That there is my shiny new birthday present to myself, ruined, ruined I say, by less than one hour’s racing around a muddy park. As you can see, the chain refuses to stay on due to large chunks of Todmorden being stuck to the bike. Less obvious is the fact that the front brake packed in completely on lap one, which made for an interesting ride – although pleasingly I did clear both The Muddy Corner Of Death and The Other Muddy Corner Of Death on every lap with only rear wheel slides to slow me down. In spite of these issues it did however manage to carry me to the end of the race, which is more than I can say for its predecessor on the previous two attempts, when we were thwarted by punctures both times. I also fared a bit better than my mate who managed to wrap most of his drivetrain around his rear wheel inside the first lap. Cyclo-cross is tough on bikes. Yes, I got lapped three times by the race leaders, but we’ll gloss over that and bask instead in the glow of satisfaction earned by actually completing an entire pushbike race.
There is no glow of satisfaction relating to the year as a whole unfortunately. There were a few good days out, but largely my riding was curtailed by various external exigencies relating to work and family, as well as a probably not-unrelated malaise that kept me on the soft furnishings, wallowing in self-pity and laziness. I did manage to turn that around a little in October and November, but then some heavy-duty dental work slowed me down for a few weeks, and then it was nearly Christmas, and the excuses just keep on coming don’t they? I’m not one for New Years Resolutions, but I am going to attempt to get more miles in next year, I promise, and some of them might even be interesting enough to write a few words about. I’m going to open a bottle of something fizzy and make some plans. Happy New Year!