Sunday, 26 September 2010

LondonX League, Race 2, Happy Valley Park

This was my introduction to CX racing in England. It's actually my first CX race ever. That's maybe a bit of a surprise, but I never felt compelled to race cross in The Netherlands during my 5 year stay. Maybe it's due to my dutch riding friends there being more into touring and mountain bike riding. I guess CX there is more for road riders ;) . I was hoping to try my hand at it last season, but my "stretched" AC ligament put paid to that idea.

Welcome to England. Since arriving, I've been riding the MTB more frequently, done a Singlespeed race in Wales, enjoyed a ride with new friends in the Surrey hills, and now I've knocked off my first CX race. Great, what a wonderful introduction to England. I think this winter season is going to be filled with joyous mud-filled riding.

Now, as for the course, I have to say I was a bit disappointed. I wasn't expecting an XC course, but I was expecting some mud and no more than a few obstacles. One lonely obstacle in the form of a 20cm high plank did its best to add to the difficulty, but considering I could bunny hop it at 20kph and others were going over it at full speed, it didn't really pose much of a challenge. The course was grassy, dry, and windy. Not really ideal for a singlespeed mountainbike. But hey, it was still fun spinning past gearies on the downwind sections.

Looking at my heart rate graph, it seems like I was "turning myself inside out". Reality was it wasn't too bad, and I felt OK when I finished, admittedly I thought I had another lap to go. Still good to see I can ride up there for the best part of an hour.

I'm currently working with a friend to sort out a new racing rig, something that should help to eliminate comments at the start line - Not that they had a chance to repeat them during the race.

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