Tuesday, September 29, 2009

three peaks

from robin

Climbing up the age range of the MV40 class for the three peaks cyclo cross entry is effortless, climbing up the bloody three peaks is not ... indeed climbing is too strong and manly a word for it, as though there were some planned route involved, an engagement with the hillside, a test of ascending dexterity, when the actual experience is a kind of semi-vertical trudge up a wall of bog-grass peppered with sheep shit ... at least the first most of the first peak is, the second is more a kind of set of rock steps at irregular heights, and the third is evidently more track-esque, more rideable, but that is rideable by someone who gives a toss by that stage of the race. So with trudging and not giving a toss firmly in mind, I set off with Ian and Steve in the Condor team van ... a yellow LDV of dubious provenance and a heater that actually worked so well you could not turn it off ... to do the race. me that is. Ian and Steve were intent on having a bacon sandwich on arrival, gesturing toward trying to find 'the condor' who'd arranged to meet us at the start, and then having not really found him watch me set off to put begin to put some serious distance between myself and anything resembling a comfortable life ... they went on a fell side amble on 5 inches of plush travel, and I went on a hell side scramble ... after the top the memory of going up Ingleborough was instantly repressed, its gone into my id or some such, never to come out save under trauma hypnosis or some such ... going down i still remember because it was a laugh, until i gagged trying to eat some jelly beans ... water only from then on in. The big 'w' was a long long staircase of flags and steps built after an alchemical ratio of irregular proportions, so just as you got into a good step rhythm, it was upset, without fail, all the way to the top. The descent was similar, though the irregular steps were no match for a bike that could not do anything other than go at a good lick because its brakes stopped working at a certain pitch. The trick is to bunny hop the bigger steps without the saddle kicking you up the arse. The last climb, after the second of what were very pleasant road sections, began well enough because it wasn't really a climb, and then when it becomes one you climb off. Or I did. I became a little irked here. First sign of exhaustion. Some guy riding/walking next kept urging his fellow riders on with a 'gooo-on son' horse-like grunt, companions on the grasses of the fellside one and all. I wanted off. The knackers yard. Anywhere. They kill horses don't they? Good film. I got cramp for the first time ever. Now I know it hurts, but all that yawing and oooing is a bit much. Its nothing more than we deserve, for being ill prepared or some such. I was a bit rubbish going down this last hill. Trying to pretend I could ignore the cramp. It went after a few skirmishes with the rock. The end came and went soon enough. 54th, 2 minutes down on last year, a few places down, the slow ebb of middle age. But then an MV40 won it, so that's no excuse.

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