Competitive dad syndrome.

Al Stuart, one of my riders, has been injured for the latter part of this year and is desperate to get back on his bike. While he can’t ride, he’s supporting his daughter Lauren in any way he can (as long as it has something to do with Mountain Biking). Proud father Al sent me the picture of Lauren below via e-mail after she’d completed her first ever Mountain Bike race, so I pressed him into writing a race report and this is what he sent me:

Sunday was a really strange day for me. As soon as I woke up my brain, if not my body thought it was me that was going to race. I felt edgy, slightly sick, frequent visits to the toilet!! You know the kind of thing ‘pre-race nerves’. ‘Look you old fool, it’s Lauren who’s racing’ I thought to myself. Look at her, she’s yawning. How can she stay so calm on such an important occasion?

I struggled to get her bike into the car! Why did we sell the old one, you could fit 3 adult bikes in easily (Ed. Probably because it was knackered Al – at least the little new one got you there)? We set off on our way and the nearer we got to the race venue the more nervous I felt. How stupid can you get? I frantically told Lauren that I’d get her signed on while she went off to meet up with the other kids in the ‘Peewee’ category. After a few practice laps it was time to line up. Lauren managed to avoid a crash on the first corner (thank god!) and 2 laps later; she crossed the line in 4th place. She then wanted to try out a section of the duel course. Whatever next? Despite what your readers might think, I haven’t pushed her into doing this – honestly!

The latest news from Al is that his injuries are abating, just in time for some Christmas time fun and frolics. Whether this frivolous behaviour will be astride a Mountain Bike, or down the pub with his mates remains a mystery, but Al and I both know where he’d rather be – don’t we?

Wishing you a speedy recover my dear chap

Words by Al Stuart/Matt Hart.