Today was middle distance day and part of the World Masters Series! It was cold and manky with the odd shower so again really difficult to work out what to wear but in the end as usual putting up with a bit of brrrrr at the start paid off as the sweat started to build over the first few controls.
Vandet is a working forest with a dense track network, great for a middle race. I rode well, pushing as hard as I could, fairly cleanly, suffering a little on the hills and the grassy rides but I had a nightmare at number 7. I can now see exactly what I did – mistaking a corner for a junction and then off on a 90 degree parallel error. I knew from the compass quickly that I’d gone wrong but when I stopped and set the map with the compass nothing made sense. I carried on saw a control and piled into it – just in case but it wasn’t mine – I got a look at another riders map and then knew where I was. Trouble was everytime I set the map with the compass it seemed to be different. I was riding up and down with nothing making sense, just wanting to get out. I eventually moved my hand away from the bars and suddenly saw the compass needle swing 45 degrees away. I tried it again and the same thing…… I set the map with my arm straight, away from the bike and then headed out to relocate on the road to be double sure, took a deep breath and then carried on – 6 mins lost !! I made doubly sure at the map change this time after last nights debacle.
No idea what on the bars was affecting the compass but I checked again when I got back at the training and the same thing was happening. Not sure what to do, nothing has changed in my setup!
I rode the rest reasonably clean the the combination of the mistake and lack of fitness meant I was well down 🙁 Great area and good course though – really enjoyed it.