I love sitting down on the ground at 5 in the morning. It’s great.
I could hear my nose clicking as I moved it side to side. I probably should stop doing that in case it comes off in my hand, I thought.
The weather conditions at the Kielder Chiller 24 hour race were pretty-much the same as they had been the last time I rode a bike there – in fact the last time I rode there the weather was just as wet and cold and I was engulfed in a thick cloud of abrasive mud. My brake pads disintegrated and I ended up in a bush. I said I’d never return but I did return and once again I was engulfed in a cloud of abrasive mud and my pads disintegrated.
Once again I pulled on my brake lever and apart from a loud metallic noise, nothing happened.
I didn’t land in a bush this time. If I had it might not have been so dramatic. This time I rode down a steep section of singletrack, unable to slow down. I rode off the side of the trail as it bent around to the right and was launched into the air as my front wheel suddenly encountered a large enough object.
I was racing in the pairs category with Phil, thankfully. We were winning too.
With only a few hours of the race left and a nice 2 or 3 lap gap to the second-place pair I was able to hand over to my super-dependable team mate and let him get on with finishing the job while I sat in the Team JMC pit, nursing my face. Eventually I went to sit in the car with the engine running and the heated seat on. The car subsequently filled with mud.
A win is a win, regardless of a broken bone and a very sad and now-in-need-of-serious-maintenance Santa Cruz Highball.
A massive thanks to Lisa and Mel who made me cups of tea and fed me painkillers. Also thanks to the ambulance man who decided not to send me to A&E, which was probably hundreds of miles away and full of drunken people with no tops on.