Central CX League Round 7 - Box End Lake

Mud pluggers, enduro riders, cross country and cyclo X discussions here.

Moderators: Simon Hemington, Paul Thomson

User avatar
Sam Williamson
Posts: 575
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:23 am

Central CX League Round 7 - Box End Lake

Postby Sam Williamson » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:08 pm

After a rather forgetable race last week for me and Tom I think we both needed something to get out CX mojo back so the thought of a trip to Box End Lake which last year had been freezing cold with thick fog and slippery, tussocky grass didn't exactly appeal...

It was always going to be wet and the forecast had been spot-on all week with Saturday's torential rain leaving large parts of the course under water - great job by the organisers for getting the race on at all - many other races were cancelled meaning we had a few vistors from other leagues to spoce things up a bit.

In fact the course was so wet that we decided wellies were definatley the order of the day and we recced the course on foot - a smart move I think especially as it was a shortened lap so we could have a good look at conditions which were basically a couple of inches of liquid clay over a slippery layer of clay underneath - as slippery as a slippery thing.

Connal had a very sound race achieving another podium placing behind two very strong MK riders and Tom rode the best I've seen him ride - he'd actually taken on board my advice in having a shortened warm-up and also staying in the saddle a lot more than previous weeks - he's starting to slowly look like a bike racer and took a couple of good scalps in his category.

The Youth/Novice race also included another 3 Hemelings in the shape of Sacha (bravely riding on slicks!) and also Stephen and Verna Burgess (who appeared to be having a great time judging by the smiles each time she passed :) ).

For the main race the shortened/waterlogged course meant the start was less than ideal - a 60 or 70 metre sprint straight into a 90 degree turn up an unrideable muddy bank - a recipe for a pile up if ever I saw one and for a slow starter like me a disaster waiting to happen...

If ever there was a time to get a good start this was it and miraculously I managed to 'pull one out of the bag' and reached the bank inside the top 10. Once I'd elected to run the next section I was amazed to find myself in around 6th place ( :shock: ) - with a virtually clear course in front of me - not a situation I'm accustomed to! Anyway, it didn't last long as on a steady slippery climb I got 'side-swiped' by a fellow competitor (I know exactly who you are :twisted: ) and I ended up tasting my first mud sandwich of many.

Now, I don't know whether this was deliberate or not - maybe that's what racing's like at the sharp end - however it cost me 10 or 15 places and I carried on plugging away in my more normal position. Incidently the guy who'd T-boned me earlier was standing by the side of the course half a lap later with a busted bike (poetic justice?).

After a few laps slithering and sliding around I started to really enjoy myself - the long sections of running suited me - and I was looking ahead to see who I could down - my usual 'MK nemesis' wasn't there, but I had a good battle with a team-mate of his eventually winning the sprint after I'd gone 'mud-surfing' on a couple of occasions...

I didn't see much of Rico but according to Tom he'd been on my tail for a while before doing some 'mud-surfing' of his own - the pictures on Facebook tell the story better than any of my words could - you can just about make out the Hemel logo under all the gloop.

No real idea where I finished - a first top 20 would be nice but I'm not sure - but Tom and I definately have our CX mojo back and we're looking forward to next week :twisted:

User avatar
NZxcross
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:39 pm
Location: Hemel Hempstead

Re: Central CX League Round 7 - Box End Lake

Postby NZxcross » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:48 pm

Well I awoke on the Sunday after a real good sleep in. One small consolation is that the race was ‘only up the road’. I couldn’t believe my eyes when there was blue sky. Maybe today would be alright after all.

Upon clearing my emails got an email from the organiser stating that it was all go but the coarse had taken a bit of a beating. Bugger….

Got up there & had a look around. Geez, it was pretty cut up already, slushy mud everywhere. I decided to walk most of the course as doing a recky lap wasn’t really going to achieve anything but to spook me out some more.

Got gridded up on some nice gravel path for a short sprint to the first dismount. I felt really sorry for the organisers as they did the absolute best they could with what they had. But how come I was two rows on the grid behind riders that I beat week in week out?? Never mind, you were going to be able to ride this stuff or not……… not surprisingly I knew what my fate would be already.

Off we went & I had decided just to take it semi easy as it was going to get hairy fairly quickly. Much to my surprise everyone around me played it safe & rode with their heads. Now this is the third course in five races that the conditions were like this for me. If you liked mud, this has been the season for you!!! After one lap I thought it rode better than the other two mud pits. It was more technical but way less fatiguing. After two laps I was still going okay & hadn’t crapped off as yet.

