30 June 2010

Entry-mas Eve

Well... that bit of the year went by quickly, didn't it.  It all officially starts from tomorrow.  Let's prepare ourselves for:
  • Entry panics
  • Fitness worries
  • Equipment doubts
... etc etc. 

I have been in touch with Keith Parkinson - who does a great job of managing the official 3 peaks website - that the form will stay online this year until 'John has received enough entries through his door'.  This is an important thing to note.  The form was taken off the site last year because of a shockingly high number of clicks on it in the opening morning.   The ensuing panic / chaos wasn't nice for many people, but it was seen as a necessary measure because John would have found trawling through 3,000 or so entries pretty tough.

I feel like I make this point on John's behalf every year either on here or on the forum, but the 3 peaks cyclocross is a race, and they are totally entitled to screen the field and pick what to the organisers is a good field.  This means a mix of all the categories, including a good series of elite riders, and people who will actually turn up and finish the race.  First come, first served is just one factor in getting a successful field of riders.

So; sleep easy tonight.  The form won't go offline for at least a couple of days.

Also, it's worthwhile to note that John's email is not working; so don't follow up your entry with a message to John's email address (there are some internet connection issues !!).  Use the forum if you want to get something off your chest or ask any questions - there's a community of people there who'll (probably) be able to help.

Let's hope Keith's got his server ready for a surge in bandwidth, anyway...

02 June 2010

Ten Speed double now within financial reach

A bit of development this year on the ten speed front that will affect gear choice in this year's 3 Peaks... the recent announcement that Shimano has released 10-speed cassettes for their SLX and XT (Mountain Bike) range means that (with the purchase of a XT or similar MTB rear mech) 10 speed cassettes with double chainsets are an option for any riders this year.

Last year's win by Nick Craig brought many a comment about his excellent choice of selecting SRAM's XX cassette and chainset - giving him the ultimate 'non-dismount' options on Penyghent without the comprimise of having his previous set-up of a front triple chainset.

Shimano's more affordable ten speed gear has previously been limited to a rather knee-buckling low gear of 27 on the rear... but a 36 bail-out now makes 10 speed a mainstream option for those of us wanting to ride that bit further up Whernside and Penyghent in particular.

More here on BikeRader on the tech side.

Me? Well - I'm just relieved that I don't have to sell my house, wife and children to get the SRAM XX for this year's race.