Begin with my first ever Cyclocross race, I got a new shiny bike for my Birthday so had to try it out in anger at First ever Rukenglen CX.
I entered the race not having a clue what to expect, lots of YouTube videos of Dig In The Dock. Gave me some idea of what was to come. B Race was where I was to cut my teeth, had a great time in the snow and frozen mud, managed to finish 22nd so not a bad result first time out.
Crit on the Campus was my first road race. I watched this from the sidelines in 2014, from then on I knew I wanted to race some Crits. Was a hard race, once you loose the bunch It turns into a dogfight just to keep going around and minimize the amount you will be lapped. Finish 39th and absolutely spent.
Next on the road was Crit race in Motherwell, this was a big boy race. Pearl Izumi Tour Series is in town. This is a warm up race before the main women’s and men’s go ahead. I am still struggling Cat 4 racer, this was to be an open race. Cats 2, 3 and 4 were all scrapping it out in this race. Good course nice and fast but a brutal headwind on the back half of the course, then you had a bit of a climb coming up to the finish line. Same as previous Crits I can’t hang with the bunch so try to slip in behind others to help with hiding from the headwind. Finish 36th.
May was also to bring my first ever road race. Wee Run Out Before The Morra. 36 miles was to be the race distance today, my biggest test of fitness yet. Race being held on the A77 at Fenwick, this is also a Cat 2, 3 and 4 races. With also an open road, adding cars into the mix as well. We’re racing in a loop one roundabout to another. Try my best to keep with the bunch, sit in and keep out of trouble. Even feel brave enough to have a little attack and help reel in a two man break. Then disaster strikes. Wrong gear coming off the roundabout, the bunch sail past, I am now being gapped. From now on it’s a time trial for me. Seeing the bunch gain and they eventually go past on opposite sides of the road. Struggle on and finish the last rider home 49th for me.
June brings me into another Crit I have been wanting to do, Crit Under The Castle. Stirling Castle. Battling up the cobbled streets was great, a brilliant crit course and great crowds out cheering us on, think we even had a “Dutch corner”. Manage to hang with the bunch, doing well top ten looking achievable. Then disaster struck, dropped my chain after the cobbled climb. Dropping down a whack of positions and finish the race disappointed but still 22nd. That’s racing for you!
Having caught the racing bug fully now, I enter another road race. John Davies Memorial Road Race, held by VC Glasgow. 50-miles, 5laps of a 10-mile loop around Kilmaurs. The weather was horrible, heavy rain and wind. It was a struggle to get out the car and warm up. Think I manage two laps then get dropped again. Manage one more lap then after a wrong turn I end up throwing in the towel. Not got the head to last another 20 miles on my own. Once I am changed the sun comes out and the riders flash by for the final lap. I receive my first DNF.
This month was a massive month for me, not only did it bring me some Cyclocross but also Two Wheel Army was born. Racing at Haugh-Cross Festival.
One Cyclocross race, one Crit race and an Adventure Cross ride this month. Talking all the cycling options.
A-race and a B-race this month, Seen me getting a top ten place again. Then during Big boys race, I reside to mid-table again, though still moving up the placing ladder.
Scottish Cyclocross is in full swing, rounds 4-5 taking up the month of November. Both proper mud fests, lots of broken bikes after these rounds.
This was to be my last race of 2015. Now I will focus on the Super Quaich series, starting in January. It has been a good year for me on the bike. Not doing as many longer rides like 2014, but I have been more constant on the bike, keeping my fitness levels up. I liked the way my results went as there was always an improvement within every race. Now it is time to trying and get fitter and keep the momentum going for 2016.
Hope to see you all on the start line in 2016.