OK, so for some reason I've struggled to sit down and actually do this write-up, its now got to the point when a blow by blow account would be kind of pointless, instead, I want to give you my lasting memories of a day in June spent in a field with some good mates.
I have to admit to a certain amount of nervous excitement in the lead-up to the day, I was feeling pretty fit*, the promise of wall to wall sunshine for the weekend helped to ease nerves and stop me texting Ad with my best Can't make it, my achilles has gone excuse. So, what are those memories I still have then?
1) The venue feels small... getting to site early I spotted two tents and a bloke playing tunes out of the back of a van, I was starting to wonder I was in the right place.
2) When you are changing a tyre and the little blighter decides that it isn't going down without a fight, be prepared for said tyre to smack you in the mouth (how this happened remains a mystery, I blame the idiot with the tyre lever).
3) Although he now runs his own business, Ad's time keeping maintains a general mistrust of accuracy
4) Ashton Court has the potential to give you a cracking day of riding, especially in glorious sunshine
5) If you buy Assos cream to protect your arse, use it.. the last two laps of the day practically reduced me to tears, I've never suffered from saddle sores before and I intend to never repeat the experience. When the race was finally done I could barely bend over to take my shoes off.
6) Applying cream to said red raw arse which says it heals should also only be done whilst biting down on a leather belt..
7) Although Ashton Court has the potential to give you a good days riding, the number of utter bell ends who are fully prepared to knock you into the undergrowth on their quest for 80th place was able to utterly ruin the day. Getting passed by a Racer Boy who was just tackling his 3rd lap when you're nearly finishing your 8th gets very tiring, very quickly. Maybe I should have been fitter, but we all experienced cockishness at some point of the day and I heard that this elbows out racing resulted in a few riders needing trips to A&E.. it's utterly pointless and enough to make up my mind to avoid mtb races again for quite a while
8) Riding with mates rocks
9) Riding bikes rocks, riding bikes round and round in circles doesn't however..
10) More bikers don't jump than do.. a small bmx jump bought from Argos and placed in the final straight before the transistion which was supposed to tempt very often got rode round rather than over.. in addition, a fair proportion who tried to 'grab some phat air' approached the final bend removed from their bikes and generally head first
* A relative term, my 'fit' is probably most peoples "By christ, I'm nearly dead, I really need to get off my arse and doing something"