This one is a warning. Whilst at Sherwood I needed a cup of you know what, and a quick pee. Deciding to go up to the cafe on saturday instead of the burger van was a big mistake. I left my bike, an upgraded Boardman unattended on a bike stand with about 12 other bikes ranging between 50quid and 4grand in value. I got a brew, relieved myself and then had that sinking feeling. "I'm sure I left my bike just there".
After announcing it over the mic, letting most folk in the pits and car park know, and informing the police it became clear that my bike had been nicked and not picked up by accident. It also became clear that boardmans are common as muck. Trying to explain to the police how to distinguish between it and the next one is difficult. It was probably in the back of a van in Mansfield by then lets be honest. Now what? well worse things happen at sea.
1. My new bike (courtesy of Next Level bikes, castle douglas - a nice Ghost 29er has had delivery delayed and thank god that didn't get nicked). 2. MTBers are a generous bunch. I had several offers to borrow a bike (from people trying to find excuses not to race cos of a niggling cold! haha).
What next. Luckily I'm from that neck of the woods so I had a mate who kindly leant me his Litespeed Sewanee. This bike is titanium, full sus, and basically an upgrade for me. However, it has also been the source of much amusement for some of my more rad mates because the angles aren't slack enough and the head tube is massive. I received some texts reading 'if you want to ride a bike from the 21st century you can ride mine' and 'ahahaha, you've got to race that, you couldn't make it up!'. The ringleader for XC bike jipping is so rad that he was stood on the sidelines with his leg in a cast anyway. The joke was lost on me. Thankyou so much Adam for the bike. Apart from when I folded the front wheel under myself on lap 3 (it needs slacker angles damn it), and blowing up the shock, it did me proud. The Elite start of Sherwood is a hell of a place to get to know a bike. 34th place for me, up from 49th on grid. That will do nicely.
Second weekend, and I was on the blag again, still no Ghost. Back up north and sunburnt it was time for SXC round 1 on something similar to the course to be used for the nationals in June. Thankfully, Gareth was back from sunning himself and he leant me his GT Zaskar 29er with some fast wheels in. This again, was a big upgrade on the boardman. After a quick April fool from team GT that the entries had closed on Wednesday and a practice lap I was raring to go on a new strange bike. The course was really good fun. Fire road, steep rooty bits up and down, and fast trailcentre stuff. The start was frantic again, between the first 7 of us. It ended up being Dave and Gareth from GT and Rab Wardell from Alpine Bikes that got away. I was counting my breaths between us and I was only 4 breaths (probably about half a second at that pace) behind nearing the end of lap one. Then Gareth stood up and stomped it. I got dropped, spat all over my face and rode it home for 4th place. The last lap and a half I'd burped Gareths tyre and had to nurse it so as not to roll the tyre on the fast bends home. Rab did the same and lost 2nd place to Dave on the final lap so it was a GT 1st and 2nd. I got the GT training bike home for 4th.
If anyone would like to offer a guy who breaks, punctures and gets bikes nicked a job as a bike tester please get in touch. Otherwise fingers crossed the Ghost arrives for Dalby.
Adam, I hope the Sawanee get's a rad day out once the shock is fixed and Gareth, I migth need that bike again! Thanks so much guys!