Entering the Lottery


Time was when I used to enter the 3 Peaks Cyclocross and not even think about whether I would be able to ride, or not. It just wasn’t that popular.

But that was 1991 (when I was MUCH faster, honest) and before social media, the growth of the cycling press and the rise of ‘challenge’ events and sportives. The Peaks back then was the preserve of (mostly) Northern cyclocross devotees who would meet in late September for a crazy canter round Yorkshire’s finest on their patently unsuitable bikes, before resuming the winter seasons 1 hour lapped ‘crosses in a Park the following week.

Fell runnners showed up first – and spectacularly and rightly made the event their own – before some curious mountainbikers and the odd ‘outdoor’ athlete joined in the fun. I didn’t ride after 1992 (DNF) until 2005 and it had already changed greatly by the time I came out of, ahem, retirement. The real change though has been in the last 3 or 4 years where its popularity has rocketed, to the extent where the event now attracts well over 1000 entries for its 600 or so places. And people are getting turned away in large numbers. Regular 3 Peakers, pit crew who have supported riders and the event for years but fancied a do themselves (incl my pit crew Mark), cyclocross devotees, newcomers, the curious and so on. The nature of the event, I believe, has changed. But that’s another discussion…

Nevertheless, following 2 years out after breaking my neck and back, I have thrown my lot in and submitted an entry. To pre-selection only mind – I’ll have to wait till July to find out if I am successful. And I’m not holding out hope, ironic given my level of public blogging/social media obsession in recent years, aided and abetted by ex team-mate Dave Haygarth who runs the current and excellent 3 Peaks Cyclocross Blog (go check it out).

I’ll let you know if I am successful. In the meantime, I shall commence training as if I am riding…


One thought on “Entering the Lottery

  1. Thanks for the link Alan. I don’t think you’d ever find your way to the genuine “Lottery” list. It’d surprise me if you ever did, anyway. Bull Hill starts soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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