A minor mountain climbed yesterday at Lee Quarry in the fourth race of the five race Hope XC Series, as one gangly bet rider set out on his first race at Lee Quarry since he broke his collarbone there in April 2009.
I’m not normally superstitious, but the random slideshow on the PC on the kitchen kept delivering abnormally high proportions of photos of me lying ditched on the dust after my crash last year, or pics of me in a sling. After the second lap of the course, I did spare a second or two to think that I’d got round the course fine and was actually in good order.
In the event itself, I was pleased if a little stunned with 2nd place after 1 hr 40 ish of racing. The complexities of rocky Mountainbike races are such that you basically get rewarded for keeping going and having no crashes or punctures. I’d seen the event as an opportunity to wake my off-road senses up a bit – but in no way thought that a typically hilly course at Lee Quarry could ever do a non-climber like me any favours. The course was harsh on a rigid bike, but not as harsh as it seemed to some people ahead of me on bikes seemingly more suited to the unforgiving bumps of Lee Quarry. As I came round the end of the first lap in 6th, I just kept going, as one by one the riders ahead of me seemed to evaporate in a series of punctures and other technical problems. After what seemed like a winter ‘cross season of technical problems galore, I hope this staying upright and incident-free thing might catch on for the rest of 2010…. fingers crossed.