Kirkcaldy

Beveridge Park Grand Prix

super quaich

Round Drie (3) Of Super Quaich Series.

Alarm beeps away, awaken to the sight of heavy rain and strong winds.  Another fine morning in Scotland, Sunday 7th February.  Say a little prayer to the cycling gods, ask for the weather to turn down a notch for the race in Kirkaldy today.

Arrive at Beveridge Park, after ninety minutes of battling the rain and surface water on the M8. Forth Road Bridge is still intact and open for cars, no luck HGV dudes you have to find an alternative route today.

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Don the waterproofs and cycle up to sign on, arrive at the tent as the “B” racers are just coming over the line.  I replied to Kevin Pugh on facebook and said he should be in with a great chance for a podium today.  Low and behold I hear that the second rider to cross the line is, in fact, Kevin Bloody Pugh!  Great result Kev.

First rider home in “B” race was David Murdoch, followed by Kev P then third place went to Marin Steele, good result lads.  Great race for the ladies, Erika Allen with the top step on the podium, Lindsay Branston in the second spot with third being taken by Mireille Captieux.

“A” Racers Get Stripped Your UP!

After getting halfway to the start line, I remember I have left my bloody helmet in the car, DOH!  Mad dash back to the car, mad dash to catch up with my personal Photographer/ Fanclub/ Team Manager Victoria.  Last race was on the white stuff, this race is on the brown stuff.

Manage to make it to the start grid in time.  Adjust my tyre pressure, while fiddling with the front tyre, the front of the race is off and sprinting.  Shit, shit, shit!.  The sixth attempt later I get left foot clipped in.  Now to catch up with the bunch while they tackle the road climb.  Make up a few places, then off the bike, run with the bunch around the first right bend taking us onto the mud/grass.  Continue running downhill, hang a long left taking you back up the hill we all just waddled down.  Yip more running on the cards, run the hill.  It’s like a bloody cross-country race.  Taking a few places as I run, get to the top of the hill and I am sure I am blocking people behind me with my bike still on my shoulder (race tactics or just being a twat?) After four hundred metres of running up/down hills, I eventually get on the bike.

Next section was rather good, nice big open straights looking for some firm ground making things slightly easier on the tiring body.  This took you downhill, around a long right-hand bend, under the canopy of a group of trees.  Hanging on the edge of control for 90% of the downhill section, back off the bike and run up to McComisky Mound.  This was the main area for spectators as you probably could see 95% of the course from this vantage point.  Onto another slippery off-camber section, ending with a tight left-hander shooting you downhill into some of the softest parts of the course.

Sludge Straight, took you to the hurdles, the hop just before each hurdle was very deep mud, (tried to steal my shoes every lap I swear).  It was always a bit of a relief to come away with a pair of shoes still covering my ever soggy socks.  Head for the tall tree, turn right and then it was to tackle the snaking S bends, look for some green grass to get you out of the ever deepening mud as you wind through the trees.  With the hardest part yet to come, dismount the bike, run 50-60 meters in 2-3 inches of thick mud, hang an 180-degree turn, run the same distance in the even deeper mud.  Fair play to Katie Carmichael,  I was having a little battle with her for most the race, she managed to ride all these parts I ran, superb effort.

Eventually, the mud was done, back onto the solid tarmac.  Cross the line for an utter tough first lap, start the hill climb and it feels so good, one of the only places weirdly you feel you’re getting it easy.

One more lap, I’m dying.  Small, horrible voice in my head is laughing and telling me to pull over and discard my timing chip.  I start to listen, the closer I get to the line the louder the voice gets and makes sense.  Cross the line, I pull over.  Gather my thoughts, shut the little horrible voice out.  Throw my leg back over the bike and I’m back in the race.  The first battle won, now to take it one mucky lap at a time.

Liar

58 minutes and 7 laps of mud, running in mud and two falls in the mud I take the flag and cross the line.  Absolutely drained and pleased at the same time as I managed to fight back against the part of me wanting to chuck it.  To have another DNF for the second race in a row, one being my own fault would have been utter crap.

Final placing was 67th.  I was 63rd in September when it was a more or less the same route but a different beast altogether.  Both races organised by Jon McComisky and his band of mud monster have been super slick, he has excelled again with this race.

