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

  • Well it is a winter sport, after all

    Last weekend’s race was at a new venue, somewhere not far from the North Pole I think, based on the number of layers people were wearing (me included). My first race of the season, over in Yorkshire, with temperatures in the high 20s – low 30s was a really *really* distant memory by the time I dared to start taking warm-up layers off on the start line, with “feels like” temperatures of minus 6 and cold, cold rain being blown in on a strong wind turning extremities into useless stumps.

    The race itself went as well as I could have hoped really, I’d not felt great during the week but tried to put that to the back of my mind and just push what gears I could without getting too stressed about it. My power was down – with my average heart rate being about 15bpm off where it should have been during a race – and I lost the ability to change gear a couple of laps in when my hands stopped working (my own fault for not wearing decent gloves in those conditions, but the race course was so entertaining I still enjoyed trying to ride it smoothly, even if I couldn’t accelerate out of the corners / up the climbs like I wanted. The mix of “give it some” straights, twisty-turny sections where keeping momentum was key, long gravelly climbs to get the lungs bursting out of your chest and a few cheeky little drops to catch out the unaware made for great racing and hopefully next year I’ll be on top form for it.

    As it was, I finished in 3rd, unable to chase when Isaac powered past me with a lap to go, but crash free (for once…) and happy enough with how I’d ridden in the slippery conditions (and delighted that nothing had gone wrong with the bikes / local wildlife!)

    At risk of sounding like a bit of a broken record, THANK YOU to everyone from Horwich who hung out in the pits in the awful conditions to pit for me – I swapped bikes once to be safe after the mud and grass started to clog up the #1 bike and every lap the noisy support was very welcome. Thanks also to all the marshals who, basically, stood in life-endangeringly cold weather for an entire day so I could play at bicycles and to the organisers who ran a great event when many would pack up and go home to regain the feeling in their limbs! Just brilliant.

    No-one was stupid enough to hang around in the freezing rain taking pictures, so here is a picture of a Twinkie bar. I’d never had one before, despite Americans banging on about them all the time. It was quite nice, though I’d rather have an Eccles Cake…or a Tunnocks teacake 🙂

     

    1:13 pm on December 17, 2018 | Comments Off on Well it is a winter sport, after all | # |