‘Cross diary 2: get off!

October 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Posted in cycling | Leave a comment
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Sunday: I’d scheduled in a ‘remounting’ session. Not yet learnt my lesson about the weather, namely: if it looks OK in the morning, GO OUT NOW. Instead, I nervously reread the forum I’d found and took notes on everybody’s remounting tips:

1. Stay close to bike;
2. Know where saddle is. Bump your hip against it as you walk along next to bike;
3. Swing your leg over while walking bike along and push off from left foot;
4. Practise jumping up alongside bike, without actually trying to get on;
5. Think about jumping forward and around, not up and over;
6. It’s easier if you go faster.

By the time I was ready to go out, it was teeming down with rain again. I reminded myself I was a ‘badass CX lady!’ (thanks @inkyotter) and trundled down to the wet and sloshy park. Frustratingly, I couldn’t get beyond point (2) above. The saddle seemed scarily high. So I decided to think positive, and practise dismounting again instead, figuring, well, if I can do that happily, it’s half the battle. After falling off once (and a couple of comedy moments hopping along with my foot still attached to the bike), I got the hang of neatly unclipping my left foot on the way off. I spent the next twenty minutes riding up to each of the lines painted on the football pitch, dismounting, hoiking the bike up and over an imaginary barrier, and then just getting back on however I could, laughing. It felt like progress.

I got home and asked Partner to get me some hot water.

Him: I never thought I’d see you grinning about riding in the rain. I never thought I’d see you washing a bicycle.

Later, I practised slinging a leg over the saddle with my bike firmly attached to the turbo trainer, then sort-of-jumping-but-not-quite onto it. Baby steps.

Tuesday: CX training night. I was getting hyped up, worrying about cornering in the wet, but looking forward to working hard again, when a text arrived: session cancelled. I took myself out for a run, trying to do the same amount of work as the 1.5 hour strugglefest of the previous week’s training. It was hard; my shins and calves were still suffering from the new and unexpected efforts of CX.

Meanwhile, Sunday was approaching, and the Rapha Super Cross event in Huddersfield. At training last week, one of the lads had said ‘Oh, loads of people who race can’t get on and off properly’. So I decided to race anyway: what could possibly go wrong?

I kitted the boys out with cowbells (and a drum for the little one, who insisted that was what he needed) and taught them to bellow GO ON MUMMY! and DON’T GET LAPPED! I posted my intentions on Facebook (to make sure I really couldn’t back out), and wrote myself a list of things to practise on Saturday:

1. Dismounting, to make sure I really *can* do it;
2. Remounting – last ditch attempt to get the hang of it;
3. Braking with my hands on the brake hoods, not on the drops.

The countdown has begun…

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