Tues 27th Dec saw me racing at Lewisham Yulecross, a brand new event in Beckenham Place Park on a decommissioned golf course. It dawned frosty and cold, but by the time I arrived the temperature had risen nicely, although the frozen white grass was slow to retreat at the top of the course.
After pre riding the top half of the course, I guessed it would be a fast race and with the Vet 40s, Vet 50s, Women and Go Cross all on course at the same time.
I played around with the off camber bunkers with Suzi Wise for a while before we were allowed to ride the entire course, although I didn’t manage to ride straight over the edge into one like she did.
Lots of long grassy straights, some proper rough grass and bunkers used as sand pits. With one blinking hard hill up from the start. I crawled up it every lap, with murderous thoughts getting more prevalent each time. The entire course, with the exception of the hurdle into the sand pit was eminently rideable. However I managed to let Suzi get away from me this time, after she gave me a face full of grassy mud climbing the cliff just after the start. Grim and annoyed, all I can say is that I tried. I did end up 3rd Senior, but as we all know that doesn’t count.
Weds 28th saw me heading over to Caroline Stewart and a skills session in the park, with me finally cottoning on to a few very simple things, but not very able to put them into practice… yet. I find Caroline ‘gets’ my explanations. Especially when I’m not doing thing particularly right. But she’s equally as good at talking through and explaining what I need to know to try and do it better. Sometimes it’s just things from a different point of view. I always come away from a session feeling like I’ve learnt something. And that, to a novice like me is invaluable.
A very foggy start quickly gave way to a stunningly beautiful day. Actually wish I had taken more pictures!
A ride over icy boards and around the looming monstrosity of Broadmoor, I felt like I had got the hang of more technical riding, but the tail end of a stinking cold that prevented me riding Shrewsbury had me half wiped out by the time we hit her training loop.
Honestly nothing to do with the fact I raced the day before!
A quick loop round, with my favourite section the Strade Bianchi like stretch (not really surprising!) and a steady ride back for a cuppa. Much needed!