Photos: Keith Perry
Saturday I drove up to Desborough Leisure Centre for the Central League CX race that Kettering CC were promoting. It had been raining for a couple of hours by the time the senior race was due to start and the course had been ‘improving’ all day.
Dave from Pedalling Gear had ridden the Vets race earlier and gave me some very useful pointers on the course. We didn’t get a warm up lap so the first time we would ride everything was in the race and it was still persistently raining. Did I mention I hadn’t done this before?!
If you haven’t seen a cross race before you might not know that the sprint is at the start. I was at the back because I don’t have any league points. I would need to make up places throughout the race. First I needed to stay upright on the first tight dropping left hand bend which I managed as guys were coming off left and right.
After this “feature” everyone started to spread out a bit and I found myself in a battle with a couple of others. The rain eased and finally stopped but every corner was getting slicker and slicker as the race progressed. I managed to gain a few places only to lose them again with a poor remount or line choice. Near the finish on the last lap I was gaining on an A5 Rangers CC rider. There was a gravel pit at the bottom of a hill which threw me right over the bars. The lad on my wheel was also off and after a quick “You Alright?” he was back on and I went for his wheel. I nearly overtook him on the last running section but a cramp after remounting ended that idea.
I finished 23rd in the end and had a blast. Everything was very well organised by Kettering CC, friendly marshals on the whole course and showers afterwards. A brilliant event.
On the 13th of December there is a round at Hillingdon if anyone wants to have a go. MTBs are welcome.