I have no doubt that with our appalling business approach we would be laughed out of Dragons' Den, given that we are probably the only race organiser who prefers to have less people at our races. After our record entry at Woodbury, the bank manager was smiling but we were left slightly uneasy as we hadn't been able to spend the day swanning around and chatting. But we were safe in the knowledge that the next round would be in the darkest depths of Cornwall, only the hardy few would show and we could resume our general perambulating and air of 'hail fellow, well met'.
For a while there I thought I had landed in the Truman Show. Every walker I bumped in to the day before, in a haze of stakes, tape and expletives, not only stopped for a cheery chat but often a high five or a group hug. Even the dogs were smiling. There was none of the usual 'hilarious' tampering with course markings and at night we were sung a lullaby by a particularly melodic owl.
And what a day? The sun shone, the tyres exploded, and just about every conversation I had with riders started with the words "you don't, by any chance have a…" We're thinking of sending out mandatory kit lists so that I get to go home without losing all my tubes and canisters to the unprepared! Bike - check, tubes - check, chocolate brownie for the organiser - check.
It wouldn't be a Fully Sussed race without a disaster of some form or other. This time it was our aging generator that pulled a moody, sending out only a trickle of juice, probably in protest at the crippling price of petrol. So we apologise for the lack of awful music and dodgy commentary and promise to make amends at Newnham Park. Might have two PAs set up at each end of the course to assail you with show tunes and power ballads.
If I was to have my time again, I'd choose to be in the gang of riders in the youth and juveniles at the Fully Sussed series. The start line looked like the most fun in the world, ever. After a morning of timed skills trials, their cumulative time determined their handicap for the staggered start in the XC race. Instead of the usual thousand yard stares, furrowed brows and faint smell of nervous urine; their start line looked like an episode of The Monkees. Bit too much joshing in my opinion, a situation that will be remedied by me playing that God-awful heartbeat soundtrack they played at the Nationals last year. Instant morale damper. After a day of combat, it was the Power of Sowden that triumphed in the Youth Category and newcomer Kris Caines in the juvenile, even overcoming the might of Juggernaut Joe Barker. When we finally left the venue, many hours later, the Sowden family were still going round, testament to what a good course it was.
Only time will tell about the lasting effects of inhaling poisoned dust, but luckily no-one fell in the toxic pond, only Dave Poole decided to eat dirt and it'll probably do him the power of good.
Grateful thanks to our sponsors, the local council for allowing us to use the condemned land, and whoever is putting happy pills in the local water supply - it's working a treat.
Plenty of views from the pack to follow, including one from the Clay Family - not a country and western band but an integral part of Team Fully Sussed.
Results are at www.fullysussed.co.uk and there will soon be a link to the wonderful Snapper Chick's photos.
May 13th sees us return to Newnham Park for the South West Champs. If you fancy a review of elements of last year's Nationals course, plus a preview of the 24-12 course, Newnham will be the place to be.