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This weekend I have mostly been riding....


...nowhere near the road.

My training continues not to begin properly, but I got my mojo back somewhat over the weekend by some non-road riding.

Saturday morning was spent "racing" in the Hit the North Winter Sprinter ( held in Philips Park in Bury, north Manchester. Riding on my HT MTB with some recently bought 26" Scwalbe cross tyres, I was there with a clubmate and another good friend. It was my first ever "cross" race (people were mainly on MTBs but there a reasonable number of cross bikes). I didn't do very well - the carrying and pushing did my back in to the point I could hardly ride - but I had a great laugh. The sun shone, there was mud and a bit of falling off and enough of a competitive spirit to keep things interesting. I can see why people love cross so much - that's definitely on the list for next winter.

Arriving home filthy with a mud-caked bike, I discovered that my dear beloved had been dealing with a massive leak in the bathroom, which had flooded through the wall (luckily not the ceiling) into the kitchen below. Water was off. We had to wait hours for the plumber. He looked at me as if I was mental (my face was still covered in mud).

Yesterday, fully washed (the bike and me), I was at the Manchester track for my accreditation session. Knowing I had the race on Sat and this on Sunday evening, I had eschewed riding with the club on Sunday morning, although it did look like I missed a glorious run out into Cheshire.

The track session was succesful (I passed - woo!), although my legs were tired from Saturday. After the skills tests, we did a bit of faster stuff, including a mock race. By this time, my legs were shot, and it hadn't helped that, in my rush on the way over, I;'d left my drink in the car. 20 laps isn't much (5km), but when the whistle went to show 5 laps to go, I just couldn't stay with the front guys. Came 5th, I think. Which sounds good until you consider there were only a dozen of us....

So, a great weekend's riding, even if quite unrelated to the road. But it's all riding bikes, right?  1

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