London League 2009/10, round 11: Herne Hill as the ice planet Hoth

It was epic, it was cold, it was helluvaheckalot of fun. Riding the frozen wastes of the Herne Hill velodrome certainly made for something different from the usual “mud and iron” of the London Cyclocross League.


(Photo: John Mullineaux for

I haven’t trained for nearly two weeks so was planning on taking it a bit easier than usual at the back. Stay out of the way and stay upright seemed order of the day.

After one lap, the advice from Rene was “there are too many people behind you”. This was probably down to me running some of the worst affected sections which seemed to be quicker than tottering along in the inevitable traffic jam of nervous riders.

Soon solved that by going too hard in the wrong places – running up steep hills, corners, that sort of thing.

Once I’d worked through the rush of blood and settled down, it was a case of seeing how far back I could finish. The results have me down one from the back of those who actually finished. Plenty of DNFs tells you how tough it was.

I probably went easier than I needed to and took fewer risks than I could have, but better to finish in one piece than not in two.

I still haven’t cleaned the bike due to the freezing conditions and sheer laziness on my part. Still it’s nearly Christmas, so these things can be forgiven.

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