LCCA Round 2 – PORC

Today found me at my first race of the season. I’d thought the weather would be damp and foggy, and not particularly warm – luckily I wore my shorts and took my jersey! It brightened up considerably and was rather warm and muggy when I arrived.

Penshurst Off Road Club/ Centre is pretty cool, and certainly built more for mountain bikes than cx. Loads of interesting runs and features, as well as a huge double story log cabin cafe type place. 

The course: Technical downhill on mostly grass, a couple of 180 degree bends. Running into a long fairly straight downhill. Another 180 corner on sandy type soil, and a run around and into a pit. The pit had nearly vertical sides but was easily ridden and we came out at an angle to another free flowing downhill section. A tight bend and onto a short dirt uphill, then onto two nice stretches of flattish grass, marred only by some slippy mud patches. Another short sharp climb and then a long draggy climb on a firm hardcore surface that took you all the way back to the top.

I loved the technical downhill sections. Frustratingly I couldn’t seem to get a decent line through the 2nd 180 degree corner. A slightly off camber corner with rock hard ruts running at weird angles nearly had me over the edge on the third lap. The rest of the downhill section was fine, including the pit at the bottom (unless you are Jo Perry and you hit the bottom head first! Thankfully she finished and I hope is fine)

So. The climbs had me. Long and tough. By the last lap I was seeing stars near the top. Used Clif Bar Shot Bloks as there was actually sections where it was a viable option to ‘eat’ and also took a half full bottle as I realised on the practice lap how hot it was on the climbs.

Courtesy of Huw Williams 

Courtesy of Huw Williams

Overall the off road riding I’ve been doing around where I live has really helped. I’m a lot more confident on technical turns. Except that one! I need to work on fitness – having been away working the Tour of Britain, I hadn’t ridden the bike in over ten days. Something I can hopefully work on more and more.

It’s easy to think I’ve been doing this for years. But my first race was less than a year ago.

Lovely friendly lot of women to race with too. Organisation was super. The one bad thing was the huge amounts of wasps everywhere! 

Definitely looking forward to the next one. Maybe Basildon next weekend? It’s not LCCA though.



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