Mike Simpson

Sunday Double Sunday

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The day started relaxingly enough, our B&B just outside Abergavenny had a bed ‘far too comfortable for everyday use’.The view out of the window was a picturesque fog covered mountain, oh for a lie in. But no it was race day again and I had to sit and watch Davina polish off a full breakfast as I was only able to consume cereals. A few hours later I would be busting a lung in a field, so bacon and saugage would have to wait for another day. I drove down the somewhat precarious hillside back to the main road and within a few minutes we were at the course.

After many regional races this was the first National League of the season, arriving nice and early I had plenty of time to ride the course. Although an enjoyable race, a poor start had me off the pace from the off and I had to settle for 9th in the end. With 2 bike changes and a ton of mud Davina finally had an eventful time in the pits! So by 11.30am I was done, I spent the rest of the morning in the car park leisurely cleaning my bike. Stripping and re greasing the cranks and bottom bracket is essential after all that mid race pressure cleaning. While at the van I overheard another rider saying: 'see you later, I’m off to Swindon’. My brain slowly started to work…Swindon…isn’t there a Wessex League in Swindon today. Hmmmmm. In a the space of a few minutes we went from a post race relaxing moment to a mad panic…. Lets go to Swindon and do that race. We had 85 minutes to go before the start and we were 80 miles west in Wales! We frantically loaded up the van. Then realised our power washer was still over by the pits the other side of the venue. We lugged it back and headed for the motorway.

By the time we got to the outskirts of Swindon we only had 15 minutes before the start. It was then that I realised we had no cash on us to enter and no time to stop at a cash machine. As we entered the car park, a club mate saw us 'that's cutting it fine!' Right now for some sweet talking. I run up to the entry desk. 'Can I still enter?' 'Just' the kind lady said. 'Great, but the trouble is I don't have any money', she laughs and we strike up a deal. Now I've 5 minutes til kick off. Luckily I remembered to eat and drink loads in the van on the way. So it was back into wet and muddy kit and on the start line. Up into 4th by the first turn and 2nd by the first mile, I was feeling shot but relaxed. I know the course as I'd ridden a few mid week races here recently. Happy with 2nd the last lap was great fun. Now to a cash point to pay my way. Next problem....I appear to have lost my wallet. I ask another club mate but he barely has enough for a cup of tea. I go back to the desk to ask if anyone had handed in a wallet and break the news to her that I still didn't have any money. As I approached I saw my wallet on the desk. She laughs 'it was found in the car park.......but there's no money in it, I've checked'. We strike up a revised deal. My prize money is £25 and I owe £15, so she hands me £10, woo hoo it's off for tea and cake (and we'll worry about any possible speeding fine later).

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