Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Breathless in Brookfield

My last few morning rides have been breathtaking. Not because it's been cold (because it hasn't really been that cold), or because the frost makes even the weeds look pretty in the morning sun.

Or because the new bridge over the North West River has just been finished and it has the best pavement in Colchester County (all 300 m of it).

Gotta love that stimulus money! We should get the province to stick a couple of banked 180s at either end for the first velodrome in NS (if you've seen the way onto the MacDonald Bridge bike-path I think you'll agree that Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal clearly have the expertise)!

Or even that it is so much nicer now one can stop safely in the middle of the bridge and see the view

Rather, the aetiology behind the breathlessness is rather more organic (and self-inflicted). At the 3rd 'cross race ten days ago I had another silly little prat-fall trying to clean a steep narrow muddy leafy bit and had one of those absurdly fore-aft angled stationary moments sawing the handlebars back and forth before I went down in an undignified heap. So no change there then. I did however stick one of these fine pieces of engineering into my mid-section...

Ouf! I swore profusely (as is my want) and then got on with the thing. After all, this sort of thing is what 'cross is all about. Actually, it's also all about Duvel, frites and mayonnaise but that would have to wait!
Oh, and cowbells, but you can't eat cowbells....

Didn't have too bad a race actually. It was a muddy slippy day that slowed everyone up. I spent just as much time on my arse as the week before, but not so much due to my ineptitude this time as the conditions were as bad as I've seen. I was also running way too much air meaning I was losing what little traction was available, which definitely didn't help in the verticality stakes! All this notwithstanding I was actually feeling pretty relaxed and dialed in and even caught a couple of guys I hadn't caught before. Job done!

The conditions really took a toll. Each week maybe one guy has a mechanical and, say, flats out. It's 'cross, it's to be expected. That week there were four or five DNFs, (about ten percent of the field), all with broken chains. We must have littered the park with snapped links!

Old Bess was making funny squeaking noises but this wasn't mechanical. The bottom bracket shell (and the front fork crown for that matter too) was totally jammed with mud, grass and sticks and the wheels were barely spinning unimpeded!

I was caked to the point that you'd be wondering what colour my socks were, how high they went, what design was on them and, indeed, if I had socks on at all!

You know it was a bad day out when even the back of your number-plate is covered!

Anyway, back to that prat-fall and the thing is, ten days later it still hurts to laugh, sneeze, cough, yawn or even breathe too deeply. So you know that bulbous bit of the brifter that you hold on to, the bit that contains the working guts of it ? I think it might have cracked a rib!

That'll do it!

Still running, still riding and even raced the 'cross last week! But somewhat gingerly and definitely not out of the saddle! Aficionados will probably recognise that it was hurting just a little more than usual!


1 comment:

  1. Have you done the Velo Cape Breton Across the Highlands [AHC] Mountain Bike Challenge? Why not?? All that mud just looks like the usual AHC to me, and if you didn't end up with 6 stitches, well . . . not so impressive. :-)