leaves on the track in combination with deep mud may have been the problem although i was under the impression that is what cross is supposed to be all about? the irony of this is that as i was racing through a wooded section made up of mud and leaves, i happened to shout to a spectactor 'damn leaves of the track!' in reference to the railways popular excuse for delayed trains. turns out i was possibly identifying the source of mine and many others downfalls. stroud the previous week had been nearly as muddy but there were a lot less leaves. has anyone ever come across this phenomenon before? to have 13 retirements from a field of roughly 40 riders, nearly a third of the starters, seems a freakishly large number of people to have come a cropper all for the same reason.
the race itself feels like a non-event. i managed to race for 29 minutes until the point where the bike seized up causing me to stop abruptly on what was the end of a fast stretch of tarmaced road. until that point i had been carefully grinding my way through plenty of deep mud where preferred lines were constantly changing. i pushed hard through many areas where the rear wheel was spinning fast but i was not really moving far. i also popped my cherry in terms of taking a tumble. in the second half of lap one and with the race only just started my front wheel slid out as i turned a muddy corner, i came off and fell smearing my right leg in mud like a badge of honour. with nothing damaged and with a smile of my face i remounted as quickly as possible thinking to myself that it was bound to happen sooner or later.
i did manage to stay upright after that until the point where my mech hanger sheered off. there is not really much else to say about the race. once i had untangled the broken rear mech and chain from around the wheel i got my stuff together and headed off. the bike is now sat in my local bike shop cadence awaiting a new hanger, ultegra rear mech, chain, cables and a rear wheel true. i am no mechanic so will leave this work to them and hope i manage to get through the remainder of the season without any more expensive mishaps. if my bike gets fixed in time i might race in the western league round 7 in cheltenham this coming sunday.