Well, that was a cracking Christmas cracker of a weekend. On Friday we has all sorts of weather to deal with en route to our destination, Glengorm castle on the Island of Mull, but after 9 hours of travelling, we eventually arrived in good spirits; deserving a wee dram in the van.

On Saturday, I had a blast racing the last of the SCX series in calm, cold weather conditions, complete with super sketchy mud. Riding in my first race in Team JMC colours and despite starting at the back, I somehow finished 7th.


So on Sunday I was all fired up for Mull’s annual blue riband event – the Santa World CX Championships. I was delighted to see the course was similar to Saturday’s, but in reverse. With the mud more sticky than slick-y from the previous night’s hard frost and a long-ish steep climb out the meadow, I figured this played to my strengths and so I decided to apply my usual tactic (start at the back, overtake as many folk as possible and don’t get lapped), but with a fresh and ambitious objective of putting in the fastest lap.

So, after a pedestrian first lap, I figured out where I could gain time and where I needed to back off and recover. All was going splendidly well and I was warming up nicely when…bang, or rather, phhhsshssssththththththth – puncture!

Now I know why CX racers have a spare bike or at worse spare wheels in the pits.

And so after 20 minutes of racing, it was one grumpy little elf who has no option but to trot back to his van and watch the Santas, Elves, Christmas puddings and reindeer all whizz by. I was the only rider in the race that DNF-ed (Did Not Finish). Oh the ignominy!

But I’m not going to let this detract from my Mull CX racing experience because, despite only one hour of riding over two days, it was simply brilliant fun. It may be my first ever DNF in a cycling race, but I’m sure it won’t be my last. It’s something I will just have to get use to and accept. That’s racing.

And anyway at least I’ve got my costume already sorted for next year!