Let the racing begin…

The week started with a few runs and a a different sort of ride for me.

After work I set off to a mates house where we met some other riders and set off up a hill.

It was straight up (pushing at times) and then back down again pumping the bumps and pinning the rutted berms.

After the first hill, we went onto another hill. This one a little bigger.

The bottom section had most been mashed up from trials bikes but had a few good tracks fitted around which we played on before venturing further up.

All of the guys were on 140mm+ trail bikes and were ragging them hard making jumps out of piles of dirt left by the farmer.

By the time we had got closer to the top it was starting to get dark.

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A few more rocky sections to play on, stopped for quick photo and then down we went through some sketchy single track through some woods.

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It was rough and rocky but good fun and well worth the push up.

As I saw Roz last weekend, that meant I caught a cold.

This progressively got worse towards the end of the week.

I had planned to race Saturday (North East XC series) and Sunday (Nutcracker MTB XC series) but decided I’d be best to rest and leave out Saturdays race and concentrate on Sunday.

SATURDAY 20th APRIL

By the time it was Saturday, it was a nice day, I didn’t feel too bad and fancied a ride so went along to the North East XC race at Ponteland anyway.

After a very fast hours race on awesome single track, I finished 5th overall and 4th in category (first single speed if that counts?)

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SUNDAY 21st APRIL

The weather wasn’t quite as good as Saturday, with cloudy skies and a cold wind Gandale (Catterick) felt like it was going to be a hard race.

This was my first race as an Expert after getting enough points racing all last year as Sport (all rigid and single speed! Wooo!) so it was going to be a faster and longer race than I was used to.

The course is made of short single track sections which are good fun but linked by long open sections of dirt roads. Great if you have gears and can put the power down to make up some time. Not so good if you’re single speed. Anyway, I can’t really complain, it’s my own fault for riding with one gear. I can imagine it would be quite funny to watch me ride the dirt roads spinning as fast as my leg would turn.

After 4 laps I ended up finishing 7th (or so I was told) …

Throughout the race I was battling with a guy dressed in yellow. He would pass me on the dirt roads and I’d catch him and pass him on the single track. Every time we passed, I’d say something to him… After no reply what so ever, I found it quite strange UNTIL the last time I tried speaking to him, he looked at me, shrugged his shoulders and spoke to me in Italian. No idea what he said. But he beat me in the end anyway.

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So, what next? No racing for a while now so the dropper post and forks are going back on for some big mountain stuff. Had some meaty tyres delivered so looking forward to seeing if they work.

Follow me on http://instagram.com/singlespeedmatt and https://twitter.com/singlespeedmatt for more…

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