Racing Past Fifty
So that's the bulk of my week day riding, around 60 miles with a jaunt out early on a Sunday morning on the Seven Evergreen or Open UP for two to three hours mixing road and trails and dead-ends.
I've managed to slip in one and a half criteriums at Velo Park on the old Domane with a 13th place in the first one and a dnf in the second as I had to avoid a couple of lads who came together in front of me and hit the deck. Just before that I'd been pushed on to the grass in the hairpin so that was enough for me (at least until I get back after the summer holiday and I'll do a couple before the cross season begins to get some speed in the legs).
More importantly I managed to get to the Beastway MTB races at Hog Hill and race on the Open Up. It's a bit of a long evening with an hours ride to get there through East London, an hours racing and 35 minutes back to Stratford International for the journey home.
It's a hilly course and very, very bumpy down at the bottom and the rigid forks on the UP beat me up a lot; there was only one thing for it UPGRADE! So I installed Lauf suspension forks and Bontrager's new Kovee carbon 650b wheels shod with 2" tyres at 20psi. Definitely an improvement off road and on the roads not too much drag and the steering was positive - a highly recommended combo.
It didn't however it didn’t stop me crashing while trying to bunny-hop a log chasing down a mountain bike and I flipped over and smacked my head on the dirt, staggering to my feet I wasn't quite sure what was going on, I started trying to straighten my bars but then realised they were straight anyway; picked up my water bottle and carried on... until I slipped off in to a bed of nettles and brambles on the next lap that hid a fallen tree that I somehow whacked my shins on, I think that hurt even more, needless to say I could only hobble to the finish.
Undaunted I returned a couple more times this time without my Oakleys on so I could see what I was doing in the darkness of the woods.
Read Phil's Review of Open U.P.