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Fancy Dress Cyclo-Cross

28 December 2010
Heptonstall Bowling Club

Lots More Images - Jo Allen's Flickr set

There was a little festive light relief for Yorkshire's Cyclo-Cross riders at the annual Fancy Dress event, held at Heptonstall Bowling Club, high up in the South Pennines. With the recent deep freeze finally retreating, the event went off amid the last icy vestiges of snow on a bumpy and rutted course. A backdrop of snow shrouded hillsides drifted in and out of view as low cloud and mist came and went on a gentle breeze.

What racing there was seemed a little irrelevant as the majority of the riders just enjoyed letting their hair - both real and synthetic - down and came to terms with the limiting effects of their costumes.

The Under-12s all coped well with the difficult conditions and almost all put a lot of effort into their costumes - but then again, what under-12 doesn't have some fancy dress of one kind or other hanging in the wardrobe?

Over-12s as a broad demographic face more of a challenge when it comes to cobbling together a costume. A bit of ingenuity can always find a way, although Phil Thackray seemed to have run out of ideas half way through sourcing his chef's costume. No matter, he rode in what he had, though he must have been wishing for the warmth of the kitchen as the chilly Pennine winds whipped over his exposed flesh!

In contrast, Rick Crabtree was taking no chances with the weather - or indeed any other major contingencies - and had donned a very comprehensive, almost romper suit-like Thunderbirds outfit, complete with beret stuck to the top of his helmet. And even if Heptonstall on a late December afternoon is far removed from the tropical comforts of Tracy Island, he looked as a warm as toast throughout!

Those who hadn't bothered to dress up were treated to summary justice by the Under-12 riders, who were outraged to see that some of the adults were actually keen to race and had donned their usual lycra.

Utilising the remaining snow, which had by now gained an icy consistency, they pelted the non-fancy-dressers with a barrage of snowballs every time they passed the start finish area. Hopefully word will get around and next year the event will enjoy 100% fancy dress, as thin lycra and a lightweight helmet offer little protection from snowballs fired in from close range. Lap one's barrage was a bit scatter-gun, but once the young pelters got their range it almost made you feel sorry for their victims.

The day's proceedings were concluded by a fund-raising bash in the Bowling Club, with event organiser Fred Rothwell once again leading the way. Thanks go to Fred for organising the event and to the many riders and supporters who made the day a success. Funds were raised in memory of Lewis Barry.



1. Jack Ford
2. Felicity Gledhill
3. Ava Oxley
4. Tom Whotworth
5. Mason Hollyman
6. Amy Hinchcliffe
7. Henry Hollyman
8. Adam Fortune
9. Thomas Ford
10. Chloe Hinchcliffe
11. Marcus Hiley
12. Nathan Fortune
13. Paul Asquith
14. Hannah Whitworth
15. Sally Asquith
16. Jamie Asquith
17. Astrid Hiley
18. Carson Rothwell
19. Matt Taylor


1. Richard Allen
2. Chris Taylor
3. Marcus Spencer
4. Justin Morgan
5. John Hopkinson
6. Chris Smith
7. Phil Hinchcliffe
8. Rick Crabtree
9. Simon West
10. Nick Waggett
11. Jamie Morgan
12. Rick thompson
13. Leon Gledhill
14. Amira Mellor
15. Chris Parker
16. Andy Whitworth & Friends
17. Phil Thackray
18. Fred & Maddison Rothwell