Eddy Van Der Spaniel

Cyclocross

Dirty Eddy cannot wait to get into action in the mud and drizzle. With a quick warm-up on the rollers he’s off like the clappers giving it absolutely everything. For most of us it’s hard to think of anything less appealing than a soaked chamois and slippy-sliding in the mud in November. So what is it exactly about saturated grassy fields criss-crossed by barrier tape that is so irresistible to Eddie? Does it remind him of simpler times; a childhood spent shoeless running amongst furrows picking root vegetables?

Having fatally ploughed Mr Van Der Spaniel deep into the carrot field by mistake, Mrs Van Der Spaniel could not face the prospect of losing her son too. She dared not let this flighty boy out of her sight. Her solution was as elegant as it was simple. Keep him safely on the farm where she could keep an eye on him. Thus when he started coming-of-age and the powerful Belgian urge to ride became irresistible she was prepared. An enthusiasm for Cyclocross was engineered. Her mud spackled smallholding became a criss-crossed maze of barrier tape, banks and off camber slopes. Eddie was free to ride whoever he pleased within the tape. BUT NEVER BEYOND THE TAPE. Her son might come home filthy; carpets might be ruined, she might spend hours jetwashing. But kept within the tape, Eddy could never be ploughed into the carrot field.