My second race of the season and confidence was higher. I’d finished rebuilding my crashed bike, my fitness and confidence had increased, I’d eaten nearly a whole packet of Jaffa Cakes and it wasn’t forecast to rain! I had arrived with enough time for a sighting lap and duly set off.
Parts were still covered in frost and there was some ice around but generally looking good. The first feature was Tom’s Pit, this was to be bypassed on the first lap, but I wanted to check it out. I took my entry too slow and had a clipless ‘moment’ on the hip jump, falling to the outside edge – not a good start.
The rest of the lap was a good mix of single track, fireroads and pits including mower trail, parts of rusty bucket, Flint and Howe’s pits, and Super Big Dog, surprisingly there was no going up Double Shocker – perhaps too slippery?
I met up with Jon and Adam and had a little chat with them prior to the start. Soon we were off, quite controlled really even though there was a crash on the first section of fireroad! Queues formed approaching Tom’s pit as it was bypassed, but via single track.
I settled into a steady rhythm, felt quite strong so decided to push a bit where I could and soon was catching and passing people. Things were going well until Howe’s Pit where the rider in front of me changed lines on the entry and crashed, blocking the entry but I don’t think he hurt himself.
Out of the pit with no more issues and on to the feed zone/start where I went past few people. Still feeling strong I pushed on the fire roads and tried to use Jedi training on the single track. Next lap, I still felt strong and carried on the same vein, passing one of the Timber 4hour riders. Once I had started my fourth lap I knew I wouldn’t get anymore laps in so eased off a bit and enjoyed the race, still passing the odd rider, and being passed by the much faster ones
After 2Hours 18 minutes of racing I crossed the line in 55th place (out of 86), which I was very happy with. Other Timber riders finished 19th, 28th and 30th, all in the 4hours race (nutters!)
Richard Hall (rshall)