Thursday, 7 January 2010
The National Champs are postponed until the beginning of Feb which, actually suits me just fine. My first week after returning from a ski trip heralded the onset of my first cold of the year, right before the Nationals. In fact my own experience of organising in similar weather conditions was enough to put me off bikes altogether over the festive period!
The organisers of this weekend's ill-fated event have my utmost sympathies. The photo you see, is what greeted us when we (I say 'we' -it's funny how quickly people disappear into the woodwork when you take them up on their offer of help)that's Damo from Mule Bar and I vaulted the locked gates of our venue the day before the race. About 6" of snow covering the entire course! I was genuinely gutted at the prospect of not taking part in the one/first snowy race of the year.
Overnight however, it sleeted, then froze... What greeted us the next morning was an altogether different picture. A massive icerink. My action-plan, listng who was responsible for what and how the day was going to pan out went entirely out of the window as everyone on site was conscripted and put on ice-detail.
Parents, riders, supporters and event helpers took what they could and tried their best to break up the ice, thaw out sections and dig the run-ups. The Chief Commissaire and I modified the course as best as possible, though there was always going to be an inherent level of risk.
The start of the main event was delayed by 15mins to allow the course as long as possible to soften. Some people fell off, but no more than you would expect and fortunately no one was hurt. Only two people threw their toys at me, so we'll see what happens if they ever try and organise an event.
It takes an enormous amount of hard work to organise a day of racing, both before and after the event, let alone on the day itself. I know how I felt when we thought we might have to cancel the event, so to have to postpone the Nationals 3 days beforehand must be gutting. Especially given the task of having to re-organise!
Fortunately it gives me the time to re-group and get myself ready for Feb.