Unlike my first RTF event I attended way back in August, 2019, this time there was no number to pin to my back.
This slight disappointment was quickly erased as I hit the trails on the Wieter-Plesse-Biking-CTF organised by Cicli Club Northeim. The club had put together a challenging route which featured 95% forstwirtschaftswege (forest roads) and I chose to ride the 53km distance, but not the 60 which featured some gnarly single track that I abandoned after trying one section (MTB specific).
At the start and at race registration I was a bit perplexed to find that most people were riding mountain bikes (some e-MTB) and there were just a few of us cyclo crossers. I have to say that at times it was tough riding the cross bike, nonetheless other than the MTB single track all was rideable for me.
Highlights were the autumn carpet of leaves that sound great under your wheels although they also hide roots, stones, muddy hollows and potholes. Thus, caution was my watchword. I loved the river crossing, the long descents and some of the ascents (on one I was forced to step off when I ran out of gears) and most definitely the roller coaster section heading back to Northeim and the finish. I did note that some of the muddy sections were like Velcro and it seemed to want to pull you into the earth. To counter this I decided to just gung-ho the mud as fast as I could and hang onto my bars (I did that a lot on this ride).
Although the excellent Cicli Club Northeim had way marked the course I did manage to get lost, but I soon found my way again, this did mean I rode two sections twice. No harm really as they were great sections.
Catching the train to Northeim was a breeze with plenty of bike space, sadly as so often happens on German railways all trains running back to Goettingen were cancelled without prior notice. I therefore had to ride the 25 kilometres to my home and adding insult to injury was that my tired legs had to pedal into a stiff headwind!
Thanks to the Cicli Club Northeim for a great event and for the cakes, coffee and the lovely hot fruit tea at the forest checkpoint.
Cicli Club Northeim website: https://www.cicli-club-northeim.de/radsport_in_northeim/ctf/
Garmin Connect: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/4172311886