shame it rained
Yeah, I actually really enjoy riding in the mud - the wet, slippery mud like after it'd first started raining when you could slide your way around corners, but not so much the thick, sticky mud like on the final lap when it was drying up and your bike would just stop rolling - it's all the cleaning up in between laps and after the race that's not so much fun.
Was all worth it though, great tough course and good atmosphere. Co-organiser and solo rider Ian Leitch was sulking from having to ride against last-minute entrant Yanto Barker
, but in the end put in a storming ride which not only got him the solo category win, but also the fastest lap of the day (lap 1) and would not have been far from beating the winning pair category which were no slouches!
I rode with (tall) Phil who's recovered from a busted shoulder and has a dodgy back so has not been riding so much lately but did great, he borrowed a fully rigid Chas Roberts from '92. I gave my only-just rebuilt '93 Ibis Mojo ti a baptism of fire - shame I didn't take any pics before the race, as I'll never get it that clean again
. First test-rode it the day before the race, to find out that the Syncros ti post needed a very firm hand to tighten both the seat clamp and saddle clamp, both of which came loose on that test ride
In the end the bike worked great despite the kilos of mud gathered (and the semi-existent braking). Had a couple slow-speed falls in some of the technical sections, plus a scare when the very edge of my bars clipped a tree at high speed - a cm closer and I would have been down badly
Cheers to John for some of the prizes, Jo Burt for the awesome Mint Sauce cushion (I'm sure John will have a photo) made by his friend www.anastasiawhittle.co.uk
from an old jersey, met him briefly afterwards, and good to meet (if briefly) the famous "superstrong" on the podium. Where I had instructions by our MuleBar mates to try and shower podium girl with bubbly - I did my best!