Mud, mud, glorious mud

Seven Walkers CC riders competed in the Doonfoot Trofee cyclocross event at Rozelle Park on Sunday February 2nd. Organised by the Ayr Burners  cycling club, the event is part of the SCX Super Quaich series.

The Super Quaich is a series held in Scotland which differs from other cyclocross series in that riders are divided into an A and B race based on their lap times during the SCX main series races earlier in the season.  What this means is that there are no age or gender category races as such, with each race being a mix of categories. A VET 40-49, for example, could be in either the A or the B race depending on how well they had performed in the main SCX series. In comparison, in that main series, all VET40-49s would compete in the same race.

Sunday’s event was Round 3 in the current Super Quaich series.  And although it has been remarkably mild for the time of year, it had also been extremely wet in the run up to the event. Which meant, of course, mud.

Lots of mud!

Up first was the B Race which featured the club’s Chris Shields, Fiona Walker and John Lumley.  I would like to say that their race was run in decent February weather, and to an extent it was in that it was sunny and reasonably warm. But the mud was already making its presence felt and very few  made it past the first straight before their club colours became almost indistinguishable from their competitors.  I am not sure if visibility in the face of extreme mud had been part of past-Chaiman Fraser Bell’s plan when he changed the club’s colours from predominantly black to jaffa cake orange, but it certainly helped identify riders.

Chris Shields was first home for Walkers, coming in a creditable 13th  in what I am told was a very strong field.  He completed the maximum six laps in just on an hour – coming in six minutes after the winning rider.   Next home was John Lumley coming in in just on the hour mark after 5 laps.   Fiona  also finished  in just on the hour mark, having completed four laps in the allocated time.

The A Race saw a further four Walkers riders compete.   Brian Mccutcheon rode strongly, making it up slopes that lesser mortals had quailed at, and came home in under the hour having completed 5 laps.  Steve Cowan and Chris McAuley also made it round 5 laps in under the hour, just behind their club mate Brian.  David Hamilton had an unfortunate mechanical and struggled to get back to the pits where he had to call it a day.  He was far from alone in that and at least was able to consider that his bike was still one piece. This was not the case for one rider whose bike went home in two separate bags. Fortunately the rider was unhurt.

That the riders  managed to get round the course at all, especially after the downpour and hailstone shower towards the end of the race, is testament to their willpower and grit. Bemused members of public looked on aghast as riders sailed through puddles, prompting the comment from one auld biddie: “His mammy’s gonnie love daein’ his washin’ when he gets hame.”

Laundy and bike repair issues apart. the event was deemed a resounding success by the entrants and organisers alike. Even the army of photographers who seemed to lurking in every hedge and corner voted it the best way of getting soaked that they’d had for quite a while.

Well done to Ayr Burners for organising such a great event. It can only boost the already well-received opinion of cyclocross in the Ayrshire area.

The final round of the Super Quaich will be held at Rouken Glen Park on Sunday February 16th.

Brian comes down the first descent into the mudbath
Fiona negotiates a slippery off-camber section
An uphill battle skilfully executed by John
It’s that slope again. Chris S on the ascent
Steve on the off-camber section
And then came the rains …
David zigzags confidently down