If I told you that in 2016 a cyclist rode 2000 miles unsupported across America with a broken shoulder, what type of person would you picture in your mind?
I’ve done a few sportives and had some great rides … and some wet, windy and freezing rides too; Carl and Sam and all those who did the Tour of the Borders a few years back can vouch for that. For a while I’ve been looking for a different challenge. The Highland tourist board had been promoting the “North Coast 500” and it sounded tempting - although you’d have to be mad to do it all in one go!
Rouken Glen CX (#RGCX) was the opener for Super Quaich, the new Scottish cyclocross series. The host club Alabannach put on an absolute belter. With an A/B race format, grouping riders based on recent results, the racing is much closer right through the race, and should be tight right through the series.
On Saturday June 20th, a group of 11 riders set off from Edinburgh Waverley (with a Burger King to fill the stomach) in the glorious evening sunshine to get the train down to Carlisle with our bikes travelling down separately in the trusty hands of ‘a man with a van’. After reuniting with our bikes at Carlisle station and enduring a conversation along the lines of ‘Where are you cycling to?’ ‘Edinburgh.’ ‘But we’ve just come from there…’
When most people go mountain biking it is usually to ride up hills slowly chatting to your mates, then ride down as fast as you can over rough tracks. In the last few years this has spawned a new competition style where you ride up hills with your mates and then ride a downhill section that is timed.
A criterium or crit is a short-course race, lots of laps of a short, technical circuit. You spend a fast and furious 40 minutes or so taking corners a bit faster than you thought you ever could, then sprinting back up to full speed on any straightish bits. For extra fun at Stirling you get to sprint over some speed bumps.