My First Attempt at CX

Take3 Cyclocross, Dalton Barracks

I bought an old CX bike about a year ago now as a commuter / winter training bike with the intention of giving CX a go, but it’s taken that long to build up the courage!

I spent the entire drive there and registration process wondering what on earth I was doing. Why on earth had this seemed like a good idea?!

I set out on a warm up lap on Wendy’s advice, to check out the course. I hated every minute of it, it was horrible! I almost just went back to my car and left! But as things turned out, I had to go past the start line on my way and it was pretty much time to start and there was no time to hesitate, so I decided I may as well give it a go and DNF rather than DNS!

I spent most of the first lap swearing in my head, thinking “I am NEVER doing this again!”, and yelling to Harvey that I hated him!! 🤣 My main goal at this point was not to be last by too far to avoid embarrassment, and I was still seriously considering my second ever DNF (1st was in Paris about 15 years ago in a 20km run which I had done before and was way to crowded that year and not enjoyable at all, so I just took the nearest metro and went back home to bed!)

But then I surprised myself and overtook someone to move into 2nd to last place, and Harvey yelled at me to catch the next guy! I laughed, not thinking it was possible, better to concentrate on not letting the other girl get back past me.

2nd lap onward was mainly being overtaken by a constant stream of teenagers which was pretty depressing, but at that point I figured I may as well just keep riding anyway and had apparently switched from thinking about quitting this race to being satisfied with just not signing up for another one.

I watched the speedy kids flying past me, watched their line, how they took the corners etc and tried to learn from them. This distracted me enough to realise I had actually followed them past a couple of people who presumably must have been in the novice race with me.

Then I relaxed a bit, picking out people in front of me and trying to figure out which were in my race (novice) vs the kids one going on at the same time. I just focused on the person in front of me and whether I could catch them.

And then all of a sudden it was over and I was already planning the new tyres I would be needing to get before the next race!!

I have no idea where I finished in the end, but it doesn’t matter! I finished when I didn’t think I would! With so many different races going on, nobody would have noticed if I had got lapped 5 times and finished miles behind the rest of my field. I could have dropped out at any point if I had wanted to, without it being a big deal (which is possibly one of the reasons I didn’t!)

Such a friendly atmosphere, and although I’m not sure I’d go as far as “fun” just yet, hopefully the next one will be! Who’s coming with me?

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search by tag
Follow us
  • Facebook Classic
  • Twitter Classic