I also put my new cross tyres on, should be less likely to clog in the mud and hopefully grippier. Then I headed off making my first mistake by trying to ride down the back street which was now an ice-rink. Ali followed on foot wanting to get some running miles in. Signing on I went for a ride round the course. I was already out of gears but I was also nice and warm. The course was covered in snow but this was causing it to be very very muddy. Ali arrived and I gave her all my spare clothes so she was warm and lined up at the start.

My head was still in long and steady mode and I pootled off the startline and round the first lap. The odd time I really tried pushing I got nowhere, seems like I can't ride on mud! Still my heart rate was up so I was getting a good workout. I was trying to be careful as I didn't want to end up coughing and coughing but it seemed fine racing. After three laps I started to warm up and was able to reel in and pass a few people ahead of me. I still felt like I was descending badly, especially on the big muddy descent where I was shouting at myself, I knew I had to get my weight over my forks or my front wheel just washed out, but I am a wimp! The race finished a little early for me as I had halved the gap to the girl in front in one lap, but I had enjoyed it which was the important thing.

Then I rode home, I walked through the park as I was too scared of the ice. No pictures as the camera decided to stop working and all the pictures are just black!

I finished third female and 67th overall. Shame the season has nearly finished I was just beginning to enjoy it!

Here is a video from the race:

1 comment:

  1. glad you still made it out in the end, sounds like it all worked out for the best. if it helps i can easily imagine you riding a 'cross bike covered in mud through a park covered in snow :)