London League 2009/10, round 9 Penshurst: glorious mud

This is always my favourite race of the London League season. The course is challenging, muddy and interesting which is always better than grassy parkland.

It’s a proper offroad riding where handling matters and mine was really lacking through lack of practice cornering on loose mud. Still the results suggest that I might have lapped at least two riders which counts as a good result for me. Lovely shot of me suffering by John of Londoncyclesport

Alex Murray racing at Penshurst

There were a few lots of times when I pushed way too hard and hit my limit. But I kept chugging on as the brake pads wore to nothing (which made the ride back to Tonbridge “interesting”) and I got increasingly muddy.

The good news this year was the presence of a hose and spray attachment to clean down bikes after the race, an essential need well served.

My big problem was getting the bike to go where I wanted. Not sure if I was fighting the conditions too much or not enough.

Still I wasn’t alone in finding it hard work. Ben Spurrier admits to getting ” got progressively down-hearted, cold, bored and fed up! ” and I gave him a motivational push. If he’d stopped on that lap I was fully prepared to stop as well as much out of frustration as anything.

As ever my mild gripe is how much of a day going to London League races consume. I left the house at around 10:30 and didn’t get back until 18:30 or so. If you’ve got commitments of any sort or just want to relax at weekends, that’s a lot of time to be spending for a one hour race.

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