Cross at cyclo-cross – I’m on my knees

Not sure what to make of my cyclo-cross at the moment. On the one hand, I have great times and love the company, scene, people and racing. It’s pure, it’s serious, but it’s fun and friendly. But I’m fighting some proper demons at the moment with injury. I’ve had injuries before and worked out a way through or round them. But the latest thing (knee, totally out of the blue) really feels like a proper blocker.

Add to this a very binary season so far (appalling 3 Peaks, things picked up, horrid flu and abandoned a race, things picked up… etc… ), and immediately as they pick up, along comes a swollen knee that renders me weak and – especially at this time of year – incapable of running, struggling with dismounting and with no way of putting down any big power at all.

The World Masters Cyclo-cross championships were just brilliant. So not my kind of course in such dry conditions but also so, so enjoyable to be there and just take part. A mid pack finish and dreary feeling as soon as I realised what was going to happen, but somehow still just happy to be there and taking it all in. It’s the world champs – and on home soil. I was never going to threaten a top 10, never mind a podium, but what’s hard is watching a race ride away from you when you know where you could / should be. But yet it was also ace.

Add to all this an injured daughter (knees, still, but different – a growing thing) and the whole outlook is pretty poor right now at what should be my favourite part of the cross season, where races get slower, more leggy, and I start to traditionally move up in the placings. I just can’t see my even being on the start line in coming weeks, yet thinking about cyclo-cross and the cadence of these winter weekends is just so ingrained in me that I can’t see myself not racing.

First world problems at best, but I need to vent. Waiting for the knee fairy to undo whatever the knee devil did, and get the winter races started.

Pics by the wonderful driving force behind our sport Larry Hickmott / VeloUK