Your XC race

Basildon Essex
@Drago the trick is findng a decent coach who does not charge a fortune and is "interested" in you. I live in the South east where they can charge 100 per hour for individual attention. I have tried 2 different coaches and found they werent really interested in helping a "has been/never was" at all and just taking my money. They both coached youngsters for nowt , more glory for them!. I also found this with a swimming coach when I tried triathlon, after going along to group lessons for 2 months he pointed out something I was doing wrong and said I had always done it, why didnt he tell me 2 months ago! ( too busy with his "pets") . One of the guys I used to regularly ride with was a "race coach" and he never gave sod all away for nowt and the best I got out of him was follow my lines . ( which actually was quite useful) . I am sure there are some coaches out there interested in old farts but I am yet to find one.


Flouncing Nobber
Hundred quid an hour?! I charge that per delegate per day, and don't charge at all for Search and Rescue personnel. Having said that, I do it for the satisfaction and have never attempted to make a living from it.

OK, I'm not a specialist sport MTB trainer (I also do advanced road - not race - skills, defensive tactics for riders, first aid, basic fitness and nutrition, basic maintenance, etc) but even so, a hundred quid an hour is eye watering.

I guess it's a big wide world out there and I occupy just a tiny corner of it - seems I could steal someone's lunch and still make a profit if I weren't so elederly and broken. And could be bothered.
Basildon Essex
Today was the first round of the Travers MTB series and it had attracted more riders than the club champs last week, 61 had entered the 16+. I had been upgraded from League 2 to 1 from my result last week. . 3 waves on the day. elite, League 1 and league 2 seperated by 1 min at the start.
I had outdone myself last week and all week my Garmin was telling me I was in crap condition.
On the practice lap my heart sank, my garmin telling me I was 4 points below base performance.

The course was nearly identical to last weeks but in reverse without the log jump. Meaning the start was a horrible rutted uphill, right turn through the wood and finish line with hardly any bends through the woods then out onto a straight 400m+ then into the twisties finished off at the finish by a shortish uphill with the finish strangely on a right hand bend. This meant you could go max effort off the start for over 2 minutes. Normally my 2 minute effort w/kg is quite good in comparison to most over 50's , however this race was all ages.
Anyway24 in my league, I had a bloody good start by the end of the 400m going into the twisties I was 5th however there was a fly in the ointment, some chunky guy who for some unknown reason had been put in the elites was caught and overtaken by the first 4 but I got stuck behind him into the twisties.
He was slow in the twisties but was not being a gentleman and getting out of the way. ( he was perfectly entitled to keep his line and not give me a inch) So I ended up with a queue behind me waiting to get around chunky. The front of the race was disapearing.
Now I was a little miffed with this and was determined that at the first tiniest opportunity I was going through whether he liked it or not. I soon got my opportunity on a small uphill ,shouted a warning, on your right and just forced my way through( without making contact) . No one else got through and I made a supreme effort to get to the leading 4.
Well I arrived at the rear wheel of the 4 in bits, I had overdone it, heart rate through the roof and no respite to get it down. I just had to let go or I knew I would be in physical trouble later. I cooled it a bit and tried to get my heart rate down, it wouldnt!. Then a group of 4 who had got past chunky, started to hunt me down. I had sod all in the tank and just had to let them go past. I tried to jump on the tail but nowt happening.

