Won a race once. AND DON'T YOU EVER FORGET IT

  • Openers

    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

     

    9:29 am on September 10, 2018 | Comments Off on Openers | # |