Today I failed miserably at Cyclo-Cross. To be honest I got myself in a bit of an eager twist, hearing that the year before there were quite a few taking part on mountain bikes I thought I would get into the spirit and give it a go. I didn't quite realise how popular Cyclo-Cross had become, everyone, bar a couple of people, had light Cyclo-Cross bikes and also were made up of a very strong field that I recognised from the races I had been to watch.

I rolled up on my mountain bike. A Carrera Kraken, which I haven't ridden for about 3 years especially not off-road. Although in good nick it would be fair to say it is a budget mountain bike at best and secondly it is incredibly heavy. I rode around the course early doors and I knew it was going to be tough. Although muddy, the terrain was quite firm which suited the thinner tyres and lighter frames of a Cross bike.

As I found, my mountain bike, although I made up time in the muddier undergrowth, got battered everywhere else. Mud stick to the deep grooved tyres like glue. The weight of the bike dug into the grass while the lighter riders and bikes glided over. The steep hill sections, while many slung the bike over their shoulders, I struggled to even push it up. I didn't have SPD pedals, just flats and my trainers couldn't grip the surface either. I found my heart rate souring into the red midway into the first lap and not matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get it down.

I lasted a couple of laps and pulled out. I hated it and felt completely embarrassed with myself, if humiliated, by the experience. I didn't want to let the club down by pulling out but feel I have by actually competing. I was spending so much energy just trying to keep the bike moving I was blowing up.

It felt bad because Nick at Weaver Valley CC had put on an awesome event with a great course and I wanted to do him justice. If you love Cyclo-Cross I would highly recommend taking part in our event in Northwich next year.

I'll move on, it's been a big lesson for me.


aljellejay-r said...

Oh, I haven't tried this yet. I think it will be fun. I often went to mountain places with my mountain bike, I was having fun but I think I would love to try this one.
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Eleanor said...

Oh Woody you mustn't feel embarrassed, at least you had a go, it must have been really tricky with such a heavy bike. There are usually a few second hand cycle x bikes for sale, I know you'd enjoy it (and be good at it) with the right bike. But you should never feel bad about trying something for the first time, you had more courage than lots of other club members!! Hopefully you can at least join us on one of the club MTB trips, they're great fun...

Woody said...

Thanks Eleanor, think I might get off-road a miss after Sunday! Last night at the track gave me a confidence boost though so feeling better about myself now!