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.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Harriers vs Cyclists

This was one of those races I'd never done despite it being virtually on my doorstep and passing through a favourite bouldering venue, Shipley Glen. Partly I'd always given it a miss because it came the day before Bingley CX a Yorkshire Points counter and one of the classic Yorkshire courses. Not so this year with changes in the calendar and Saturday found me eagerly lining up for a very atypical cross event. For those who don't know it the basic format is an out and back from near the Fisherman's Inn up through Shipley Glen and then round Hope Hill and back. I don't know the history but it looks like a classic 'pub bet' type course 'Who would be quicker, a cyclist or a runner?' The mix of terrain makes it a surprisingly even battle the outcome often decided by how heavy the going is with drier conditions suiting the cyclists. This year it was wet. Very wet.

Where have the bikes gone?

After doing a few hill reps to warm up the legs it was time to shoulder the bike and toe the start line. The bike stayed on the shoulder for the first hill and a couple of fields after that, watching Dave remount 30 yards ahead and come to almost a dead stop convinced me that there was no point trying to ride until the terrain headed down or firmed up. A short section of firmer field allowed a remount and led down to a concrete road, then up a rough track and steeply down to the mill pond. A steep carry up to the top of the 'Glen and then along parallel to the Glen Road for a while plus a little wet loop and on to Hope Hill. Alistair caught me as we ascended but then I got away on the loop round and down. I'd forgotten the 'wet section' over the road and as the rider ahead dismounted I tried to ride it - cue over the bars

Over the bars evidence

Then it was just a reverse of the outward route and some happy chatting in the sun with a few old and new 'Belgians Rich Seipp, Carl, Mathew and not forgetting Dave and (non-'Belgian) Emma doing her first CX who managed to keep her bike incredibly clean. A cyclist won by a handful of seconds, Rob Jebb, but he'd beat most folk running the whole way carrying his bike! Overall the harriers were victorious - the rules state the first 10 count and Andy Peace was the only other cyclist in the top ten! Dave Haygarth was just outside in 13th. @Hanglebads photos

Pleasant chatting

1 comment:

  1. sounds horrific! It's only redeeming feature is that it's near Bradford.