The Rapha Supercross event is a day of cyclocross races (at Broughton Hall near Skipton) with categories for everything from elite level teams down to juniors. The category that got my attention though was the last race of the day, an intriguing 30-minute fun category race with a foam wall and a tequila shortcut.
Having done a number of big events in the preceding weeks this looked like a great opportunity to let my hair down and race for the fun of it for change. It also meant that I could watch some mates racing as well as see some of the best cyclocross racers in the UK in action.
Having watched the videos of the previous years’ event, getting into the spirit of the fun category seemed to be mandatory. With fancy dress outfits a common feature I wracked my brains for something appropriate and it was only when I saw my daughter Charlotte wearing her giraffe onesie the day before that my mind was made up. After a degree of negotiation with my teenage daughter (basically her telling me what she wanted and me agreeing) the deal was done.
The day itself was fantastic. Great weather and venue, excellent racing, great food and the option to buy ridiculously expensive Rapha cycling clothing – can’t believe anybody races in it at those prices. 30-mins before my race was due to start I tried on the onesie for the first time and came to the realisation that it was far from ideal for hoping on and off a CX bike, but with a couple of modifications to pin bits in place and secure the giraffe hood to my helmet I was ready to go.
Taking the start line for the initial run to the bike, it dawned on me that there was only me and an Evil Knievel in fancy dress and everyone else looked ready to race, including a few handy looking racers in their sponsored lycra! Hey ho I normally look stupid in CX races but at least this time it would be because of what I was wearing.
At some point before the gun went to start the race my plan for taking it easy and having a laugh must have disappeared and galloped towards my bike as soon as the gun went off. Despite failing miserably with an attempt to jump on it I still managed to reach the first bend in around 10th place. Two corners further on I ran wide and managed to snag the giraffe hood on a low hanging branch and it snapped the binding between the hood and my helmet – did help to keep my temperature bearable later in the race tho.
At the first section of climbing I managed to overtake a group of riders struggling for grip in the slippy conditions and ended the first lap in 3rd place with the guy in 2nd not too far ahead. Approaching the tequila shortcut for the 1st time I ducked taking a shot of tequila, as the penalty for taking a slightly shortened route, and received loads of jeers from the big crowd that had turned up to watch the fun. The tactic did however let me briefly pass the guy in 2nd but in the end I couldn’t hang on to the position due to overheating and a lack of talent, and ended lap two in a comfortable 3rd place.
Four tequilas, five trips through the wall of foam later I staggered across the line in 3rd, drenched in sweat and foam and more than a little light-headed!
All in all a really enjoyable day out. Didn’t drop the bike so the onesie wasn’t destroyed (will still cost me a new one though), won a cap and £25! Plus I developed a liking for tequila.