I could see Sam just up the road, about 20seconds maybe & managed to keep it like that for another lap. But I sort of knew what was coming, Sam had got that engine warm & just disappeared. Never to be seem or sighted again. There was a very fast downhill section that was just solid sludge from top to bottom. I got there on this lap & a slower rider in front of me. I didn’t get my foot out at the top as I was using the sledge with one foot down technic. This rider took my line so I tried to change but yep no good. Down in a heap but rolled me shoulder to soften the impact. All this managed to do was to roll me on my back & I proceeded to gather pace down the slope. Top to bottom rolling around in mud. In terms of crashes this season it was a soft one but looked far worse than it was. Stace saw it & pissed herself with laughter. Will try to find the photos.

The worse thing was that both hands were covered in mud which made gripping the bars very slippery indeed. Got over this & just rode around. I was very impressed with myself as I didn’t loose the plot as I had predicted. My tires just gave me no grip whatsoever. I couldn’t even ride around the corners without a foot down or some other creative woolly technic. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t enjoy this ride one little bit. Was happy just to finish but well behind all the people I normally beat. I had much better legs than the day before. Just got a bit tired in the last two laps, which was accepptable I reckon. So that was some consolation I geuss.

This was not the right weekend to pick a double header. Sure did pick a rough season to give it a go!!! Only just hanging in there now, wanted to throw in the towel on the season but Stace won’t let me!! Depending on the weather will probably scale back my schedule to do just the next two rounds of the Central league. Quite happy that they are close to Hemel.

Cool till next time
Rico
Ta
Richard O'Reillly

Long way from home kiwi........

User avatar
Paul Thomson
Posts: 1615
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 2:02 pm
Location: (H) Milton Keynes - (W) Hemel Hempstead
Contact:

Re: Central CX League Round 7 - Box End Lake

Postby Paul Thomson » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:30 pm

Paul Thomson
Racing Secretary

User avatar
Simon Hemington
Site Admin
Posts: 948
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:26 am
Location: Berkhamsted

Re: Central CX League Round 7 - Box End Lake

Postby Simon Hemington » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:31 am

Looks like fantastic fun. Hope you wash your own kit!!
Simon Hemington
HHCC Webmaster

User avatar
Sam Williamson
Posts: 575
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:23 am

Re: Central CX League Round 7 - Box End Lake

Postby Sam Williamson » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:35 pm


User avatar
Ian Baynes
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:43 pm
Location: Leighton Buzzard (H), Watford (W)

Re: Central CX League Round 7 - Box End Lake

Postby Ian Baynes » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:00 pm


Chrisbro
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:23 pm

Re: Central CX League Round 7 - Box End Lake

Postby Chrisbro » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:04 pm

Well done Sam and Richard...plus the Beds CC crew who managed to re arrange the course as flood waters rose to prevent the race being abandoned.

What a turn out of HHCC riders in Youth races....Zack Burgess in the U12's and no less than 4 boys in U14 & U16 - Sacha, Steven Burgess, Tom Williamson and Conall...plus Verna rode as well...and seemed to smile all the time :D

Conalls report here...

"After two weeks of plenty of crashes we arrived at this race just hoping to finish and praying the course wasn’t lethal and that it wouldn’t be wrecked because of the weather.
Well thankfully Beds CC re –arranged the course to avoid the floods and I finished the race…..but not only did I finish I actually finished pleased with myself and proud that I didn’t end up crashing my out. In fact it was quite the opposite. I rode smoothly and I felt I was getting some really nice lines through the corners in my warm up laps. Personally I always have to ride the course because I feel you don’t actually get a feel for the terrain and conditions walking it.
This may have been an excellent course but there was one section, just after the run up and all the way to the pits, which I really felt I could easily have improved on. Like many races I finished and immediately realised that if I’d practiced more I could have realised I would have saved plenty of time running part of that section. After reading Sams report it showed that running would have been quick. Also a bit of pushing and shoving and occasional elbowing into bushes is all too common at the start. Like Richard I’d also been on a streak of muddy races, currently on five and aiming for a sixth this weekend, and I’m currently loving the sticky stuff and hoping for more.
So onto the race and I was proud to see 3 fellow hemlings lining up behind with Tom and Sascha proudly wearing Hemel gear and Steven Burgess a first time cross rider desperately in need of a Hemel jersey. I got another front row call and managed to find my peddle easily and out a short sprint in to nap 3rd place into the run up. During the draggy switchback section I clawed my way into second and pushed hard for 1st and came close on the hill. After we’d passed the pits I made 3 crucial mistakes: 1. Due to the lack of grip on my tyres I spun out on a hill and lost the group. 2. I did exactly the same after I’d caught them. 3. I crashed and fell in a puddle. If it wasn’t for these errors I would have been with the leaders for longer. Though I managed to escape a fall on Richards’s corner of doom 
On the second lap I made my way through the field and passed the younger MK brother and dropped the rider from Hillingdon. This would be were I stayed for the entire race and I managed to quickly establish a considerable gap between myself and the rider from Hillingdon in 4th. Great support from Sam and Richard. Congratulations to Tom, Steven and Sascha who put in awesome rides and Zack Burgess in the U12 race."

