Monday, 31 October 2011

NDCXL Round 8, Rosliston

Not many got up this slippery slidy beast !
Wow ! Talk about in at the deep end !
No mud all season - then pow !
Proper mud.
Not sure if I had my tyres too hard (well over 50psi) or what but it got very messy. Not in a bad way though - apart from the 3 corners on lap 3 that I took disastrously and probably lost at least 20 places ! Regained a grip after that.
Lots of broken rear mechs apparently.
65th out of 167.
Results here

Sunday, 16 October 2011

MTBO 3hr Winter League 1, Edale

Another day of perfect autumnal weather, despite car saying 6 degrees and me not having mitts, sleeves and shorts !

Nevertheless a good ride apart from probably 10 mins wasted getting to 16 (nearly got to Win Hill then doubled back and a stoopid route to 9 probably wasting 3-4 mins. I think the opposite way round was optimal as my push up from 17 to Hollins cross was dire !

Never mind, more haste less speed - as ever !

Results here, 4th out of 147
5,10,13 then wrong way to 16 then long way to 9,20,15,17
then big push up to 1,3,4,11,19,18,6,12,7,2

NDCXL Round 6, Alfreton Park

Well, that's what bike racing is all about.

Stunning day. Picked mum up on the way to Alfreton and met Teresa there after she'd done about 50 mile with Rich (wore him out apparently !).

Parked the van up and out to test a few laps.  Great course similar to last year but with more section in the woodland. Very dry and fast but not overly twisty like Allestree was.  More climbing and descending on this one too, which played to my strengths.

My start was terrible with people passing me left and right. People do seem very very agressive with some plain stupid overtaking at completely wrong points on the first lap. Like before the first log hop when there's a line of us (10?) steadily getting over it, when all of a sudden out of nowhere through all the brambles a bloke carries and stumbles his bike passing about 3 riders. Good luck to him that's what I thought ! A few 'queues' like this meant more time slipping away to the top 30 guys.

Anyway, it soon became apparent that I'd dropped loads of places on the start (probably about 70-80th place at a guess) so had to work hard to make em up. I made up loads of ground on the long climbs and just about held my ground (if I concentrated!) on the flats n downs.  The course was lovely and swoopy and was an absolute pleasure to ride. I think I nearly smiled at several points.

Nice to have mum, Lewis, Teresa, Dave and Martin there too.

I lost a contact lens two laps from the end which initially slowed me down, but once I realised I knew where all the roots were already, I was riding it as fast as previously I think.

Finished 48th out of 176 finishers. Not overly pleased with that, but I did overtake masses.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

MTBO Night 2hr, Monsal Head, 1st out of 54


After two nights off I did feel better with legs slightly rested.

The last few weeks of chaingangs and racing have been really tiring. I find the Tuesday and Thursday sessions very hard and last weekends CX at Allestree left me feeling empty, so Tuesday night's session with Derby Mercury this week was taken 'easy'.

It seems to have paid off with me winning last night - and more importantly beating local rivals Andy Douglas and Pat Higgins - both great MTBO riders.  Only Andy and me cleared the course. Really happy as my tyres being hard meant 1 loose rocky descent from Eyam to Stoney Middleton was 'amateurish' at best and a control up on Calver Moor was overshot (couldn't find the track).

Only disappointment on the night was my helmet light packing up just before the last control - good job I didn't need to map read after that otherwise I'd have had my joystick in my gob !

Battery is meant to last 2.5-3h. It only did 1h50. Not good.

I also mounted my joystick upside down - under - the handlebars. This meant that it gives a lower light casting more shadows which is actually really useful as it shows up rocks that way. Helmet lights don't show up rocks really as you can't 'see' the shadows !

Control order : 1,5,7,4,10,13,16,12,14,15,9,6,11,8,2,3
Results here

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

24Hour Solo 2012, Newcastleton

Dates have apparently just been released - although they're not on this weblink, sorry. Apparently it's the 7th April 2012 which is a whole month earlier than last year.

This means quite a few things ...
  • No birthday celebrations the day before - I'll need to line a beer up on the finish line !
  • Less daylight - more torchlight. A quick check on some sites shows that daylight early April compared to early May is approximately 2 hours shorter (presumably 1 in evening, 1 in morning?). I better get upgrading my batteries then...
  • Less time / no time for summertime training.  Having those longer nights just makes it naturally easier to do longer rides. Oh well, looks like I'll have to practice night riding before the event too.
Note - that all of the above assume that I will be entering - something I'm really not sure on at this point in time.

Watch this space.

Re-looking at the 2011 results, I've just noticed that if I'd have been 'arsed' to go out and do two more laps (at the end) then I'd have been 4th Vet male. Yeah, I know that's a big 'if', but it's interesting. Keith Forsyth in 3rd did 2 more laps in the same time that I did (plus 30 mins). If he had two bikes, then it's easy to see how he did it. I lost soooooo much time sorting my bike out. Not good.

3 Peaks CX - Excel Analysis

Dunno about you, but I was itching to find out how I did on certain legs as I knew I'd done terrible on some legs with mechanicals. It's always good to think about what 'cudda' been.

Well., I produced this Excel file as soon as the detailed results came out, but as Blogger hasn't allowed me to upload Excel or pdf's I've been unsure how to make them public !

Dropbox to the rescue...

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Shimano CX70 Brakes - Initial thoughts

Well, they arrived 1hour before yesterday's race but I've got them on now. Goodbye to the old Froglegs - and to be honest I'm glad to be rid of them - they turn descent descents into nightmares.

I only fitted them this morning, but needless to say they've already had a hammering on the hills round here and initialy thoughts are very good.

Even though they're clearly not bedded in and the pads don't yet sit square on the rims, they're infinitely better already.

I'm hoping that they live up to Shimano's habit of generally not putting a foot wrong with either MTB or road equipment. I'll try and put a full review up soon as I've not found anything on the web yet as they are very VERY new out.

NDCXL Round 4 Allestree Park

47th out of 175 in 29 degree heat !!
Didn't feel like I was riding well / fast at all.
Probably linked to beers n curry the night before (having to go back to sleep once I'd got up!) then nearly keeling over with heatstroke on the second half.
I lost about 10 places at the end, in a situation where I normally make places up.
I think without the heat effects I'd have ended top 30. Never mind - bring on round 5 next week !
Results here