i) I don't need a new bike, I need to get faster. My bike has a single gear, Reynolds 520 steel, dubious geometry, cantis that work when they feel like it and I look upon the Dirty Disco with wonder. But there's a chap who rides my league with the same bike as me, is older than me, and rides faster than me. He rides faster than most of the field in fact. So if he can do it etc etc. Shelling out for the On One, as marvellous as I'm sure it is would feel, well, a bit of a cop out.
ii) My bike handling in real mud is utter rubbish. First race in deep mud and I'm pottering around corners taking wide bends - all over the place. Umpteen people overtaking on the inside on the racing line. The only clincher I know for this is Michelin Mud and that's only because the clue is in the name. May need to look at Griffo's ...and practice more.
iii) What I don't know about herbacious borders isn't worth knowing. My car CD has given up so its Desert Island discs to races, Gardener's Question Time on the way back. Every week.
iv) I have found my level. Take the number of entrants divide by two and that'll be where I finish, to within a place or two. I'm quite happy with this, I don't think I ride to beat other people but to cause as much discomfort as I can to myself. Not sure if this is sensible or deeply Freudian?
v)New road wheels on and a spin for 3 hours the night before Sunday's race. Not the best preparation for sure but they are so completely ace I just kept going. Makes me wonder what I have been riding on. Nothing special Open Pro on Ambrosio hubs, Sapim Race spokes, but they just glide perfectly and are wonderfully stiff.
ps. thanks to crossjunkie for posting pro race coverage. Has kept me sustained these dark nights.