User avatar
NZxcross
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:39 pm
Location: Hemel Hempstead

Re: Central CX League Round 7 - Box End Lake

Postby NZxcross » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:28 pm

Its offical, the Hemlings are multiplying!!
When I turned up on Sunday there just seemed to be a swayth of Hemel jerseys riding around.

Rock On!!!

Tom had a great race. He has improved at each race I have managed to see him pedal. Still just on normal shoes too so a huge improvement will be forth coming when the step is made into the proper attire. Tom was toasting a rider from Welwyn again on this day as they were similar last year. Not by a little bit but a proper good spanking. Now just to put this into perspective, tom's on fairly standard equipment where as this dude is on a good frame, carbon wheels & a host of other top line gear. Tom stick at it, one thing this year in 'cross has taught me is that you don't need no flash stuff, learn to ride & get bike handling skills first. All that other flashy stuff can wait.

Your being well looked after, have fun & your gunna be a little pocket rocket real soon.

Rico
Ta
Richard O'Reillly

Long way from home kiwi........

User avatar
NZxcross
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:39 pm
Location: Hemel Hempstead

Re: Central CX League Round 7 - Box End Lake

Postby NZxcross » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:34 pm

Great report Conall.
The way you have been riding this year has been insparational to watch. You have gauged where those two MK brothers are at & have started to chop the trees down. I'm picking by Christmas they are going to have some very close company indeed. Everyone might not quite get it from the reviews, but Conall has been at the pointy end of every race thus far flying the Hemel colours. This guy has a great motor & has a fine extremly bright future in front of him.

Keep going Conall, you are having one mighty fine season & we are all rapt watching your progress unfold in front of us each weekend.

Rico
Ta
Richard O'Reillly

Long way from home kiwi........

Chad G
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:42 pm
Location: Edgware,Norf London

Re: Central CX League Round 7 - Box End Lake

Postby Chad G » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:20 am

Great report Sam... team Willliamson is on fire.....Great stuff Tom
Keep it up all you HHCC CXers....Inspiration for all of us

User avatar
Sam Williamson
Posts: 575
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:23 am

Re: Central CX League Round 7 - Box End Lake

Postby Sam Williamson » Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:21 pm

Great motivational support from all the Hemelings - very much appreciated! :D

As Baynsey says in the Road Racing thread - let's see if we can't get the same spirit going on the road at Hillingdon this Winter and through into the 'Chicken' in the Spring - you know Gav would want it that way 8)

BTW, updated League Standings have just been published on the Central CX site - a bit of extra motivation (not that it's needed...)

Reading awaits 8)

User avatar
Gavin Atkins
Posts: 406
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:05 am
Location: Berkhamsted

Re: Central CX League Round 7 - Box End Lake

Postby Gavin Atkins » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:28 pm

Well done guys! I'm so pleased that are getting a real showing at many different disciplines of the sport more recently - its hugely inspring for everyone and really helps pull the younger riders through seeing what is possible :)

vernaburgess
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:21 pm

Re: Central CX League Round 7 - Box End Lake

Postby vernaburgess » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:37 am

Well it was a mud rink and I slid off and descended all the way down that horrid hill in the first 30 seconds - not a great start! After that it improved and always being a completer not a contender I determined my goal was not to be last. A senior lady and I yoyo-ed for a couple of laps and then as the course got even slippier I managed to get ahead and stay there. I then had a senior man in my sights - I had the advantage of being on my MTB and he was all over the place on skinny tyres. I passed him in the last 200m and kept him behind me - YES! not last !! :D
I thoroughly enjoyed this and it was great to have the support of Sam and others on the way round. Stephen was in this race too as a first timer cyclo-cross and had a good race too. Zack in the u12 got too cold and couldn't change gear :(

User avatar
Sam Williamson
Posts: 575
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:23 am

Re: Central CX League Round 7 - Box End Lake

Postby Sam Williamson » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:12 pm

Nice one Verna!

See if you can persuade some of the others to come along to a few more of the races - Reading is a lovely course this weekend and after Christmas we've got RAF Halton (very local) and Hitchin which I understand is more of an end of season fun event with a team element to it so plenty of Hemelings there would be fab :D


Return to “MTB and Cyclo X”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest