Early start this morning. Jules was racing her mountain bike in a Gorrick Autumn Classic at Crowthorne woods. I’d deceide I wouldn’t bother – I’ve done enough racing this year. Jules was racing in the “Fun” category, they were off at 9:15 and she wanted to be there early enough to get a bit of a practice in.
After a foggy drive to Crowthorne, there was a right rough track to get to the parking, but once we’d negotiated that, we unpacked and Jules collected her number. We hung about a bit until her Dirt Divas team mates turned up. They practiced starts and then went for a ride together while I hung about and had a coffee from the fast food van.
Shortly after 9:15, Jules was off in her race. There were 6 riders, so she wouldn’t be faced with to much crowding on the course! I found a good vantage point near the finishing loop, but it was under the trees and a bit bad for photography. After just over half an hour, Jules came into sight, in 3rd place. She made a slight directional error (although she’d ridden this bit in the practice), and got overtaken, rolling into the finish 4th. I think she did OK for her first MTB race, and it seemed like a fun thing to do. I think I’ll probably ride in another, spring, event once I’m ready to race again.
After washing Jules’s bike and having some lunch, I spent a bit of time working on my winter bike. I’d broken a spoke in the rear wheel in yesterday’s ride, and although the rims are so strong the wheel (it’s a Miche RX5) was hardly out of true, I needed to strip it down and remover the offending spoke so I could take it to a bike shop and get a replacement the same length. I also fitted a new Campagnolo Centaur compact chainset. I’ve had such problems with the FSA Team Issue one coming loose that I’ve decided to sell it on. I’d bought a 50/34 combo, and expected to be able to fit my Campag 36 chainring (I prefer 50/36 as a combination – there’s a smaller jump between them), but of course, the innner faces of the crank spider are slightly different and it doesn’t fit! Bah! I’ve either got the choice of buying new compatible chainrings (expensive – they are upwards of £30 a piece), or trying to grind down the insides of the rings. I’ve got several compact chainrings, 52, 41 and a couple of 36s, that I use to change the gearing for road racing and so on, so I’m going to try and grind them down, they need about 0.5mm taking off the inner faces. Annoying!