Two week on it all seems like a distant memory.
Round 8 of the London and SE cross league was held in Stanmer Park, Brighton.
Having spent 15 yrs as a resident of the seaside town I saw the event as a chance to visit friends, drink too much and then flog around the woods for an hour on Sunday lunchtime.
The course was perfect, 3 days solid rain had left standing water on the down slopes and meant that the event was only being attended by the keen, and those who too stupid to take up the offer of brunch anywhere other than a wet gazebo in a large puddle in the middle of a football pitch.
Anyway one Belgian, and one mate, who hadn't anything better to do, lined up at the back of a grid containing 124 rather keen 'cross experts. The "Crosswolder", my ridged forked Mountain Goat with drop bars was the only non specialist cross bike, other than my mates.
In moments the horn sounded and we were off. Lap one was ok, whilst at the back I was still passing people largely due the the high number of "mechanicals".
After two laps I had actual passed two riders based on decending skills, and my decision to run the wooded section that you could ride, but was easier to carry. Lap three got the better of me, and included a small "off" which literally landed me in the s*+t (I think they have got bears in Brighton!). At this point I was also lapped, but the only thing left was to laugh it off and enjoy the remaining two laps.
Just before the end of the final wooded decent I came across the 3rd "lady" almost in tears trying to rip leaves and twigs out of her rear mech and brakes. Knowing that there was little difference to me in being 88th or 89th, I stop and help get half the woods out of her bike, on the promise she let me finish ahead of her, which she did.
I crossed the line to the annoncement " and Here come the Belgians" at which point I raised my arms aloft and nearly collided with the bell.
Hey it was misery at the time , but now it is beginning to seem like it might have been fun. Until the next time..........