My second race of the 2022 cyclocross season was presented by the Juventus Cycling Club at the Argyll Velodrome. Not in the velodrome itself, but the park surrounding it. When I was looking at the map in the preceding days I wasn’t sure where the ups and downs and how it would work as a course. There was a toboggan hill. Were we going to have to up that? Down it?

On the morning of the race I got there early enough for my preride to get a sense of things, but it was still very confusing what was going on between the tape, especially in a bunch of the back and forths.1 It was better in the race itself.

The course had one set of stairs and a really steep climb in the dirt that on the first lap I couldn’t ride but later managed. What torpedoed my race was a really steep dirt descent in mud and roots that felt really dangerous. Because of that lack of confidence, even though I rode it once at race pace I ended up following the 11-year-old kid2 who was running down it all race. I probably could have pulled away if I had ridden but I didn’t feel confident enough descending clipped in.3

Throughout the race I was hovering around 9th or 10th, having gotten stuck way behind the main group of riders due to my terrible descending. By the third lap I was so tired I clipped my pedal on the ground and wiped out on an off-camber bit3 just after the pit. I managed to pull through and followed the kid I’d been riding with all race across the line. Some of the guys I’d seen at Tubs on Tubs were at the finish and I made some comment about hoping there was a prize for being beaten by an 11-year-old.

In the end this turned out to be my best placing of the 2022 season4, but it wasn’t my favourite race. That would come a couple of weeks later.


  1. It turns out that some pedestrians on the walking trails had removed a bunch of the tape between the previous night’s setup and the preride. ↩︎

  2. On lap 2 or so, I saw the kid’s mom taking pictures and I gasped out that he was really good. ↩︎

  3. At the time I thought this descent was crazy. Now, having watched real cyclocross at speed I realize how tame it was, and how much I need to work on my skills. ↩︎ ↩︎

  4. When I later got the ABA results loaded into crossresults my score for this - my only top-10 finish in a race - was my worst of my CX career thus far. ↩︎