Last Sunday was the last of the Brass Monkeys winter Enduro series and the first time I have actually had a roast dinner during a race!
The event series was organised by Gorrick & The Army Cycling Union and sponsored by Merida. Riders had to compete in all 3 events to qualify for the series points and each event was about a month apart. The courses were all in new locations and the trails were a good combination of short sharp & interesting and technical enough to be an advantage to local riders. Round 1 was a freezing monsoon of sideways eardrum piercing sleet, Round 2 was bright, cold and very icy and the final round was sunny day, perfect trails and lots of smiles.
Round 1, at Rushmoor Arena, was just a war of attrition and only the really stubborn or stupid survived. Post bike maintenance was quite painful on the wallet & I took out a razor blade thin brake pad backing and threw away a nearly new chain.
So having entered the first one in the 4 hour solo class meant I then had to do the other 2 in the same class….pants…. I nearly froze my butt off on the first round and was still so cold by the time I got to the pub that I had to hold my pint with both hands!
So I was quite looking forward to Round 2 at Ash Ranges waking up to brilliant sunshine on the 28th December. A fast rolling course along with the new set of rubbers I got for Christmas and I did get a bit cocky on one particularly icy corner and slapped a knee down onto a frozen ground with a wincing thwack.
In between Round 2 & 3 I contracted the obligatory winter girl flu (much worse than man flu, we just don’t go on about it) and wasn’t sure I was even going to be able to ride. A couple of menthol inhalations and a really good blow later and I was talking about just doing the one lap to qualify for the points to get 2nd in the series. I had never ridden Parkhurst Hill before and it was a really great trail, lots of climbs to ensure I hacked up the remaining lung and some tail twitching descents to make sure I didn’t fall asleep.
Sadly the lungs were not happy to convey the oxygen to the legs as they usually do so I just did the two laps. Stopped and chatted to a few friends along the way and then went to the pub for Sunday lunch and a pint and got back just in time for the presentations to pick up my 2nd place series trophy! Now THAT is the future of racing for me……