After marshalling last year at the first TweedLove LoveCross event, the opportunity to take part this year was too enticing to pass up. I missed the solo entry but was able to get a ride as a last minute stand in for the pairs race. An Edinburgh based lawyer, Anthony had his partner cancel on him at last minute and he very kindly let me join him as his race partner for the night.
LoveCross is described as, “an exhilarating, fun packed, roaring, urban cyclocross inspired event based in the heart of Peebles, Love Cross is a non-stop, action packed, open to all, battle for the podium. Riders can face the course on any type of bike, each having its own advantages and shortfalls.”
The course followed a weaving path in around Peebles High Street. It featured many exciting obstacles and challenges. I chose to ride my Kona Kahuna DDL mountain bike as I felt it would be the perfect blend of speed and agility for the difficult course. Most of the other riders went with CycloCross bikes, as did my team mate Anthony so both types of bike could be fast. But given my limited Cyclocross experience (read none) I went with what I knew and that was the mountain bike.
The event was a 30 minute race plus one lap race. As a pair we did alternate laps to allow recovery between each lap. Anthony was rider “a” and I was rider “b” which meant he would take part in the “Le Mans” style start. Anthony sprinted as fast as his MTB shoes would allow and got us a good start until his chain decided to try and derail itself pushing us back the order slightly. He came around after his first lap to tap me into the race. I set off behind the leader and was able to get past before the first corner owing to my ability to ride over the tyre section of the course and not needing to dismount. I pushed really hard on my first lap, perhaps a little too hard. I barely sat down and sprinted everywhere I could. I gave us the lead and Anthony did well to maintain it.
We stretched our lead throughout the race, despite my ever depleting energy stores. The course suited me with short, punchy efforts and technical features. It was great to hear all the kids shouting my name as I went past. We were able to take the win fairly conformably so the day was a success. For me though I was just happy to be involved in some way in a great event. I had loads of fun and must thank Anthony for letting me step in last minute.
This event is another great example of how great TweedLove and the TweedValley is. Where else do you know that shuts down the main street for bike racing? This event was more about the taking part than anything and putting on a show for all the people and spectators who lined the streets.
Thank you to the whole TweedLove team for putting on another fantastic show, congratulations to all the brilliantly talented riders who tackled the course and thanks to everyone who came out to support the racers. Good times!
Till next time