Davie Lines being consistent again and taking the win, Sean Flynn second and Struan Pryde bringing home third.  Anne Ewing taking the win for the woman, Elizabeth Adams coming over the line in  second. With Katie Carmichael taking third. Excellent results folks.

Having worked, organised and set up all sorts of National and International sporting events, I really appreciate all the hard work that goes into planning, setups and de-rigs. Working from dawn till dusk mostly in crap weather.  The Super Quaich series has been really well thought through. Small things like the added scrim, makes us amateurs feel a bit more like a Pro for an hour.  Massive thanks to all that have worked their butts off, so we riders can turn up and wreak havoc on their local parks.

thank u

Next up is Final Round at Dig In At The Doc.

boness

 

flickr

Thanks to the Scottish Cyclocross Fickr page as used a few from their pool of pictures, Click the flickr image to go check out more of the race.

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Tale Of Two Wheel Army

 

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2015

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.

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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.  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. 

March

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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.

May

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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.

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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

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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 DNFwp-1450429404855.jpg

 August

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.

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Click To Read More Two Wheel Army

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Click To Read More Haugh-Cross

September

One Cyclocross race, one Crit race and an Adventure Cross ride this month.  Talking all the cycling options.

Click To Read More Of Tour Of Duty

Click To Read More Of Tour Of Duty

Click To Read More Of Kilmarnock Crits

Click To Read More Of Kilmarnock Crits

Click To Read More Of Beverage Park GP

Click To Read More Of Beverage Park GP

October

Click To Read More Of Callender Cross

Click To Read More Of Callender Cross

Click To Read More of Battle Of Balloch

Click To Read More of Battle Of Balloch

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.

November

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.

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Click On To Read More Of Strath-Mud Bath

Click To Read More Of Lochore Meadows

Click To Read More Of Lochore Meadows

December

Click To Read More Of Irvine's Dragon Riders

Click To Read More Of Irvine’s Dragon Riders

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.

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Hope to see you all on the start line in 2016.

The End

The End

 

 

 

The Grand Prix Is Back.

My First trip to Kirkcaldy, For a new race on the cards.  Beveridge Park Gand Pix.

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Instead of the Cars and Bikes of the past, there will be the sounds of Cyclocross ripping up the park. What a park it is to rip up.

Dennis Prosser leads the pack in 1977

Some Fine Speeds On Display in 1977

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High Road or Low Road

After a few wrong turns or missed signs posts, ending in the accumulation of coming over the wrong bridge I arrive into Beveridge Park.

Find a nice spot in the packed car park. Scare off a nice wee Granny and her fluffy wee dogs after jumping out the car in full Lycra.

Head around past the rugby club to the sign on tent, all I had to do was follow the sound of music to sign up area, like the Pied Piper of Cyclocross, play the tunes and we will come. Good set up I see before my eyes. There are quite a few people out on the course, having a go of the Grand Prix Circuit.

Spy the tea and coffee tent, well it was the cakes that were waving at me, give them a quick wink and tell then not to worry I’ll be back (Bet you just done an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice there).

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Portage Cycling was our proud host today, with Jon McComisky and his band of Cross Imps dusting up a course that was set out to hurt 90% of the field.

Yup, you guessed it I was never going to be in that 10% band of Brothers and Sisters.

I have seen on the Facebook of life that Jon has been hard at work getting this event to the line, what a great job it was too.

After a few laps of bashing about getting a feel of what’s to come, it’s on to the race itself. We’re called off the course and the barrier tape is pulled across the start line.

All the big hitters are called forward to be gridded, so the Medium and Little fish squeeze into space behind them. There is not much of a run up to the first right-hand bend, so a fair bit of chatter about taking care etc, as we’re on the tarmac I think and hope everyone is on the same page here, don’t really want the tarmac to be used as a human cheese grater!

Get the call of 15 seconds to go, Heart starts to pump a little bit harder and faster now. Music gets switched to Formula 1 intro The Chain by Fleetwood Mac. Just had to be done.

Beeeeeeeppppppppp were off, as always the mad dash begins, I am going well, making some spaces up before the corner, I go to the outside losing positions I gained. We’re all around safe so all must have been listening to the chatter before the whistle.

