Humbled By My Friends

You may be aware that a lot in my life has not gone to plan recently. From numerous visits to the dentist, to broken bikes and frustration with my fitness.

Needless to say, I don’t mean to be whinging and moaning. I’m too matter of fact for that – although I’m not sure anyone knows me well enough these days to corroborate with that.

I completed cx at Herne Hill on Thursday 11th August. A hot, arid, dusty evening in southern London. Glad to get there early, mosey around a warm up lap, sign on and get a feel of the course with Phil Booth who had earlier in the week helped me out to fix the Kinesis (thanks for indexing it Hans Stiles!). I was quite looking forward to the mostly flat course, a nice bit of solid single track, and a couple of interesting features.

Nice to be joined by fellow colleagues for this very well organised, uncategorised race. It’s a shame there is just the four in the whole of the London CX scene, but I understand how hard it must be to organise. Kudos to both the 5th Floor and Kinesis for their hard work and sponsorship.

I started fast, but the grass and my lack of fitness soon pulled me back. Within a couple of hundred meters to be precise, and from there I paced myself around at the back of the field, getting caught and passed by Alec Briggs  (5th Floor) fairly quickly.

I loved the singletrack, and ft more than home on a course like this. That bloody steep hill hidden around the back of the sun splashed track was hell. Taught me I need to start jogging again! The lovely Hazel Barnes was not too far in front of me and we did a few laps sort of together, her egging me on and me glad to have someone my pace (ish). Really welcomed the shouts from Ian Cleverly too, it helped a lot! Considering how rusty I was – and how hard I found it, I really enjoyed it a lot. I know the skills I need to work on, along with my fitness.

Friday evening, sadly, saw me reduced to tears. Being classed as ‘unapproachable’ and the context of how it was delivered, whilst feeling rather uptight and worried about the two races I had at the weekend, combined to one of the most heartfelt posts I’ve written on Facebook. Needless to say, the support I received from friends both close and acquaintances helped bolster my courage for doing the Brighton Big Dog on Saturday. 

Something that to a lot of my fit friends that have been racing years, probably doesn’t mean much, but was worrying me considerably.

Thank you friends for helping pull me back together. Especially those from Medway Velo – Alex, Phil, Sal and Rob deserve a special mention. Because without these guys I wouldn’t be brave enough to face doing a lot of things.

#crossiscoming #keepsmiling 


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