Monday, 24 September 2012

Round 2 Wessex Cyclocross League - Swindon at Lydiard Park

Driving along the motorway, the rain was continuous, road spray kicking up, spoiling the view. On the course, it was brollies and wellies - I had neither :(. The signing-on tent seemed like the best place to be!
As the rain poured, the wet course got wetter. Even corners on the grass became slippery. The track in the woods quickly became a mud skating rink, littered with banana skin tree roots! The slimy mud ramps and banks were lethal. Having learned my lesson the hard way, I decided that the safest way up them was on foot!

The grass had been cut recently and clippings compressed into the drive train, clogging up shoe cleats. Quite a few riders had to stop with mechanicals. Personally, my drive train survived, but occasionally my rear gear slipped, probably because of all the organic matter clagged to it. With so much stuff going on to "maintain one's interest", the bell came quickly. Yes, I was relieved to hear that sound. Both pedals jammed by sticky mud and shoes clogged with grass, clipping in was challenging sometimes, especially after the barriers on the last lap.

One of the race organisers afterwards was telling me that riders had broken mechs, and he seemed to think they were mostly Campagnolo 10 (and 11?) speed. I was happy to be running the wider chain and perhaps more rugged Shimano 9 speed.
What a mess to clean up! Body, bikes, shoes, clothes, car....miserable. But somehow, glad to be one of those nutters riding around a wet field in the cold and rain.

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