Every race I go to in the UK, I carry around a set of 1.8 mud tyres, for the sole reason that if I have them with me, I wont be needing them. Unfortunately that theory failed this weekend with the spectacularly muddy Twentyfour 12 in Plymouth. Having said that, there’s something really satisfying about riding in mud with mud tyres.
Again being a last minute addition to a team, I was nominated for the first lap; a pretty strong turnout of the Elite riders meant that I came in 7th, showing that maybe I am in quite good form after all. Perhaps I’ll do an XC race before I leave the UK and see how I stack up.
The weather progressively deteriorated as the night drew in, and I took shelter under the fluorescent green glowing Ergon boobs that were lighting up the campsite. As it was probably the last time I’ll see Trevor, Sarah and Abi before heading to Colorado, I used socialising as a great excuse to spend as much time as possible sitting around doing nothing.
A combination of flapjack and bananas motivated me for my double lap starting at about 1:30am, but after a front wheel washout intoduced my knees to the swamp-like race track, I called it a day (or night). Sleep was aided by Trev handing me a can of Heineken, and the amazingly warm showers in the campsite (take note, every other race; hot showers can be provided for 2000 people!) . I woke up at 7am to my bloody knee firmly stuck to my sleeping bag, and the lengthy and achy process of extricating myself from my tent was enough for me to bow out of any further laps.
Another nights sleep seems to have sorted any further aches and pains, thus its back to riding the lovely exmoor singletrack for another week or two
(Photos 1, 2 and 4 from James Dales)