Formed in June 09, Here Come the Belgians is a non-elite anti-team celebrating all things cross, cobbled and Belgian.
Seeking a different experience to the traditional cycling club, its aim is to harness the energy of a vibrant internet cycling community with grass roots racing and riding based around Cyclocross and Spring Classics. There is no race programme in the style of a racing team, more a collection of individual experiences through rides and racing, in whatever location a member may be, that all can share in and contribute toward.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Myrtle Park, Bingley

Rich powering up the banking

A cool and misty afternoon in Bingley could not dilute the overwhelmingly warm and prickly feelings of joy and happiness my insides were experiencing, as I lined up with my fellow Yorkshire Point Series Brethren and Sistren.  Having been away from the CX game for what seemed like too long (getting on for nearly two months - broken only by a brief blast at Mugdock Park, Scotland), Myrtle Park in Bingley seemed like well and truly the right the time to once more put rubber to mud, and race around in circles for ~45mins.

Waggo with another solid performance
The popular course amongst both competitors and spectators alike, comprised the usual grassy slogs and single track, supplemented with a knee high concrete step, a steep banking, and a long stair climb with banister assist.  All this variety resulted in three dismounts per lap - for us mere mortals - or two for those who could bunny hop the concrete step.  I witnessed it during a practice lap - it could be done!!  The fair(ish) weather leading up to race day had resulted in the course being, what I would consider good to soft/soft in places.  There was no ‘slop’ anywhere, but I felt the risk of frame/fork/brake cloggage, due to isolated areas of abundant surface leaf litter, might be a distinct possibility.

Me tackling some grassy section
Feelings of excitement were further whetted, by my anticipation of the next instalment of the fast becoming legendary friendly competition between Belgian John (me) and Chris (WYPCC).  For about 6 months now we have gone hammer and tong at it race after race.  Although I have had my odd moments of glory, Chris has got the better of me on the majority of occasions.  However, the ‘having someone to race/chase’ aspect to our relationship has resulted in a clear PB for me at Temple Newsam.  Cheers for that Chris.

On this, our most recent of bouts however, the unlucky Chris was caught in a pile up during the opening sprint, and went to ground.  Although not injured, and did remount and complete the race, he did not manage to fully close the gap generated.  However, this didn’t stop me from peeping over my shoulder every couple on minutes, expecting the familiar figure to be there breathing down my neck.
The debrief

So, essentially the victory goes to me this time, but it’s a somewhat hollow one.  I may have won the battle on this occasion, due the misfortunes of others, but I doubt I will win the war…….

Photos courtesy of Jo Allen - Thanks


  1. Good posting John! Bingley is probably my favourite race, well a close tie with Tod though Ido seem to be developing a bit of a 'bogey' having muppet crashes involving lapped riders stalling/falling!

  2. Cheers Rich.

    I know what you mean re lapped riders... I have exactly the same problem... ;-) tee hee!!