Saturday, November 2, 2013

CXNE#7 Gypsies Green - Ted

It's funny, experience should mean fewer surprises but today I had a few CX firsts. First time in skin suit, first spiral of doom, and first time I changed shoes mid race. Let's look a the video reply to see how these played out. Skin suit was thanks to Team, so the howling North East breeze was a gift for my wind cheating attire, better than Chris Boardman in a wind tunnel. The spiral of doom was part of a super fun course laid out at the finish venue of the Great North Run, a banked velodrome with grass and sand surrounds. Dry as a bone despite a quick shower before the race, this was a fast a furious race course, duck boards: yes, steps: yes, dead turns, off camber, uphill: yes, concrete velodrome track: yes, cinder track: yes, and wind: proper Geordie style. 

So 65 Vets, Women and Juniors set off for a lap of the velodrome and onto the course proper. Egged on by team mate and real Geordie Sarah, I nipped into the front places of the grid and made it to the first corner with the best of them. I think I'm starting to learn I'm sort of the Micky Quinn of CX. For the youngsters he was a prolific goal scorer for the Toon, and the fastest ever striker over 2 yards, but his pie eating bulk meant that this was his only party trick. So into the first few corners and up the stairs, still going ok. I usually get a lap or more in before Sarah bombs past me, today it was less than half. So I decided to let her do the work for a bit, and we raced wheel to wheel for a good while. 

Then I felt my left pedal coming loose, and figured a bike change would solve all that. Half a lap later it started to dawn on me, it wasn't the pedal it was the cleat on the new shoe working loose. Panic set in and DNF was all I could think. Think. What's the solution? Dylan, I screamed, can you get my spare shoes from the car! Now, I take a fair amount of stick for taking 'spare' everything to races, but sometimes it's necessary, and today was it. So I changed shoes and re-entered the race at the 25 minute mark, so still plenty of racing to be had. And no DNF, probably! 

Despite the setback I really enjoyed today's outing, all the better when Sarah came in First Women and Alison arrived safely shortly after. Then Dylan raced in the Youth category, setting a blistering pace lap after lap and finished either 3rd or 4th. We think 3rd. 

Photo courtesy of Sarah's mam, as they say up here.

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