After enjoying some of the winter Mean and Dirty XC events I spotted that they put on a few mid week Thrash's this summer. I made it along to round 2.
Normally a 1 hour xc race essentially round a field in a park wouldn't appeal to me but I fancied something short and high intensity to get my race head back on ahead of the last few weeks before 24/12 UK Champs.
I got the train after work up to Gloucester which was novel for going to a race after I spotted an article that week which quite rightly pointed out that driving cars full of bikes to then ride bikes is a bit odd. After a few sprints to either end of the train after the guard had told me the wrong place where the bikes went I was kind of reminded why car is often king. After another sprint to catch a connecting train at Cheltenham I eventually made it to the boating lake venue. A super relaxed atmosphere and some familiar faces was nice and although the 1 mile course had a total of 6 inches of climbing it was non the less quite tight and twisty so not entirely without peril. The organisers definitely made the most of it.
There were a few team kits around so it looked like there might be a few keeno's to battle with. It turned out that three of us were pretty evenly matched throughout with some chopping and changing in the order over each of the 5 minute laps. I hung back on the first few letting the other two chaps set the pace. I had no idea what a 1 hour race pace would be but flat out it seems!
In my hanging around at the back of three I missed that the then leader had stolen a bit of a gap so by the time I moved up to 2nd he had put together enough of a gap to hold to the end.
It was great seeing a wide range of riders on course all being super polite and encouraging to each other. Goes to show that everyone can have fun at a race so long as it involves bikes and people.
Fortunately I got a lift most of the way home (thanks Lynn) so I didn't have to battle the trains again but pedalling back to the front door at 11pm was quite a nice way to take back part of the working week.