From the outset I must state I didn’t take victory in the conventional sense (”coming first”) but I, as did 300 other lucky souls did win by the sheer fact we were taking part in quite a unique event with its unlimited awesomeness; Hit the North. How did this winning sensation taste, well to me, giving the fact I’d just stuffed it down my neck that repeated on me for whole race, it tasted like a cola Wham bar that you got gifted after sign on!
It was a belter of a race, even more so when it appears I did all right too, 14th overall, 4th senior (how quick are them vets! trying to outrun the life that’s catching up with them, maybe? Seems to work mind =) ).
I had a great time of it, singlespeed was performing well (didn’t notice it at least), was having a good ol’ battle with a few other riders and body was feeling good. I backed off in the middle bit of the race, span around, give my back a rest, enjoyed the course, natter to the odd person and try not to be too hasty with my passes.
Into last lap though, across the ‘Field of Despair’ I could see a few racers that I knew were the places ahead of me amongst the various others, ankle deep in emotional, muddy doom. I saw it as my mission to catch and pass these riders.
Once across the FofD, pin the ace bit of man made trail, clear the steep bit back towards the start/finish area, dance over the grip-less mud, down the steep corner short-cut, squeeze down the narrow rut into almost unrideable, claggy chute that sucks up seemingly all the stones on the next section of bridleway but closing in on them!
Bit further on, fly into the stream crossing, up the other side passed one of the races in front who’s dabbed. Spin, spin, spin. Next two up ahead going onto a short, steep climb just after a tunnel. This suits me and my singlespeed. POWER! Seems to work, past the other two I was trying to catch. Spin, spin, spin. Near the end now, don’t look back, that wont help! Clamber up the steep traverse, keep on pushing, cross the line, minty ball in mouth. Happy days.
Ace day out and good way to kick off the year.
I now want another Wham bar.