Fred, Edith and Seb headed to the new-to-us venue of Pippingford Estate in the Ashdown Forest. Heavy rain in the preceding days, and a forwarning of mud by online forum folk, meant we switched out the summer tyres for some more grippy rubber.
This was the right choice as the practise laps revealed plenty of mud and slippery conditions.
Fred and Edith went first. Edith was incredibly quick off the start and passed all of the row in front by the first bend, including Fred! He soon moved up and rode the technical A-line cleanly. Fred’s first lap speed soon took its toll and Fred blew up, resulting in slower last lap and a hard-won 5th place. Edith rode the B-lines to keep upright and kept it neat to also finish 5th. Well done!. Following the race, both attended the British Cycling coaching session. This was held on the kids race course and tackled all the technical sections. Edith managed a huge improvement and learnt to clean the A-line. Fred learnt faster and smoother lines through the A-line. Good session and thanks to the coaches.
I raced next on a course that had slippery and claggy sections. I lined up and had a bit of a slow start. I didn’t pass anyone until the first hill, where I then made up a few places. By lap 2, the climbs were so claggy that dismounting and running was the fastest option. Again I managed to pass a few riders through the run sections. Not having done much running soon made itself known as my left hamstring started to hurt. Keeping the bike speed up, but slowing the runs slightly I put a few gaps in and finally finished in 17th A tough morning out!
This is a good venue, and we all keen to come back and race it in the dry.