Another epic bike/train/bike trip to get to the start of this one – made more interesting by the railway station being a good 150m below the event start. Trosley Country Park is a lot like Shotover Park, an area in Oxford I’ve been many times. The sharp drop at the edge of the North Downs dominates the whole area, with the flat, wooded section in the north abruptly halted by the steep, 100m drop down in open countryside.
The Blue course, which I did, had an impressive 200m climb (this is southern England, remember) and 24 controls, for just 6.5km. The route basically involved two loops, which meant climbing the big embankment twice – but also plunging down it uncontrollably twice.
My time was over 10 mins/km – 68:31 – but the winner managed only just under 9mins/km and I was well up the list in the end. Simon Evans, another SLOW M21er, had a flying race to finish second.
I had no problems with my back after last week’s disappointment, although the excitement continued on my way back home – I built up some speed on the 150m drop back to the railway station, and misjudged a roundabout badly, taking quite a tumble on the kerb and basically writing off my bike. 2 years service around Oxford and a month in London – it deserved better, but it took the impact for me thankfully and I escaped with just scraped hands and a lot of shock. Oh, and I missed the train…