The thrill of the chase

On October 22, 2012

I first started mountain biking back in 2006. A good friend put me on a bike and pushed me down the side of the Gondola in Queenstown, New Zealand. I hit every tree on the way down, and loved it. I quickly developed an appetite for mountain bike racing. With all the gear, but little idea, I began reading the excellent articles written by Matt Hart in Buy Sildenafil Singletrack magazine. I learned about training, nutrition and how to race. I was indulging my new found passion, deeper and deeper, guided every wheel turn by Matt Hart.

I read about Matt’s exploits as he raced allover. I never imagined that one day, we’d be pitted on the same row of the grid at a National event. It was this year, in the 4th round of the British Mountain Bike Series, at buy Cialis online Kirroughtree, near Dumfrees, Scotland. The start of the series was difficult for me. Having scored zero national points the season before, due a road traffic accident, I was pitted at the very back of the grid of 120 racers, for the first round of the series in Sherwood Pines. I finishing in 47th that day, just outside the points, but really enjoyed it. In the next two rounds, I worked hard to gain 26th in the mighty Dalby Forest, on a miserably wet weekend, and 30th in Hopton Woods on a wonderfully sunny day. I had moved up the start grid for Kirroughtree, with Matt Hart on the same row in 19, just a few lycra clad racers away from me.

My plan before the race was simple – improve on 26th and get in the top 20 for the first time in the series. That plan went out the window when I saw Matt in his shiny Torq get up. The new plan was even simpler than the first – beat Matt Hart! This plan lasted a minute after the start gun, as I watched Matt move away from me. I was unable to reel him back in. To be honest, I couldn’t see him for mud and midgies. That was the last I saw of Matt that day. I was quickly back to plan A, to finish in the top 20, which I did, just scraping home in 20th. I was delighted with that.

I hoped to do battle with Matt again in the final round of the series in Langdon Hills, Basildon. Alas, it wasn’t to be. My steely glare on Matt’s back, from a long way off, obviously got to him and he didn’t make the final round. Undoubtedly, Matt Hart is more energised than I, with his Torq sponsorship. He may be stronger than this half-arsed, 60kg Irish lightweight. None the less, in the series, Matt finished in 23rd position, and I ended up in in 27th. So at least on paper, it looks like I’m close to a rider who I’ve learned a lot from and admire. I suspect I’ll never catch Matt. But who cares, I’m really enjoying the thrill of the chase.

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