Monday, 9 March 2009

Knock Hill Mountain TT

Knockhill MTT 2009 035
Knockhill MTT 2009 009

Sunday's snow and wind had a dramatic effect on the hilly time trail organised by Dunfermline CC. At 10am over in Whitburn the snow had blocked the roads so Sadiq couldn't make it to the start. Many West coast riders had similar problems.
In Linlithgow the weather wasn't as extreme so I made my way to the event HQ in Saline, Fife. A white topped Knock Hill loomed over the town, adding a sense of foreboding to the race. The weather deteriorated as the 1pm start approached, snow fell, the temperature dropped to 2C and the wind picked up.
A few riders put their numbers on, stepped outside, felt the chill air through their Lycra and handed their numbers back in! But Grant, in his first open event, and myself were determined to ride, how we laughed at conditions, shivering with the marshals on the Start line.
Most competitors were on road bikes, some with clip on tri-bars, there were a few riders using disc wheels on a day when even deep section rims would make riding tricky.
The Route begins with a climb through Saline on the B914 and then descends to a left turn at Red Craigs Toll. This first portion was wind assisted and I spotted speeds of 40mph on my speedo. 10 minutes into the race, snow had collected on my shoulders and my feet were sodden.
On the hilly A823 to the Powmill turn, the snow picked up and turned to hail in places. The side wind gusted from the West numbed my feet and I lost any feeling down the left hand side of my body, my face locked in a silent scream.
From the Powmill junction we raced into a block headwind, I regained some feeling down my side and I could now change my facial expression but I still couldn't feel my toes. The terrain was really uneven, I was either riding up at 15mph or down at 35mph.
Thankfully at the Gartorry RAB, my ride was once again wind assisted to Comrie, over an undulating but, fast, smooth road. I was caught out by the turn at Comrie and my legs started to fail me over the sharp climbs on the last leg to the finish.
What an race! I've only ever ridden once in weather worse than this and never raced in these conditions before. The Dunfermline CC hosted a superb event and the marshals should be commended for their sprit in the face of adversity. The food afterwards in the HQ was a welcome treat! We scoffed Scones, Cake, sandwiches, sausage rolls and tea-cake with lashings of tea and coffee. Well done to the organiser, Michael Summers, many thanks for a brilliant event - I'll be back
Every competitor was given a prize courtesy of and
There were 37 starters on, 2 DNF and around 23 DNS
Winner - Ben Abrahams (Velo Ecosse) in 01.04.51.
Matt - 11th in 01.11.35
Grant - 32nd in 01.30.53



richara3 said...

Hey Grant Looks like your ' race face ' needs work......

grantus said...


Just a bit! Not the best, is it?!