Since Davagh forest I've been doing a few bits and pieces. The familiar 'work' and 'home' interruptions have been playing havoc with training and just about everything else. But here's where its at:
IMBRC Club League
The league kicked of again last month up in Slade. I did a few races last year, but this time I wanted to take it a bit more seriously as its great training for races, plus its all done in 35 mins. The first race up there was a bit of a disaster. Well, I was happy with the laps, but as I was entering the final section of singletrack I came unstuck from the bike and landed head first into the group. Can't say exactly how it happen as it was so quick - one second I was hammering down the trail, and the next I was picking myself up off the ground. In the process I cracked my helmet and had a killer headache for about 3 days, but I also manage to feck up a rib. Just bruising I think but hurt a lot for about a week. The following couple of races up there went a lot smoother and were great craic. Missed this week, but plan on getting back out next Tuesday.
New 3Rock trails race
Now this looked like it could have been fun. To coincide with the opening of the new trails, Niall Davis had organised a race using the trails and fireroad. Fairly straightforward route - up the tarmac road, around the aerials and onto the new trails, then back up the fireroad to the aerials and down the new 2nd section of singletrack. Nice and simple. Lots of strong riders were out so it was going to be a hard race, but a good challenge. Very soon after the race started the field began to spread out and by the time we reached the first trail there were just 5 riders in the first group... and I was the 5th! I figured if I managed to keep it together I could get a good result here. Well, that was the plan, unfortunately as I was about halfway down the first section of singletrack I clipped a rock and ripped my front tyre to the extent that the the sealant could not do its job. Needless to say I was raging and had plenty of time to wonder 'what if..' on the long walk back to the start line.
NPS Round 4
Another NPS, another trip up north. This time to Tollymore. A lovely part of the world and my first time up there. The course was great - plenty of tricky singletrack - made all the more tricky due to a good soaking in the week leading up to the race. There was a couple of small climbs but nothing too hectic. The race started and I was quickly dropped down to the back. But started to make up time in the single track pretty fast. The biggest problem was trying to pass guys and make it stick. The first lap and a half was hard work doing that, but on the drop I made a mistake and 4 or 5 of the guys I had passed cruised by me, which was very frustrating and I ended up back at square 1 again.
me not crashing (Photo: Mike Armstrong)
The rest of the race was spent attempting to pass these guys again. There was some close racing and it was good craic, but finishing 15th was very dissapointing. To be honest, I think the best I could have done there was 10th, but that would have required me having a race with no mistakes... something thats not happened yet!