The Start of the Super Quaich Series.
January 17th and the second trip to race the park I grew up in kicking a ball around, chucking various assortment of things into the pond. Shall not elaborate on this, in case the Park’s Department track me down. When the group of delinquents found the taste for Alcohol, this was the place we used to come and sip strong bottles of cider, share them around, then stagger home. Trying to sober up on the walk home.
Rouken Glen Its Good To Be Back!
I manage to turn up to on race day early, see the first race of the day. (New Year, New Me)
The B Racers are just stretching out into the familiar single file of Cross Racing. There was a good battle going on at the front with Two riders trading blows in different parts of the course. Until the third last corner, there was a break, the elastic snaps. Ross McArthur take’s the win while Callum Ritchie in his second ever cross race takes second place, Gary Tompsett takes the last step of the podium.
Conditions that the B Racers suffered was snow, snow and deep snow in places. With every turn of the tyre that changed and became increasingly softer and turning slippy.
Time to warm up, see how the course set up is. Also, see if my internal satnav has remembered the course. This is the only course I have ever ridden before, so hope that helps me in the A race to come.
Have a couple of warm-up laps, practice the off-camber hairpin bends then run the hill. Done this on the bike and tried running that whole section. If I don’t want to end up on the deck at every turn running this section is my best bet, giving me momentum to tackle the hill. Due to the snow this year, it seems riding this section is not on the cards for 90% of riders today.
“Five minutes to start and all riders make way to start line” is the call on the PA.
Make my way down with the butterfly’s growing larger with every metre closer to the start grid. Make my way to the middle/rear and let the battle of the grid process unfold at the front for the fast guys and girls (I know my place).
Nice little touches in this race are, the HUP, HUP, HUP and VOLGAS banners up the start shoot. All matching the Magenta color of the barrier tape setting out the course.
The start line is alive with some banter being shared around with teammates and rivals, necks are being swiveled to see who is on each side of your peddles and if anyone from the rear will be passing as we all sprint up the hill after the whistle blasts.
30 seconds and you are racing!
BEEEEEErrrrrrreeeeepppppppp!!!!!!! We are off on the mad dash up the hill, no clipping in issues so off to a good start. (I aways panic at that) making headway in the bike medley in front of me.
Manage around 200 meters then I feel my front tyre puncture and now I have to ride the rim. Up the hill hang a left into the new wooded section, get a bump as someone tries to squeeze through the middle of me and someone to my left. Takes me way off course, heading to the barrier tape and ruts, manage not to snag the tape and still keep my place.
I know I will have a big DNF on the race results, I don’t like giving into anything but sometimes when the equipment is not up to it then it kind of forces your hand to pull out.
I manage to race down the snowy decent heading into the second wooded area, I pull up at the crossing point. Hand in my timing chip, dump the bike, time to keep warm and cheer the rest of the guys and girls on. Try my best at not being to gutted/mad. Maybe it was fate I brought my camera this day, so try my hand at getting some photos.
Looking back, I was totally gutted to have not even taken a lap. On the other hand, I was glad to have ended the day in one piece. During the warm up laps, I am not scared to say, some bits I was shitting myself. Who knows if the race adrenaline would have conquered those fears or if I would have gently trundled around another superb course finishing last but safe.
Congratulations to Stevie Jackson taking the win, Ian Dunlop taking Second and Best race effort and third place to Davie Lines.
Roll on Beveridge Park Grand Prix, where I might be able to redeem myself (a little).
Thanks again to Michael Martin, Gordon Watt and Anthony Robson for the stunning images yet again.