It's always good to try new things, been getting fitter and faster all year, so decided to give an XC Laps race a try. The closest to home being those held by pedalon SouthernXC, so I signed up for Round 3 in Wasing and did a little bit of training, the weekend before I thought I'd pop over to Swinley for a couple of laps of Blue and one of Red. However my free hub failed and due to some "issues" with getting a new one I missed the race, really disappointed. So on to Bordon. I had no idea what to expect so got there early, asked some questions a sign in and went to the start to watch a couple of starts. A couple of Cats lined up and went, then the Beginners Cat ... all four or five of them, and away they went. Time to head back to the car and ready up. Getting ready didn't take long, put wheel on bike, put shoes on feet, put helmet and gloves on. Drink some more energy drink and have a banana. I look over and there's a slowly increasing group of racers burning round and round in a circle in the large military car park. 10 minutes before the race and nearly all the Bets, Grand Vets and Super Vets are flying round and huge circle, the noise of the 100+ mountain bike tyres on tarmac similar to a swarm of bees. I'm in the Open Male Cat which is last off the start behind three Cats of Vets. The horn sounds and we speed off followed by a mass jostle as we all filter in to the mostly single rack course. The first lap is hard, I should have taken lesson from the Vets and warmed up, its also frustrating; There's slower riders in front, faster riders behind and somewhere in the middle I'm riding near flat out whilst courteously overtaking and trying to give way to over takers. In to the second lap and the riders have thinned out and its easier to get a steady pace of sorts, a steady near flat out mostly out the saddle pace, I didn't have much else to give and was cooking up a treat. The still humid air in the woods does a great job of suppressing the bodies ability to cool down. In to the third lap and it much the same as the second, half way round I see another chap a way a head so push to catch him up, which I do as we enter the last corner before the finish only to hear a shout from behind and then to be promptly lapped by some Veterans only a few hundred yards from the finish. Not that they were stopping ... they still had another two laps to finish as quite an incredible pace! Finished 24th of 45 in Open Catagory, over 10 minutes behind 1st :/ Fun course, really tight, lots of mud which made things twitchy, loads of wet roots, short evil climbs, tough B-Lines and ballsy A-Lines. Hard great a great time in a sadomasochistic kinda way Instagram Link Getting a knee down at the top of the first climb up a steep embankment... Cus someone bailed at the top in front of me, Doh! The only off of the day despite slippery slidy mud. Instagram Link Out the saddle! Instagram Link And again, picking rooty lines up the climbs! Instagram Link Instagram Link Not the ideal bike for this kinda racing... Yelli Screamy popping wheelies ... gotta have fun!