Not new, still exciting

Photo: Pushies Galore.

Photo: Pushies Galore.

I do see it as at least part of my role here as your host and chief correspondent at Briztreadley (all right, all right, only correspondent, hmm that does give me an idea … if there are any Brisbane-based cyclists who used to have a cycling blog and for one reason or another closed it down, and still want to muse about cycling from time to time, just let me know and you can have a guest spot on Briztreadley anytime) to provide content that is not merely chronologically news, but also news in being new news for Brisbane bike-riding.

So the continuing focus on cyclocross may therefore be tiring for some. Because, trendsetter that you are, dear Briztreadley reader, you’ve been sitting up all night watching Belgian commentary on Sporza of World Cup cyclocross races for years and years. You probably make annual trips to Melbourne and ride all the Dirty Deeds CX events.

But for most of the bike riders of Brisbane, cyclocross is relatively new, and more people every time are finding out how much fun it is.

Yesterday we had the second race of the Qld CX Summer Series, at Murarrie. Maybe Easter Saturday wasn’t the bestest day on the calendar, but there were still new folks attending and racing for the first time.

Here’s a stat that so far I think is true: 100% of the people who I know who have tried cyclocross have absolutely enjoyed and can’t wait to do it again.

So if you have been saying to yourself: I wonder why Andrew keeps banging on about cyclocross, maybe I will give it a go sometime, then there here are a couple of possibilities for you to consult your calendar about.

The next and last event in the Summer Series is in two weeks. Saturday 13th April, in the late afternoon / early evening at Chandler velodrome.

Then, in early May, is the one-off not-to-be-missed and possibly never-to-be-repeated Pushies Galore Bowl-o-Cross, at Holland Park Bowls Club. That is going to be amazing … the space for a CX race course there is very small, so the crowd will be able to see the racers the whole time. Brad is working with the Pushies Galore people on the racing format, but it seems likely it will be multiple short races, in some sort of eliminator format. Maybe even handicap races.

Every time I race CX (now such a veteran, I think a grand total of six, maybe seven races) it is much the same. The first two or three laps are an absolute adrenalin blast, going flat chat to establish position, jumping off and on the bike, trying to bunny-hop stuff, finding the limits of adhesion of your tyres on this particular day on this particular course, all at instant maximum heart-rate.

And then, 10 minutes in, you realise than there’s still 20 minutes of the race to go. How will you ever make it to the finish while still riding your bike? And you just dig in deep and find a way to do. Fatigue creeps in, and your first couple of sky-high bunnyhops are replaced by barely lifting the front wheel over the barrier and hoping that the back one doesn’t slam into it so hard that it throws you forward and over the handlebars.

And eventually, some several millennia later, somebody nice says “last lap”, and you dig even deeper and try to hang onto your current placing. Your quads are screaming, your lungs are coming up your throat and out your mouth, your head is down looking at the front wheel.

And so you finally make it to the finish line. Exhausted, elated.

Third place yesterday.

Happy with that!

Floody on his 29er mtb was a very rapid and creditable 2nd place getter. The winner (Karl) was a first-timer, who probably could have raced A grade. And following me home were Emma & Dan (both singlespeeding) and Ian, and then Ernie, on an old road bike, with the skinny tyres. Nice ride Ern!

Me, Karl, Floody (his Mum calls him Darren). B grade podium. I'm still 'in role' as the MC. Goose.

Me, Karl, Floody (his Mum calls him Darren). B grade podium. I’m still ‘in role’ as the MC. Goose.


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