My first cyclo-cross race of the 2011-12 season was the 3 peaks race in Yorkshire. I previously wrote about our training for this and probably how on my last attempt I took 6 hours and vowed never to do it again. Given the terrain where we were living in Scotland I felt I had a much better chance at being able to survive this year and put some effort into getting used to carrying the cross bike on my shoulder up steep climbs. This did help me a lot, there was nothing in the event in 2011 that I found horrendous, but it turns out I am still just too slow at walking/running to have any chance at being in the top women's group. Add to this a face plant onto a rock slab on the descent of Whernside, and a slipped gear cable (which I should have stopped to fix in hindsight) and you end up with a disappointing race time and position. This is officially not an event for the girl who hated sport at school because all sport involved running!!
|Rather bad self portrait!|
Herne Hill turns out to have been my race venue of choice however (it helps that we now live a short cycle ride away). Since the end of October I have raced there twice more once for a London League race and once for the New Year's Day Madison in a team with Chris. The league race was muddy fun and was enhanced by my winning the women's event. Chris and I dragged Paul Davis of SIP Events fame along as well which always leads to lots of giggling. Again there was a great atmosphere and the organisers - ViCious Velo gave everyone wrapped Christmas presents as prizes. Great prizes at that. I now wear my warm cycling cap all the time.
The New Year's Day Madison has to be the best event yet. It was a bit of a last minute decision to race and Chris and I decided to go out and do a couple of hours on the road beforehand - just to warm up. We freewheeled down the hill to the velodrome again and tried to work out how exactly this madison thing was going to work. It sounded complicated but John M manages to make everyone act sensibly so there were really no issues. I somehow slashed my leg on a bramble riding around the course so the photos make me look like a right chopper with blood streaming down my leg! We had a few hilarious change overs one of which is captured on video.
So thats my cross season, over for another year. Next season I am going to do the whole series (I say this every year!).
|Some dodgy madison skills on display|
|As usual - 'race face'|