Well a lot has happened since the last blog, so about time for an update. First up - cx racing. Well, after my rude intro into this most niche of bike sports at Plean, I decided to travel over to Ballater for the closest cx race to me this year. The course was right up my street, being very similar to tracks around Rothiemurchus, with nasty little rock problems, no mud and no run-ups!
I warmed up properly (turbo - how pro) and pushed up to near the front of the grid. So far, so good. The start was the usual vets madness, all elbows and expletives - and a nasty crash (he ended up in hospital with an ugly leg / chainring gash, but otherwise aok) knowing the score I went all out and settled into the first single track section in the top 10. So far, so good. The next few laps were fun! With proper racing, some tit for tat overtaking and me feeling as if I could actually race rather than just hanging in for the bell. But - here it comes, with 10 mins to go, I stomped down hard to overtake the racer who I'd been chasing for a couple of laps (think he was about seventh) and SNAP, bang went my chain. Oh how I swore. I was so grumpy all I did was walk back to the van (no spare bike) throw everything in, change and drive away - think I was even gone before my race finished.
On the positive side, I was enjoying myself and the form felt good. On the downside, it was probably the best course for me to get a good result on and as it turned out it was my last race of the season.
I kinda 'get' the whole cx thing now, but realistically with the driving involved I can't see me making ever completing an entire series. Next year I would ideally like to concentrate on the 3 Peaks cx race and if I can fit in some 'normal' cx races after that then that'd be a bonus (will need a new bike first though!)
So down to the nitty gritty.
Work has been ace, consultancy stuff out of the way and into a local mtb trail build that I really didn't think would happen, due to the presence of Red Squirrels! However, because of the little darlings breeding season, we couldn't start until late October. Luckily November was the mildest and driest on record and we cracked on with some long hours seeing us 90% done by last week.
Then it snowed.
Cue flashbacks of last winter (and the one before that) and diggers sitting under a blanket of snow for weeks on end and partly finished projects dragging on until the Spring....
But, as I type, a thaw has set in and if the forecasted rise in low level temperatures holds true for next week, we might just finish off the last few remaining features before Christmas. I certainly hope so, because I never seen so many kids waiting for a jump set to be ready - we regularly see upwards of two dozen kids just hanging about at the top of the partly completed start ramp, just gagging to get in about it!
On the fledgling photography sideline, all is going well, with a few more paid shoots being successfully completed in the last month and my new domain name, e-mail address and website all coming together slowly but surely.
Just need more time for everything....
Christmas next and maybe the start of the skiing season.