Monday, 23 November 2009

Penshurst Off Road Club

Biblical weather on the drive down to Penshurst delayed my arrival as my little car aquaplaned (when it wasn't at a standstill) it's way down the roads. Massive queues at sign-on left me with time enough just to get numbered up, on my bike and ride up to the start...

Penshurst Off Road Club is, as the name suggests, a MTB venue with the emphasis on downhill/freeride. The 'cross' course runs off down one of the descents, wends it's way up and down a bit and then comes back up another downhill. If Andy's blog is to be believed then this is actually closer to an original cross course than we have grown used to.

On the plus side, a nice pic from John M of

Lining up for my first race in new Rapha Condor kit, I felt pretty good and as we rolled away from the start I slotted into 3rd place. Laziness has meant that I haven't been stretching as much as I should do of late, which for an old cripple like me is critical -especially when it comes to trying to race unwarmed-up!
I tried my hardest to try my hardest while staying out of the red, but the relative low-speed mud-work made this nigh-on impossible. Mountain bikers had a whale of a time while I got progressively down-hearted, cold, bored and fed up! At one point coming to a complete standstill at the bottom of the climb, only to be forced into riding again by a push -thanks Alex.

Managed to summon the willpower to roll round the final lap with enough pace to ride away from people threatening to put me into the teens but for the second week running, left for home wishing I'd just stayed in bed!


  1. You had the look of a man who'd had enough at that point. I had to push you because if you'd given up I would have as well. I seriously contemplated rolling to the top and waiting for the leaders to finish, then crossing the line and going straight to the bike wash.

    I think I wanted to give up half a dozen times. In fact, every time I ground to a halt in the mud or had to stop due to going beyond the top of my red zone.

    I got really frustrated with my inability to get the bike to turn in the mud which wasted so much time as I ran wide or off course countless times. On the way back I wondered if it wasn't a course for 35mm tyres or similar old-fashioned balloon type ones.

    That said I prefer that sort of course with a decent amount of mud to the parkland ones. Interested to see what Hog Hill has to offer this weekend.

  2. Little known factoid. I was Kent Downhill Champ, took the title at Penshurst. Ha ha ha! (Still got the jersey) And I agree with Alex re courses. Bring on the skills.