Having competed in the Scottish Cyclocross Series a couple of years ago on a mountain bike, I thought I’d return on the cross bike that I bought for the 3 Peaks. In retrospect, a quad bike would have been better given the amount of mud on show. It was truly awful in places. Nick Williamson also took part (riding for his cycling club Midlothian Velo) in the open race (8.5 miles), with me in the V40-49 event (6 miles). A few other hill running faces were taking part, including Tom Owens (13th in the Open race) and Andy Kitchen (7th in the V50+).
The course was a new one, at Fife College’s Dunfermline Campus, and a wet, mild day and several races already completed meant that by the time I got started the course was already destroyed, with not a patch of green to be seen. I made an inauspicious start by almost missing the start (I had turned up at the finish, thinking it was where the start was – it wasn’t, it was at the pit lane), so ended up right at the back of the grid. Not ideal because an already-difficult position of trying to work through the field was made more so by a very large field (160) being jammed in at several early sections (including the trench-like conditions at the first bend). Thereafter I struggled to make up many places, finishing 104th in 47.14. Nick was just outside of the points (Top 20) in 1.03.22 in his race.
A tough introduction back to cyclocross, but a great workout nonetheless, which I would recommend to anyone as something to try.
Next up in the series is Irvine Beach, which I’ll miss, but will aim to catch Plean Park in Stirling, which is a non-series race.