Then onto lap 2 I carried on losing places and my heat rate started to come down at last and I started back into a rhythm.Towards the end of the lap I was joined by a rather large powerful looking chap on a CX bike ( probably in his fifties as well) who got passed me but I then decided to draw my line in the sand, nothing was getting past now! and I was going to hold onto Mr CX to the finish!
Into lap 3 and Mr CX was inching away from me and I got caught by a further 2 people who got past despite my mental line in the sand, they also got past Mr CX, however Mr CX was still attainable.
Going into lap 4 me and Mr CX were yoyoing . I was praying for a last lap bell ,then towards the end of the 4th 2 elites went past then a couple more and hurrah the bell went. Mr CX was 20yds in front.
Last Lap I needed to get on his tail by the long 400m or all was lost. I went sod it to the heart rate and got my skates on. Timed it to perfection and was on his tail at the begininng of the 400m and he towed me to the twisties. My plan was to sit on him the whole last lap until the uphill finishing bit and try my chances at a sprint hoping the significant weight difference would be in my favour. Well this plan was working fine until a lapping rider asked to go past, I moved left not seeing a branch which hit my bars which steered me straight into a tree, I hit it hard, my bike low sided and I went across the top of a bar end putting a 8 inch scrape across my stomach , I somersaulted and got back on the bike, I had lost only 5 seconds but had lost the race with Mr CX. However towards the end of the lap, I lapped the supposed Elite Mr Chunkie and spied another guy in my league on his uppers. Then 200m from the finish a lapping rider overtook me and the guy on his uppers, he then assumed I was a lapping rider as well and nearly stopped to let me through.
Well I didnt totally disgrace my league one promotion and came 16/24 in league 1.
Strange how your mind works, i most have been concentrating on MR CX so much as looking at the results it would seem I got lapped by 11 elite riders and 6 league 1's. I lapped 2 elites , 4 league 1's and a further league 1person twice! and lapped 11 league 2's. I didnt think that many people lapped me and I certainly cant remember overtaking 18 people towards the end of the race, I would have said 2 or 3 at most!
No doubt tomorrow my stomach and ribs will be telling me off. With 2 weeks of re-couperation before the next one I hope to feel in better fettle for it.
Sorry it was a long post and no photos, I was thinking of posting a photo of my injuries but then remembered no one wants to see a slightly overweight old mans hairy gut, there may be children watching!


Active Member
South of hades
Wow,I thought racing mountain bikes went out of fashion circa late 90s. when I was a younger man we did it on non suspension bikes,then hardtails, eventually fully suspended bikes arrived. Nice to see racing is still a thing.
Basildon Essex
I have always been aware of both road crit and proper road racing and XC and CX.
In the eastern region I found XC and CX more accessible for a middle aged not ultra serious racer, as age based whereas road being Category based. Racing road with the LVRC aged based ( League of veteran racing cyclists) if you are a normal bod off the street can be like being thrown to the lions, I always considered a race with them where I did not come last a triumph.
Racing 4th Cat in a BC crit was quite often a case of will I finish before some prat crashes and takes me out, I hate road rash!. I have also done TLI crits ( 3 ability based categories where you pick your own category and quite non serious despite their website saying its age related) locally but that can get boring as its only on a pan flat airfield midweek evenings but quite a large good natured turnout . ( apart from the time 2 peanuts took against my daughter racing, she was the only female in the race and one tried "leaning on her" in bends nearly sending her off the circuit several times, he found a angry Dad was best avoided! and did not turn up again)
XC and CX here have very big fields of middle aged people competing, in CX usually 80 or so over 50s, in XC I have known 150 over 50's turn up. In the middle of the pack where I race always good natured and friendly.
In XC there is always a problem for the organisers, the faster better end always want more difficult technical sections, old boys like me and less experienced dont want to go flying off 6 ft drops etc when I started XC about 15 years ago the courses looked like CX ones and if you could ride a rutted field you were ok, then they got more and more technical putting newbies off ie racing around the hadleigh olympic course. I gave up XC 2 years ago when my team mate a year older than me broke a bone every year for 3 years and I started shying away from A lines.
with the outbreak of COVID they have dumbed the courses down again to stop trips to the hospital so I started again. Its a shame both the local and regional main race organisers have gone from age to ability based ( so away from BC) but apparently thats what people want and BC charge too much for their stamp of approval etc.


Wow this has got me thinking. Not raced XC for years - in fact the last one I did was the Malvern Hills Classic in about 1992/93 (someone was stabbed to death in a tent that year). Also used to regularly do the Thetford Forest series. I’d have to seriously step up my training to do it now but it has given me an interest to have a go....
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