Flounce and Bounce

For someone who talks/types more about bikes than actually rides them 2011 hasn’t been a bad year. I started keeping a mileage log in March and in the 9 months up to Christmas I’d racked up 1,326.1 miles (the 0.1 is everything). Not massive, but not bad either. Also I’d cycle commuted to work on 58 occasions and saved myself about £150 in diesel and 1,044 car miles. Can you tell I like to keep stats?

Then, on December 10th, I fell off. As I sat there in the ice with a sore coccyx, broken glasses and absolutely no idea what had happened I thought to myself “Bollocks to this”. I got the bike home and locked it in the shed, then went to have a look at the new hole that I had put in my ass. Then, a week later instead of going out for my usual Saturday morning ride I went swimming and on the next ride opportunity I went for a walk. I just couldn’t get the “Bollocks to this” thought out of my head.

Christmas came and went and the chains on the bikes started to turn orange.

Then yesterday arrived and with it The Todmorden Cyclocross race. I was still all half arsed as to whether to bother. My wife wasn’t happy that I was off on my own as it was the last day of the holiday and I got a text from Jason (Terrahawk) saying he was going to give it a miss because one of his kids was ill. But I thought… pfff… why not? I dug the CX out of the shed, changed the tyres and lubed it then trundled off to Tod for a bit of a slither in the woods. I’ve only ever done 3 cyclocross races and have found them to be strange but perversely enjoyable affairs.

I got to the sign in and found that Jason had had a change of heart too as he was stood a couple of places in front of me in the queue. We had a chat about this and that then performed what has become a pre Tod CX ritual. Pin numbers on the wrong arm, faff about in the car park 400m from the start line, quick piss behind the shipping containers in the park and arrive at the start line with about 8 seconds to spare.

The race was carnage. I went over the bars 3 times and destroyed my brakes within 4 laps. The course was a mixture of unridable cobbles and unrideable swamp linked by a couple of rideable bits. However, the amount of crap stuck to the rear mech meant that it I couldn’t change gear and the amount of mud on my gloves meant that I couldn’t hold onto the bars firmly. I managed to finish 91st out of 120 odd and it was bleeding freezing. But, I loved every stupid second of it. I’d bounced back. Literally.

2012. Bring it on!


Cycling highlights of 2011

  • HTN 2011 (but all the credit goes to Jason, I just turned up on the day and wore a high-visibility vest for a couple of hours)
  • Starting an in house cycle to work scheme and getting over 10% of the workforce to sign up with us racking up over 3,500 commuter miles between us in the first 6 months.
  • Getting a road bike.
  • Dawn road rides in spring.
  • T Shirt “Turbine Rides” in the Autumn.
  • Getting back involved with the planning of HTN 2012 after taking a year off.
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