Friday 26 September 2014

One day one photo - 15

Wednesday 24th September

Photo by John Mullineaux on London X League
The cyclo cross season has started, yay! It's one of the best ways to brighten up dull winter days and keep you fit during the off season. Actually, with hill climb competitions in full flow, a number of cyclosportives still to be done, plus various series of track cycling races is there really an off season? As dull winter days - well winter is not quite here, but this autumn has been one of the driest for decades and the cyclo cross races I've done were in warm sunshine! But who's complaining! I, and my bike, don't mind a delay to the arrival of mud!

The rankings for the London League are out and I am currently lying in 5th place (strictly speaking 4th=) in the women's competition. Great news! The thing is, that is after only 2 rounds out of 15. Given that I am not going to be in London every weekend I will not be able to contest for the top spot so I am happy to step back and give the other women a chance of claiming glory in my absence! (ha, ha - if only those words represented the reality!) It looks good to say I am in a top 5 position out of 23, but even if I were able to do the required amount of races I wouldn't be troubling any of the women in line for a podium place. The level at the London League has improved significantly since the days when I started doing cyclo cross almost 10 years ago. A number of the women from London will contest the National Trophy races. A few will even race in Europe and mix it with the heavyweights of cyclo cross in Belgium and the Netherlands. That's a good thing for women's racing. 

So, while I am unlikely to be figuring on any podium at the end of season presentations I still look forward to getting out and enjoying a good old race like I did recently at Penshurst Off Road Cycling centre. I won't necessarily be doing all the London League events but I will get out and ride in other leagues in the North-West, the East Midlands, and Yorkshire, which are all within easy reach of Macclesfield.


Donna @OrdCyclingGirl said...

What a brilliant picture! I love an action shot! I keep toying with the idea of giving cyclocross a try but I have had a lot of back surgery and someone I spoke to the other day said that I would probably have problems as a result. What do you think?

2Wheel Chick said...

Thanks Donna. It depends on the back problem. For some people, their back problems prevent them from doing any type of cycling. If you are not getting problems when cycling, particularly if riding uphill you might be ok. The thing with cyclo cross is it is quite demanding on the body when there is a lot of mud. You get the odd moment when you have to wrestle the bike to stay upright when it's slippery. Also, alot of courses will have at least one section where you have to dismount and lift your bike (whether by design or by default) and that could be problematic for your back. There are also some steep climbs and they tend to pull on your back - but then you'd get that on the road as well. At the moment the courses are so dry that you get more of a boneshaker ride! I know someone who had to stop riding for a while due to back problems, but he is back riding again. Maybe you could try riding a course now that conditions under-wheel are not so challenging and see how you get on. Take your bike to a race (maybe a school playing field type course where it's not very hilly), ride around the course as a kind of reccie/warm-up before the race begins, and if you feel ok then enter the race. In alot of the league races women race for around 45 minutes.