It was Glenrothes cross last week end, one i have never done previously. The course is notoriously singlespeed unfriendly - it is short and furiously fast with a long straight and an awkward steps section which does not allow any momentum. So it was. A glorious day with the telly's represented by Chris, Jac and myself. Martin took a week off and joined superfan trina in providing beer sprays, bottle hand-ups and photos.
The race started well for me, a good hole shot and the first lap in around 8th or so. The quality of the fields this year has improved...the grass is better kempt...nah! joking. The racers have moved up a notch. The Creber brothers cream everyone when they arrive, and there are a few newbies and out of towners who have swelled the ranks of those vying for top 10. A couple of years ago i could get into the top 10, not comfortably but relatively frequently. Now, well, lets just say im still chasing the top 10!
So it is that a little show boating may be the way to gain a psychological and or an actual racing advantage. Bunny hopping started in earnest in the late 80's with Danny de Bie's victory in the Worlds utilising the technique to hop the barriers. There have been several notable practitioners, including Sven Nys and the Americans including our own Adam Craig. One way around this for race organisers ~ who seem to (in the more serious races) want to discourage the practice ~ is to put 2 or 3 barriers in close succession. So it was on Sunday. In my mind, a smooth dismount and remount is a beautiful thing, but prior to the start i had practised the triple hop in order to assess any advantage (and yes, to show off a bit). I wasn't convinced of the benefit, but at race pace it was pretty clear, and on the second lap i decided to go for it.
Down i go after my foot pulls directly out of the (very) old time pedal and the front wheel is pulled off line on the first landing, an ignominious fall. Crunching 4 fingers, my left knee and shoulder. Remounting as fast as possible, only to find that the bars 360 had split the front brake cable, leaving the pads rubbing. I went on for half a lap, and then realised there was a growing section of tyre unseated from the rim. So air out and a wander back to the pit. A quick gulp of water and the CO2 to sort things out then give chase.
Chris was having a cracking race and the overall pace was hot. I felt pretty good however and managed to chase down a few folk. The time came to put the hop to the test and i succeeded 3 or 4 times in the end to do the full triple hop section. Coming in to the third barrier was generally pretty heart stopping...but it definitely made for a faster exit as feet were already clipped and applying power. The last time over martin narrowly missed giving me a beer shower for being a show off...but there you go. Jac meanwhile schooled the females and earned a 1st place finish for the Savalas massive.
Overall, 17th last week after the start line spins and beer tomfoolery at mugdock, this week we'll see.