No gig this weekend so we got up early and went to the VTT Rando at Nieul. I opted for the 40 kms loop. Carla did the 30 kms. We were away at 08:45, a beautiful morning though a bit windy. Anyways, now the cyclo-cross season has started a lot of the young racers were missing. I found myself right up near the front with a gang on veterans including the current departmental champions for road and VTT!
After about 5 kms a group of three began to pull away. I went after them. Don’t forget, I’m riding my Spesh Epic, what an awesome bike. I’m gaining on the three, probably about 30 metres behind them. There’s a sharp right over a small footbridge, into a chemin. The three have disappeared! Just as I’m thinking they can’t have suddenly gone much quicker I hear them off to the left. They’ve missed the turn. I give it all I’ve got in an attempt to get out of sight. 😉
I’m absolutely flying along, feeling the good pain. I’m making the most of my bike, railing over the rough ground, carving the turns like a man possesed. At the end of a long straight I take a quick look back. No one there! I push on, hard.
The trails are bone dry, and very fast. I’m sliding in some of the corners and using the edge of the trail as a berm to get me around. At the last moment I spot a mud hole. I’m going too fast to miss it. I look straight over it, and pedal as hard as I can. It’s deeper than I thought it might be, and slippy to. It shoots me to one side. I bang my knee hard on the handlebars. I come through in one piece, still upright, still on the bike. I have to ease up while I wait for the pain in my knee to subside. I change down and spin an easy grear.
A few minutes pass, and I’m picking up speed again. A rider arrives, he comes past, he’s riding hard, I chase after him. It feels like he’s trying to drop me. Some few kms later he pulls over and stops. I dunno why. He seemed to be going OK.
Back on my own again, and pushing hard. A marshall tells me there’s 10k left. Those last 10 kms were real roller-coaster stuff. Awesome trails, a real blast. 40 kms banged out in 1hr 49mins. Thanks to all at Cyclo Club Nieul for a great morning’s riding.