Twinkly Dave – Mud splattered bicycle and pizza enthusiast Growing old disgracefully

September 25, 2018

Ghost in the Machine

Filed under: Uncategorized — dgpowell @ 4:43 pm

Didn’t race the NWCCA round 3 race on Saturday, as rolling over a car bonnet left me less able to soak up the lumps and bumps than usual. Instead I took my turn marshalling (for which I get average league points, which is nice).
It was quite good fun in itself, although it was quite a long day it mostly consisted of making sure the right age group races went the right way (no under 8s were sent off round the 1.5 mile adult course, so I class that as a success), repairing bits of course tape that got crashed through (gosh, it’s quite annoying when it’s not me riding through it!) and generally telling people in the pits off (no-one needed telling off, but the power went to my head a bit…).
I got to watch Ben Turner ride away from the Seniors with the sort of imperiousness you’d expect from someone who gets to spend time in the presence of MvDP. I’d have beaten him, if I’d been racing, obviously. but I wasn’t, so I’ll let him take the win in my absence.
It was also nice to leave a race without 10hrs of cleaning to do…though I need to get back racing again ASAP!

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Ben Turner racing to the win. With me critiquing his technique in the background.

I’d had enough of not racing my the Sunday so, still with a bruised shoulder, I did the NLTTA Clubs 25 with the other Horwich lads. It was bloody freezing. Dry though, with not much wind, so I’m not too sulky about the weather. My performance was pretty rubbish – an average heart rate nearly 20bpm down on where it should have been and an inability to get comfy on the aero bars due to a big scab on my forearm meant I was way off my best (about 2 mins down on my PB in the end), but I snuck in under the hour with a 59.01 and Horwich got 2nd in the club competition, so it’s not all bad.

3 Peaks this weekend. After missing it last year I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve not done any real “shouldering the bike up steep slopes” practice. Or running. Or long rides for ages. But it will still be ace, it always is. 🙂

September 16, 2018

We redouble our efforts!

Filed under: Uncategorized — dgpowell @ 8:41 pm

After last week’s fall-off-a-thon and general failure to race, this week’s round was to be different. I had a word with myself pre-race to remind me that a) I was there to have fun not a strop and b) shut up and race you muppet!
Off the line it seemed to work and I remembered to embrace the sprint-based suffering. Didn’t loose to many places in the first half lap and even let people get alongside me/in front if it meant I could hit my lines (and it did, and I did, and it worked as I’d sail back past them with less effort, huzzah!). In fact it was all going swimmingly until I rode wide, up against the course tape (perfectly acceptable in itself; leaning on the tape is inside the tape, which is on the course thankyouverymuch), which had ‘drooped’a bit and got snagged on my foot, then snapped, then quickly and tightly wrapped itself round my rear mech and utterly clogged up my cassette. Gah! I could just about soft pedal with it slipping, so had a snap decision to make: get off and try to clear it out at the side of the course or soft pedal/run back to the pits and swap bikes.

I chose the latter, having to run up the climbs and watch rider after rider stream past as I gently nursed the clogged up drivechain back to the pits. Annoying, but remember, I’m here for fun, so onto the spare bike and get back into it.

It only took Angela and Martin one lap to de-tape the faster bike (it’s not faster really, it’s all psychological, but never mind that…), so I swapped back to that and carried on chasing people down until I ran out of laps. Great fun. Left me feeling pretty happy with how my fitness is going and determined to push on with training. Onwards and upwards 🙂

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Pic by Luke Davies

September 10, 2018

Openers

Filed under: Uncategorized — dgpowell @ 9:29 am

The Black Lung. I think I got it in Yorkshire at the start of September. Not working in the pits, ragging it round a bike park while definitely not taking bike racing seriously.
I’d driven over the border to get a pre NWCCA series race in. Check the bikes were set up/tyres glued on/legs worked/remind myself of the effort needed in a CX race. The fact that it was bone dry and the sun was shining while people lazed around on the grass with temps in the mid 20s had nothing to do with it. Oh no. 🙂
I lined up at the back of the swelled-by-it-being-the-first-race pack, as i wasn’t taking it seriously, dropped the tyre pressure in the newly glued on tubs lower than it should have been to give them a proper test of adhesion and set about enjoying myself.
God damn it was flat out! A complete shock to the system after not racing for a month or so and brilliant because of it. The course wasn’t massively technical – and the dry conditions meant every corner could be railed. The only issue was breathing in the clouds of dirt!
10th place in the end. Not bad – the yorkshire series lumps in the seniors, juniors, under 23s and vet 40s all together so it’s a pretty big field and there’s lots of handy riders knocking about so I was happy enough to be just 2 minutes back off the front end of the race. Didn’t have to wash the bikes either.
I could have got used to that!

Of course, I didn’t get a chance to get used to such dusty luxury. The first NW race was back to ‘normal’ and sopping wet. The baking dry summer we had was long forgotten after standing around in the pits for the V50 race and doing a few practice laps. The mud was back. The juniors race wasn’t too bad, but by my turn in the id afternoon we had ruts and run ups where before there was just slightly muddy grass. The off camber sections were slow and, at best, slip slidey foot out irritations and bike changes started taking place to allow pit crews to remove clumps of grass and mud from mechs.
Annoyingly, that wasn’t really the problem. Ok I had a couple of stupid crashes in the first couple of laps which put me down the field, but my main issue was that I just couldn’t get into a “race” frame of mind. I wasn’t really pushing myself out of each corner, I tried to ride where it would have been quicker to run, I just didn’t focus until about 3 laps from the end – by which time my brake pads had disappeared, leaving the brake levers touching the bars before any slowing down occurred (thankfulyl aiming for the deeper mud had the same effect, so I just cracked on with doing that!).
7th on the line. Missed out on a sprint finish for 5th/6th, but by that point was happy enough to get to the finish without breaking anything. Over 4 minutes back on the winner, ho hum, onward and upward and all that.

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Binning it. Again. Pic by Ellen

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