Knog Muddy Hell Nightime CX race @ London’s Herne Hill Velodrome

Last Christmas may wife was very good to me and bought me a Singular Kite CX frame and fork, so it needed building up and riding hard. Over Christmas and into early January I built it and rode it with road wheels for a week or so to ‘test’ it. I then slapped a pair of cx tyres on it and decided to give it a go off road! Well, it’s a great bike for fire roads and gentle xc but when I took it down my favourite downhill run and hit some small doubles cleaning the down and landing to flat it dawned on me that I may have the wrong idea about what a cx bike can do. I scared myself to death on it! Time went by and road tyres back on for the Wednesday night chain gangs and before I know it summer has been and gone. I receive an invite to race Knog Muddy Hell, I’ve been asked down to this event for a few years but always declined as I’ve never had the correct tool for the job. This year however, I decided what the Hell there won’t be anything as scary as my local DH run!
Arriving in London to drizzle and 3°C I was having 2nd thoughts, a quick catch up with Casper the owner of Rollapaluza and race organiser I checked out the course. #%}{|€¥>; it had Woops, steep drops, big man made bridge and a tabletop jump! Ah well if the rain carries on the landing will be soft! Like a fool I entered the seniors race under instructions from a mate who races cx a fair bit, on reflection Novice seemed a little more suited to my cx skill set! I watched a few races before darkness fell, seniors were due off at 20:20 a good 2 hours after it was dark, it was now 1°C and wearing my BWR Europe uniform I emerged from the car freezing cold and thinking why am I doing this? Practise lap under way the course was a quagmire but so much fun, I even was starting to look forward to the race. Lining up at the start everyone who had bothered to do a warm up lap was plastered in mud, everyone was shivering though. And we’re off, crikey some of those boys are quick! I soon got into my rhythm and was keeping up with a group behind the leading pack, I hit the woops and cleared them all whilst the field in front and behind crashed or jumped off their bikes and took to their feet. After the woops came the wall ride, then the bridge, the bridge was so steep a dismount was needed. I remounted at the top and looked up to see a load of people with cameras waiting by the table top at the bottom to catch any poor sod who thought they could get air on a cx bike crashing. All sorts of thoughts were in my head, I’ve no idea what took over but I just launched myself off, down the bridge and into the air with a nice little cross up, landed sweet to a cheer. I was on cloud 9! Not sure what happened over the rest of the race because every lap I just wanted to get air! And every lap I managed it albeit the amount was getting smaller as I was getting fatigued. I was lapped by the winner twice during the 50minute ordeal race but none the less finished with a smile. There were a lot of riders that didn’t make the finish due to rear mechs wrapped around their wheels due to the excessive mud.
Not sure I’ll be a regular cx rider but I’ll be back to Muddy Hell next year for sure.

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2 Comments

Filed under Races

2 responses to “Knog Muddy Hell Nightime CX race @ London’s Herne Hill Velodrome

  1. Way to rock it Sheldon!🙂

  2. cfoe

    Great report Sheldon, thanks for posting this. A great race for sure and great job you did. I have a Kite myself, it’s so much fun!

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