What a cracking day! Riding my bike in lovely sunshine on a flowing, technical in places track. Great fun.
This event very nearly didn't run. The last round of the North of England cross country championship didn't have riders rushing to get their entry in. Only a last minute decision to run and hope some day entries came along saved it from being cancelled. On the day though, just enough riders were there for it to be worthwhile running. It's a shame more weren't there because they'd have really enjoyed it.
Westwood is a very compact venue with some tight trails and it falls away to a stream on one side. John Kerwin plotted a course the ran through the stream twice, incorporated some of the British Enduro Sprint course from a few months back and some fresh new tracks to keep it all interesting.
The course flowed really well and only one change to the course was made. A steep bank proved too much for some of the riders so it was moved along a touch to where it was easier to get up. Some of the track by the stream got very slippery but was quite rideable. Being smooth was what you needed to be to really keep moving. Some parts cut down to dry soil and there were even a few stretches to open it up a bit.
A lap time of 8 or 9 minutes was the norm and I think there were very few retirements.
I've done a couple of races here and a whole bunch of practice days and this was by far the best track I've ridden here. Had it rained it would have got a lot harder in places but the fact there was nowhere you needed to use first gear meant the track didn't get too cut up, even in the wetter bits, you just kept moving.
A bigger entry would have made passing harder as it's pretty tight most of the way round but this size of around sixty riders was just about right.
I don't know how I did yet as the results aren't out yet but I think I've secured third place in the NEXC championship for the over 40's class. Not bad for a wobbly old sportsman like myself! I really enjoyed today. Even getting knocked off in the stream on the first lap didn't detract from it. Once I settled in I really got moving and even surprised myself at how well I was riding. I think I'll have got a good result overall but won't care if haven't because I had a whole heap of fun riding my bike. And you can't really ask for much more than that.