A week has gone since the race that I had been training for for the last eleven months. That’s 11000 KM of training for a race that was supposed to take me four hours. In the end mostly due to me being very careful on the descents I got 4h26 mins which put me at 248th overall of a field of 650 and 38th in the male fifty category out of 150. That is 60 KM of tough uphill climbs and savage down hills.
Its a race not an adventure, although there is a bit of that too
The picture below shows why sometimes it is best to play safe and get off the bike.
The race has been going since the 1950’s way before mountain bikes were ever thought up. Which is why it is a cyclo cross bike event. Cyclo cross bikes were the original off road bike with drop handle bars. These days they are commonly sorted with disc brakes and frames often made out of carbon fibre. Which is good as in the race there is about 8KM of carrying the bike, which is not too bad when they weigh around 9KG a bit lighter than most mountain bikes.
Of course the tyres being much narrower means that care should be taken down some of the rocky descents. Some riders in the event would have gone down the hills a full 8 minutes quicker than me though. So next year it is on the down hill sections that I intend to make up my lost time….
So next year is only 358 days away and I fully intend to get back to the race and hope to bring Neil too, we could have a go at the father and son category, but I will have to get quicker…
Many thanks to my godson Ben Houlihan who cycled around the circuit using the roads to meet me twice and hand me food and drink, he also had a spare pair of wheels for his father and myself in case we punctured.
Watch a Video of the Bike with Neil riding it