Catching up

Tuesday 3rd May 2011

by MikeC

Well, it’s been a long time coming but I have finally caught up (not in a peddling sense you understand) with my Velo29 team-mates. On the May Bank Holiday Richard kindly invited us all to his house for a BBQ and drinks. As we all live in different parts of the area, work different job and have different training/racing schedules it was a good chance to find out what everyone has been up to since the start of the season and to meet the new members of the team. A popular pastime seems to be ‘crashing’. I heard of a smash which included an ambulance at Croft, Chris Wood sustained some pretty serious injuries at the new Prissik circuit (which resulted in it’s racing closure for the time being) and even the mighty Dan was taken out and rendered unconscious. This is a prime opportunity for some friendly teasing but these things happen, that’s racing……….however, maybe they forgot about the primary rule, pay attention! I understand that on the surface Mountain Biking can seem dangerous, and it can be, but I’m certainly more scared of coming off a road bike at 25-40 miles per hour with a potential 60 other riders around me. Tarmac is a very unforgiving surface and I certainly don’t want a mouthful of it. I would much rather have a mouthful of tree thank you very much.

Since my last blog I have competed in the first round of the North East MTB Nutcracker Series. A strong field of 40 riders lined up in the master’s race and I used my experience to get on the second row. I managed to get into 2nd before the single-track but could not go with the pace of the leader Jamie Sharp. The course was at Catterick on an Army Training ground and was a mix of main tracks, short steep climbs, some sweet single-track and a big ‘soak spectator’ water splash. I maintained 2nd place until the 2nd lap where Anton Wouters passed me on a short steep climb asking ‘are you in second’ to which I replied ‘not any more’. A gap quickly opened, I kept racing hard but was unable to bring him back. I maintained a strong 3rd position and even managed to soak some kids standing too close to the water splash, they must have been playing double dare. The speed is starting to come and I hope to get another podium at the next round in Richmond. We’ve had fantastic weather this spring, I hope everyone has been enjoying riding their bikes.

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