Cross my heart

I couldn’t think of a snappy or witty title, so I’m resorting to band names. Last Sunday I entered my very first cyclocross race and frankly it was brilliant. Considering currently I only own cyclocross bikes it seems criminal I’ve never put them to the use/purpose they were designed for, so with butterflys in my stomach I entered the Yorkshire Points series Round 5 at Temple Newsam. A great thing about cyclocross is that you can generally just rock up on the day pay your entry and away you go.

Some morning DIY meant that I didn’t get a chance for a practice lap on the course but I was pleasantly suprised with the fact that none of it really phased me. Each lap I felt like I was growing in confidence and improving in terms of speed, racing line and better decisions on when to cycle or run. Had I been in the top 10 I’d know where I placed and there would be some professional shots of me riding, as I came second to last (yet to be confirmed but I’m sure I passed someone on the last lap to avoid the wooden spoon) there aren’t. It was great fun though and although it was tiring I wasn’t exhausted which means I should be able to go faster.

I didn’t feel like there were any egos when racing and although I got lapped multiple times no one was screaming at me to get out of the way, just a polite ‘on your right’ etc. to let me know to move over. The support from the crowd was great too, with people cheering me on even at the back of the field (possibly because I was the back of the field). Cyclocross is hard work and my fitness from the long commute definitely helped me to keep going for the full hour, but if anyone is even remotely interested in the discipline I’d say go for it. I’ll definitely be racing again, see you at the back!

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