I had last week off to get over the fallout from the now famous hepatitis creek. I felt a lot better by the end of the week, so I packed my bags and made ready for the trip to Melbourne for part two of my cyclocross tour of Australia.
When I left Brisbane there were 26 degree days - shorts and thongs weather. Melbourne was a lot colder then I expected. I could go on about freezing at DISC and how a hot water bottle saved me from hypothermia, but this blog is about cyclocross so let's get into it.
The Dirty Deeds crew know how to put on a cross race and this round of DDCX was no ordinary affair, it was a Rapha Supercross. In usual Rapha style they got their epic on. The course was sprayed with pink and black barrier tape and some huge pink flags in the middle of the track. I did hear someone mention that it looked like a quidditch field - an epic quidditch field.
I entered myself in B grade along with our QLD Cyclocross State Championship organiser, Scott Kirton. That's right 2 Queenslanders representing!!! The field was quick and finding the right lines in the muddy center was constant trial and error. On the back section there was a steep off camber decent that required some delicate brake work to navigate upright. Riding up the adjacent climb was just as technical, I opted to run it every time. Then it was a fast lap around the outside and back into velodrome to start the next lap.
There were so many nice bikes to perv on, I did catch myself a few times mid race admiring passing cross machines instead of watching my line. I have to give Nick two big thumbs up for the course layout, it was a hit with races and spectators alike.
After my race I got a chance to watch the A grade men ride. It was a fast race with some highly skilled riders putting on a great show. The lower skilled rides also put on a good show, rolling down the run up and binning it on the path, much to the crowds appreciation. I have been a Lewis Rattray fan ever since I heard about him racing in the CX world championships earlier this year, I got a pretty good picture of him too.
Things I didn't know about Melbourne. Everyone sleeps in, everyone is vegan, everyone likes cats, everyone has a beard, everyone wears black, everyone rides a bike and everyone loves cyclocross (except councils, but we all knew that). Melbourne mud is also very polite, sure it is everywhere, and it goes all over your bike, but once it's had enough it just falls off. Even the stubborn bits just flick off, no chisel needed.
I have to put the biggest thanks of the weekend out to my hosts Andrew and Kate. Without the invitation to attend and an offer of lodging I would have never made it. Plus, Andrew did two airport runs which I can never say thank you enough for.
Next on the list is getting everything sorted for the Balmoral Mudsters Cyclocross race, organised by yours truly.