Another CX race complete

Sunday was the fantastic Peak RC’s Cyclocross race in Sheffield at the Outdoor Activity Centre.  I mean that Peak RC is  fantastic and their race is also equally great, of course.

I was hoping to be riding on my newly acquired FMB Super Mud tyres but unfortunately my glue had gone off so I wasn’t able to get them on in time.  Instead, I was riding with some cheap-as-chips Continental Twisters which were surprisingly grippy in the testing terrain.  This new found grip did not stop me thinking I was going to die every time I went down hill or came across some mud but they were a lot better than the Schwalbe Racing Ralph tyres I have been using.  The Schwalbies are fine for general purpose but, for me, no good in the mud.  They simply don’t clear themselves.

I succumbed to peer pressure and entered the Senior race as an MV45.  This gave me 1 hour in the saddle which was, I thought, better value for money than the 40 mins for the vets.  It was hard but massively enjoyable despite the freezing cold, the slippery conditions and my lousy CX technique.  Still, it’s another race in the bag and great experience.

I’m still waiting for the official results to be corrected.  They put me 98th position but I actually came 70.  The results are here.

I am really grateful to Sam Taylor for this photograph.  It seems to really capture the day for me.

Peak RC cx 1

After 6 years of learning I have finally graduated

Thanks to the support and quality of the Open University I am now a graduate.  Not only does this qualify me for pretty much every job I’ve had in the last 20 years it also crowns the achievement of taking on the challenge in the first place.  It’s been a long, arduous and challenging journey but it has also been extremely rewarding.  The day was really special to share with Delia (my wife) and my parents, who probably never thought they would see me graduate.  It was made even more special by Martin Bean being present for the graduation ceremony.  Martin and I were closely involved in building the relationship between the Open University and Microsoft and it was partly because of this work and his inspiration that made me think this is something I should do.  It was a complete coincidence that Martin was being presented with an award by the OU on the same day as me.  It was fantastic to catch up with him and shake his had on the stage.

Here is my graduation photo as I met the Pro Chancellor.