As usual today started early with a 5:30 alarm call so that Harry and I could be at Brads for around 6:15 – 6:30. We get everything ready the evening beforehand, so all we have to do is have breakfast, load the car and go. We arrived at Brads house as planned transferred all the kit to his van and set off to Crowthorne nr. Reading. We made it there with plenty of time to spare, Harry got ready while I sorted out Brads spare bike for Harry to use. We though we’d try him on a different bike this week, one that is lighter than my full sus.
Soon time was upon us and we had to head down to the start line, Harry lined up ready for the off while Brad and I walked along the start straight so I could get a few pics and cheers Harry along. The course was good for spectators with plenty of crossing points and photo opportunities. Harry was outclassed by other riders in his category but eventually finished 8th from 9 riders. The lead rider doing both laps in under 1 hour and Harry taking around 2 hours to do both of his laps. The main thing was that he was having fun throughout his race and that he did complete both laps.
Soon it was time for Brad and I to take our posistions on the start line for the fun category. We got there early so we could make a good start at the front of the pack. We were doing the exact same route as Harry had already plus we’d already ridden a little bit of the start and the end. The race starts on a slight incline so we needed to get our gears right then quickly up through the gears to get some good speed before heading back down the other side. After the start straight there’s a sharp left and a couple of little climbs before heading into the single tracks through the woods. The course was great, the usual style course that we’ve come to expect from the Gorrick trail builders, a good mix of climbs, single track, technical sections such as the corkscrews and of course some downhills. For the first lap I tried to get as much distance between myself and Brad, who was trailing behind me. My tactick was to get the distance between us on the first lap so I could take it easy on the second lap givign my wrist a rest and not doing it any more damage. This was working until we reached the half way point on the second lap, I turned around and there he was about 100 meters behind me with another rider splitting us, he was closing fast. He also saw me at this point and started to dig deep picking the pace up as he imagined overtaking me for the first time. That wasn’t going to happen! I had to also pick the pace up, overcome the pain of riding with a broken wrist and just get on with it. I kept a keen eye on what was going on behind me, Brad soon passed the rider between us and was not about 50 meters behind, with around 1km to go. Luckily the last km was single track with a lot of corners so we lost sight of each other. All I knew was that he would be drawing ever closer, I was now into the last 500 meters, a short technical downhill, followed by a relativly steep climb, followed by the switchbacks around the start/finish line. I wasn’t quite flat out on the downhill as I was conscoius of my wrist so I freewheeled down the last part, rounded the corner for the climb and…Oh no, my chain had slipped off, No! No! No! I cried, I cranked the front mech over in the hope that the chain would be picked up by the teeth of the chainring. Luckily they did pick the chain up and I was off again, in the wrong gear but I had drive. As I reached the turn in the climb I looked back and Brad was 15 meters behind, running up the hill as fast as he could. I found the gear I wanted and pushed like crazy, ‘He’s not going to catch me’ was all I could think and with 100 meters left I took a quick glance behind me and knew I had it in the bag, I came through the the finish before him. Not sure of the time difference, but as soon as the official times are posted I add them to the bottom for here.
Harry: 2 Laps
GPS Route of the course.