Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Darker side of CycloCross

Last night saw the first of of the South West's flood lit cyclocross races. I was excited about it. It sounded ace!  Elvis was gonna be there handing out goodies. There was even gonna be a live band. A super cross race!

It was quite exciting, as it was all in the same place as some MTB racing, there were food tents and loadsa sponsors stalls. The crowds were much bigger than usual - lotsa MTBers joining in the fun after their events earlier on in the day. 

After the long drive to Plymouth, I was ecstatic to find a row of immaculately  clean portaloo's. ooOoo This really was gonna be super!

Oops. Or not! We bumped into a friend of Michael's who I met in Newcastleton. Back then, on the number of occasions we saw her, despite me being stood/sat with Michael she didn't acknowledge me or my attempts to say hello. (Can you believe she even ignored me after she plonked herself down at our table one evening when we were eating a meal in a pub.) Back then, I thought it was rude but let it go.  But was far from amused when last night she hugged Mikey and despite me saying Hello, she didn't even look in my direction. Grrr...

Anyway, it was now time for Mikeys warm up lap. Wish I'd had a bike with me I coulda done with some warming up, the sun was starting to set and the air was bitterly cold. Brr... despite a merino base layer, micro fleece and windproof jacket I was cold. By the time Mikey had finished his practice/warm up laps I couldn't feel my toes or nose.

Come on race. I needed some excitement to take my mind off the cold. Lets get this thing started!

Unfortunately, by the time the race started the sun had gone in completely and it was impossible to see who was who in the large bunch of riders. All I could see was silhouettes behind dazzling bright white front lights. Trying to take photo's was tricky because the riders were so fast and the camera was taking too long trying to do light readings, etc, so by the time the shutter had clicked the rider had been and gone.

Race organisers had suggested spectators bring along cow bells, on the first lap as the bunch started I dingled the bell only to be glared at by some people stood near to me, who grumbled that it was upsetting their baby. Who brings a baby to a night race anyway?  I shuffled away. Ah well never mind, there was still "Hup Hup Hupping" and "Allez Allez Allezing" to be done. Or maybe not; every time I uttered any words of encouragement to the riders, nearby spectators would mutter to one another whilst giving me odd looks. I moved through the crowds. *Sigh* This was gonna be a long night. I was cold, lonely, unable to get any decent shots and unable to ring my bell. The only few seconds of excitement were when Mikey momentarily came into view.  Bless, he looked super pumped and like he was having a blast.  I tried to utter words of encouragement through chattering teeth and give him a beaming smile as he passed and thankfully he was oblivious to my suffering.

Such a shame I didn't enjoy the event, it had great potential. Maybe next time I will take more clothing and a friend for company.


Simon said...

Bah, that sounds rubbish Katie :(

I'd have loved to have people ringing cowbells when I was racing last weekend! Some people are just no fun.

John Berry said...

Ohhh watching sounds pants...cycling is a doing thing :-)

I'm not really gay said...

who was it ?

KatieCake said...

@Simon. I know. I even heard a rider complain that bells are ONLY to be rung at the end of the race. Bah! The Belgians would be horrified.

@John. Cycling is indeedy a doing thing, but I have to say I normally enjoy watching the cross races.

@Steve. Ooops. I have probably said too much as your likely to know her.