How it feels during an xc race.

Home Forum Bike Forum How it feels during an xc race.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • How it feels during an xc race.
  • A few posts on the saddle height thread highlighted how different normal riding feels compared to an xc race.

    Thought it’d be fun to list a few experiences:

    This weekend’s Gorrick race: halfway through the race I thought one of my grips had split as I could quite clearly feel a gap where they had broken, only to finally work out that actually my middle finger was numb giving me the errant sensation. I also completely lost my back brake early on (poor maintenance) and had to adjust to this whilst maintaining my pace.

    Previous race gave up trying to operate a pop-loc button as the coordination necessary to achieve this simple task was lacking.

    Hurtling down a hill at 30mph on a night race on the South Downs, I had black spots right in the middle of my vision and could barely see a thing (was really pushing it this race!)

    Simply getting a bottle to your mouth and drinking without coughing it all up can sometimes be an almost impossible task.

    I’m sure there are many more but that will do for now. It’s what I love about short duration xc races; you get the chance to take it right to the ragged edge and see how long you can survive there. Loosing 5 seconds in an hour and a half can drop you a couple of places, so you will do anything to minimise time losses, including taking some chances on the techy bits (which feel magic when you pull them off). I usually start wishing I could stop during the second lap but then by the end and afterwards feel magnificent.

    Anyone else want to share?


    Tyre pressures, always a moot point but finding a happy medium between fast, light, grip and bounce as opposed to squdge, wobble, suck and roll.. the latter often feels like your legs have dropped off.


    Very impressive rollingdonut that you only think about quitting o lap 2…I usually just want my mummy on lap 1!

    The thought process/feeling in my races are typically this.

    Start-60 secs: “this doesn’t seem too bad”

    60-120secs: (Activate negative thought process immediately)…. “F*^K!!!!…..,F*@K!!!!!!!!….WTF!!!!!………….”I don’t think anyone else feels like this” …….“theres something wrong with me”…”wait for me”…….Mummy!!!!!!!!

    120secs-5mins: “Right….Im stopping,…….this is pointless,……..what am I doing here…….it would be fun they said……..Im definitely stopping…..Agghhh,look at my heart rate!!!!…….Aggghh is that sulphuric acid in my legs?………..this cant be good for me!……..Im stopping!!!…………hopefully Ill get a mechanical!!……..please god let me puncture!!……Are these chest pains normal??……..Im stopping!…….I wonder how much I could get for this bike?…..I think I can taste blood…..Im stopping

    5mins-End of Lap 1:most of the above plus “Ill let those guys go on ahead and then catch them up later…no point in blowing myself up”…..Sh*t….another 4 laps??????…… chance….why am I doing this?……….Im stopping!!

    Laps 2-5: “Im definitely doing a lot more training for next time”….Sh*t… he lapping me?…. tosser!!!!!…..where is everyone??….”I could go a bit faster,but Ill not…Ill save myself for….the next race/the last lap/training tomorrow/anything (if it gets me out of trying harder)

    Last Lap: “Right lets bury ourselves for one big last effort (ie:pedal round at the same pace you’ve been going for the last 5 laps)

    Finish: “Thank F*@k that’s over….I feel sick”

    10 mins post finish: That’s was brilliant!!….although I could have gone faster……why didnt I go faster?…..whens the next one?……


    By the way,Im reliably informed that it’s the same for everyone

    Premier Icon kcal
    Premier Icon bigdean

    That sounds like some of the group rides i’ve been on.

    Nailed it Bigbang! 😆 😆 😆


    After a break for the last few years I’ve been thinking of doing some more racing.
    Now maybe I’m odd but what’s above is what’s missing from my riding and I need it

    Nothing beats the burning all over as you refuse to get past by anyone


    Orangeboy,you’re not odd.I know I’m probably not doing a great job selling the sport to any newbies,but there’s nothing I enjoy more than an XC beasting.No amount of effort in training can make you feel like this.Cos when it does you just stop.But stopping isn’t really an option in a race.


    Your right about the effort and training.
    One of our ride group used to race the same events as me
    During normal rides he’s often beat me to the top

    On race day he was mine every time

    Premier Icon Kryton57

    So accurate Big Bang! *is relieved is not just me*


    I’ve only done endurance events as part of a team, so basically a lap on and a lap off. Similar experience all the same, along the lines of…

    first 60 seconds….’hang on what happened to all the fitness training I did in preperation for this, I don’t have my legs today, this is going to be horrible’…

    progresses quickly to ‘why the xxxx did I sign up to this, i much prefer just mucking about on bike with mates, xxxx this’

    followed toward the end of the lap by ‘ actually I’m passing more people than are passing me, I’m on for a decent time, I’m actually pretty good’

    then I finish, and within 20 minutes am overcome with sheer dread with the though of having to do it again and again and again….


    Of course….there’s the anal Pre race ritual as well don’t forget,which lasts from opening your eyes,until you reach the grid…….or is it only me??

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

The topic ‘How it feels during an xc race.’ is closed to new replies.