Sunday 29 November 2009

More Classic Cross

Today was Round 10 of the London Cyclocross League. Due to a lingering injury I was unable to go. I really would've liked to do this one as it was at a new cyclo cross venue, Hog Hill (aka Redbridge Cycle Centre). The organiser had done alot of publicity around the event and it looked like he'd gone to alot of effort to prepare the course for this race.

With the torrential rain that we had over the weekend and on the day itself, this race had all the ingredients to make it a classic cyclo cross race.

Spectators, race officials and photographers were even braver souls than the ones who lined up on the start to face the hour-long biblical conditions!

Unlike the mudfest of the previous week at Penshurst where a quarter of the field pulled out due to bike mechanicals, today's event hardly anyone's bike give up the ghost.

It seems that this race featured, among all the typical run ups, drop-offs and other obstacles, the right kind of mud!

The surface at this cycle circuit normally drains well, so despite the showers the organiser had still anticipated a dry-ish course. On this particularly tempestuous situation though, nothing had any chance of resisting a soaking.
But the "great" thing, riders said, was that conditions were just very runny, and all the clag simply ran straight off the bike. There were no problems of bike bits getting clogged up.
I suppose the main snag was recognising people. It wasn't just muddy faces that made people unidentifiable, but also the dark angry skies covering East London that seemed to protest over the bikers indulging in their Sunday afternoon fun. I don't imagine washing machines would have been happy at having to deal with all that cycling kit in the aftermath either!

Definitely sounds like Hog Hill was lots of fun, and I hope I get to ride a race like that before the season's out!

photo by John Mullineax @

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