Scott (Doktor Kirton) stylin’ the off-camber right turn past Buffoon Hill.
One of the things that I like about having a blog is that there are really no deadlines. If I post something that is timely, it is either by accident or through general enthusiasm for the topic.
I know people who have scheduled posts for their blog that they have pre-written. I have never been that calculated or well-planned. Once its been written (or more like half-written), up it goes on the site and that is the end of that. Until I re-read the post and fix the typos that is.
So, a couple of things that happened that were blogworthy, but somehow I have yet to post about.
The State CX Champs. We went to Ipswich, after a week in which it mostly rained drops of water from the sky. Hepatitis Creek was running a banker, but this year it didn’t smell nearly so bad. The course was all set to be a mud fest. A proper CX race.
Brad has posted quite a good account of the day and the race, and the mud.
Me, wearing Number 1. Yep, that was the best bit.
My experience was that I started slow and got slower. There was quite a substantial field in B grade, and we also raced with the A/B women (Sharon, Emma and Renee).
In the warm-up lap I managed to mess up the second (rideable) creek crossing, and fall off my bike into the creek, and pinch flat. So in the time between the warm-up lap and the start of the race (i.e. about three minutes) I very quickly changed the tube and got back into position. The tyre change cannot be an excuse, but it was a race that I found to be just a total slog.
The wet grass sections soaked up a lot of effort from my legs, without translating that into forward motion. The first creek crossing led into the trickiest mud section, with a short hill to run up, and then two off-camber muddy sections to traverse, before the second rideable crossing, and another short bank that I couldn’t ride.
Of all that tricky stuff, the only part I felt I was riding well was the off-camber sweeping left in the mud, and the second creek crossing. So I did my best to make up a few seconds there each lap.
But the reality was that only a couple of laps in, Brad had passed me and gone off into the distance. And because the ladies started with about a 30 second head-start, I never caught or raced against Emma either. I think she pulled away from me as well.
I occasionally saw and cheered other friends in the race who were going the other way at various points in the circuit (Floody riding my Shogun ghettocrosser, Oppy, Emma, Ernie, Brad, Scott), but the only other interaction was right at the end when I lapped Ernie. On the final lap.
Floody had a flat tyre, but still finished a long way ahead of me. On my spare bike.
In terms of ‘proper’ cyclocross, it was the best race ever. A couple of weeks later, and my CX bike still isn’t quite right. After a week of cleaning and riding an re-checking, eventually I handed the CAADX to Matt the friendly mechanic at Epic Cycles, and asked him to find out what the noise was.
So my race wasn’t my best. Emma clocked into second place in the women’s race, but also felt as though she had not raced her best.
In the A grade mens, there were a couple of surprises. The usual suspects that I had named in the preview, such as Matt Williams and Lawson Hartshorn, and Jaman and Josh were all there.
But so too was Andy Fellows. And Leigh de Luca.
Fellows is a top-level mountain biker, winner of XC and enduro races around Qld and around Australia. And Leigh de Luca is one of the gun riders from Melbourne, who races in the National CX Series, finishing top 10.
Andy Fellows showed that the dominance of mtbers in the cyclocross national series is no fluke. Last year’s dry conditions perhaps lured the roadies such as Matt Williams and Darren Nightingale into a false impression of cyclocross. When it gets muddy, the skills and the drive of the top mountain bikers comes into its own.
The results can be found here. But don’t trust them too much, cos Brad Norman definitely beat me. And he is listed as either incomplete or not finishing. Not correct.
And the other thing that happened was Pushies Galore. Which is another post.