It had rained overnight and was still pouring as I slithered the car into the quagmire that doubled as the carpark at Minley Manor. I wasn’t keen on even getting out of the car and was soaked before I reached the starting line. There is no ‘Masters’ category at Brass Monkeys so I was feeling old as I nudged my way into the huddle of soggy riders. The rescheduled race times didn’t really work from my point of view. Starting 15 minutes after the massive 200 strong 2 hour field, we were almost immediately upon the back markers. In such treacherous conditions many were really struggling and making your way through was complicated by the ruts and puddles which didn’t really offer many alternative lines.
Unusually for a 4hour race I had a race long duel with a couple of riders. We repeatedly swapped positions over the first few hours, taking turns to slip and slide ahead, occasionally even getting out of sight, but before long we’d end up back together. We started to shout comments to each other about the conditions, trying alternative lines and generally just falling over in the mud! It wasn’t until lap 4 that I made the decisive break and I don’t believe either of them were foolish enough to join me for lap 5!
In a strange masochistic type of way it was enjoyable. At the very least it was an experience and a race I’ll not forget. I added to my run of top ten finishes by slithering home in 8th.