We all know that there’s a small element in racing who’ll do anything in racing to get a win. Even if that means racing a category well below your actual level. We went to ‘out’ the fun class pot hunters this weekend, and they couldn’t have played into our hooves better.
Ripon Rowels Rotary Club Lightwater Laike Mountain Bike Trial has been running for ten years as your typical end of season ‘everyone turns up to have a laugh’ event. For a charity race it’s a good course too, super twisty narrow switchback singletrack to start, long drags to sort the field out, some sizeable, loose up/downhills in a quarry and some more technical up/down stuff under the roller coaster in the theme park.
Somehow we found ourselves volunteered onto a tandem and by 12.30 the night before we finished preparations and Team Two Cow Moo Cow was born.
Unlike most races there’s a “time trial” in the morning and our first lap was the utter shambles you’d expect from a fancy dress tandem with a novice arse end and a rusty head end. Still, at least we amused the spectators.
Then we found out that the leaders of our ‘FUN’ class clocked sub 30 minute laps which would have put them way up in Sports class – we’d found our ringers, but didn’t think we could do much about it.
Imagine our surprise (and that of the thinly disguised Sports cat riders) when we managed to lead out the start and holeshot the singletrack, somehow stay upright through the twisty singletrack maze and still be leading at the far side. Imagine our indignation when one of our upset ringers puts us into the next hedge on a gravel corner (not a good surface for tandems) tearing off our marigold udders in the process.
Udders or no udders we slaughtered ourselves for the next 30 minutes and despite several near death moments, losing our tail end in the rear wheel and nearly choking on our cow capes in the final furlong, we somehow stampeded to victory with a chorus of surprised but jubilant moo-ing.
The indignant ‘no-fun-class’ entrants couldn’t do anything about us on their bikes, despite being only a few hundred yards behind most of the race, so they nobbled us in the most outrageous piece of cattle rustling we’ve ever seen. They complained to the organisers that with two people aboard our tandem we were bound to be faster and therefore shouldn’t be eligible for prizes. Anyone who’s ridden a tandem off-road will confirm this is utter rubbish.
There was a fair bit of grumbling from spectators and other racers at the time but to be honest were, and still are, delighted. The daft buggers couldn’t have made themselves look more pathetic. They have shown up the element that really leaves a bad taste in your mouth at races in the best way possible. Is it a wonder people are giving up racing when even at the most grass roots level there is behaviour like this?
Anyway big thanks to Neil for his superb stoking, big thanks to Sarah for essential hide, hoof and tail knotting work, big thanks to More Gears Than Sense for the tandem loan, big thanks to everyone who moo-ed their support and big thanks to Ripon Rowels for another cracking event and the two mugs we got as a ‘special category’ consolation prize.
Finally, congratulations to Christian Haw (?) who ‘won’ because a pantomime cow was taken off the results sheet for the sake of a Fun class plastic shield.
We hope your ‘victory’ doesn’t echo too much 😉
For those in God’s own county, check out page 8 of the Yorkshire Post.