Last year one of my goals was to enter a cyclocross race, however, back then I realised I probably wasn't fit enough to attempt it, and when the race that I was going to do, in Truro, was cancelled I didn't feel so guilty about not doing one. Anyway, I promised myself that this year would be the one, so I was really glad to see that a new Truro course had been added to the fixtures list. This would be my race! I was encouraged by the fact that the majority of the usual suspects were all Devon and Somerset based so it was likely that the field would be quite small - some people just dont seem as dedicated to drive the 100's of miles!
I've never done any type of race before, unless you count school sports day... so I was a little apprehensive as I am far from competitive - Stubborn yes! Competitive no!
I did a little preperation for my debut. I made a few attempts at learning to do a moving mount and dismout so as not to embarrass myself at the Hup Hup boards, but sadly I never mastered them! Then last month, Mikey took me to a school playing field and we practised riding on grass and doing tight grassy corners. I don't think I've ever ridden on grass before - even on the MTB - but amzingly, I managed it OK, but my goodness it took it out of my legs! I wasn't sure I could do a full hour over grass; it felt like riding through treacle... I was going to be slow! Hmmm... then I started worrying about getting in the way of the fast lads... everyone told me it would be OK but I still had a few doubts. Ah well whats the worst that could happen? ;)
Despite all this (unsuccessful) preperation, my first CycloCross appearance at the Truro event last week, never materialised. Oops... but there was a good reason for it... honest!
When asked by the organiser for volunteers for the race, I jumped at the opportunity -The way I saw it; we needed to make the Truro event as successful as we could in order to make it a regular on the fixtures board as it was lovely just having a 35 min drive to the event rather than a 2-3 hour drive!
So that is what I did. I marshalled! My job was to keep people from walking on the track at a certain point (the closet point to the car park) and to redirect everyone to the appropriate places. It was a busy morning. There were a number of football events, one on the field, one on the astroturf, there was a kids party next to the astroturf and lots of people that wanted to know how to get to the start finish as I was blocking what looked like the most direct route.
|Mikey doing a stirling job as a marshall during the kids races.|
I took my role very seriously. The luminous yellow tabbard held special powers, giving me confidence and an authoritive nature I didnt know I had.... Eek... I was now on a power trip, but as the geek I am I knew that with great power came great responisibility and I didnt want to see anyone get hurt. Sadly though, I also appeared to make a name for myself, Hitler? Who me? I was just doing my job! Not sure, I will marshall again, unless I get a quieter spot out on the track, with just the competitiors to cheer on and direct, rather than angry soccer Mums!
Despite the humongous responisibity I had a wonderful time. It was great watching (and marshalling) the kids races with Mikey and then during the senior event, I had a bit of company with Johns "missus" joining me and Nick the postie taking over Mikey's marshalling duties. It was great having Nick there as as it gave me someone heckle with. Again it was one of the best events I have been to in the South West.
Anyway, as for my cyclocross debut there is one chance left for this season... next week at Bodmin.
... I wonder what excuse I will have next week. ;-)