Try to cruise up this long drag of a hill, trying not to get boxed in or into a hill climb battle. Get to the sharp right and a rider goes down in the gutter, automatic avoidance system tries to kick in but to no avail, Its to close can’t get out the road and end up in a little tangle of bikes but nothing major (shit happens)

Now it’s back on the bike and peddle downhill into quick left, then back up the hill this time on the grass, this was a sneaky wee bugger, you got to the top thinking you had it conquered, then there was another little incline with the grass getting softer, slowing you down to a gradual stop. The park is fighting back at this point.

This might well be the energy sapping part of the course, Double Hill Hell.

The rest of the course starts to get more technical from now on, lots of nice off-camber hairpins slowing you down, this area was where I began losing too much distance on people, need to work on this area of my cross. After Zig, Zag Zone you came to the first hurdle, little dismount and hop over heading up onto the left-hand bend, you were back in the saddle gaining speed heading down the small hill. This area would be the Grandstand Arena (McComisky Mound) Great to see so many people out to support us mad Cyclocrossers on this hill.

Next bit of delightfulness in-store was some long straight sections, good for overtaking or in my part for the first lap being overtook. Then came the little task of hurdles, hop the first one then back in the saddle to hang a sharp left then hop the second one, keeping to the right if you could or there was the possibility of hitting a dark and murky puddle that was waiting to suck your wheels off your bike if you ventured over onto the left-hand side. Calling this Double Dutch Ditch. 

The final section of the course was a quick section between the trees then you were back on the Tarmac for a quick sprint through the line, Then hit the task of Double Hill Hell. Oh, Great!

Now to battle the course again.

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After the first lap the park will always be known to me as Beverage Park, as I could have done with a drink, any drink would have done. As this was Summer Cross the sun decided to have a little watch of the race too if it was a normal Cross day I could have drunk the rain or wheel spray from a fellow racer. Not today Bryan just suffer in the heat!

wizzord of bevy park

I think I even seen the Wizard of the woods wave a Bidon at me with a chuckle of his cloaked shoulder.Try to forget about the arid conditions going on my mouth and try to get into a groove that will keep me moving forward gaining some places.
Start to claw back a few positions on hills but it is the zig-zag zone I am losing touch with people.

David Lines

Just as I am feeling good I hear the words of “rider” Sir David Lines goes screaming past on his motorbike by the speed of him. He’s flying I hear on the PA that he’s up on second place by 50 seconds. Crazy stuff, I have to put myself through the wringer in the pain cave to get some higher positions me thinks.

After being lapped another once by David and Co. Chewing up miles of grass and a side portion of mud, the time and laps are ticking down. Still not handling the technical areas too great, hills seem to be my strong point today.

I catch my lucky break of the race, on the last corner David comes past me to hit the finishing straight and take the win, this meaning the race is over for me and no more laps. I could have gained one more place if I stayed on but as you’re staring into the eyes of Double Hill Hell I was glad for the checkered flag to wave.wpid-wp-1441655414480.jpg

So that was my race over for the day. When you finish racing, why do you think of that extra 10% effort you should have done to catch the rider in front? It’s a different story when the race is in full flight, you just want to plug on and see that flag waved at you as you crawl past the line.

With my 5th race now scored off and numbers collected, its good to see some familiar faces kicking about, putting faces to names off Facebook and Twitter, starting to feel more of the #CROSSLOVE this is my kind of race scene and what I want more of it.

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Hang about for the presentation for the winners, then walk back to the car whilst ears are straining to hear if I have to do a mad dash up to collect my raffle prize, nope no number 59 pulled out so keep walking son.

Now would be the most feared bit, looking at the results to come online, I do this in the comfort of my sofa, after driving home over the correct bridge and getting the bike kit in the washing, time for a coffee and see where I placed, 63 is my final standing out of 113 racers. Not bad but a lot of work to be done if I want to climb that table.

Results are posted in link below

http://mylaps.com/en/classification/3689687

Well the next Race is At Balloch Castle for the Twowheelarmy

http://www.entrycentral.com/bobccx

Twowheelarmy is going to war

Glasgow United are the hosts of the park, on the 4th of October, hope to see some of the cross family again.

 http://www.entrycentral.com/bobccx

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