Time for a mid season update on the Cross season. School report card, managed to improve handling, health a bit ropy, fitness pah, needs to focus more on cycling than the rest of life. It has been busy lately so sorry not much time for many things, work and non-cycling life just gets in the way.
Finished the Supermarine series, and was joined by Myles who added to challenge. Second last race I went off on a flying start and dived for what I thought was a great opportunity to get tangled in tape, lost lots of places. Managed to adjust bike position and get good tyre pressure so I had confidence to corner, great feeling when you can feel the grass rip but not loose grip. near end struggled with breathing due to cold and lost out to Myles as he blasted past using his strength. Last race change of tactic. Safe but slower start, picked up places, went past Myles as he slid wide, he powered passed me again, went past him as he slid wide, and once again he later powered past me. Tried lining him up for mid corner pass, thought better of it but next corner he went wide so dived through for him to give me a friendly nudge from the rear. Held on for photo finish with another cyclist. When Myles sorts out his cornering I am toast ?
Western League, three races. Stroud a race that felt like it was all uphill, cold was fully in chest so lungs not good. On last practice lap I tried to take a quicker line through some man made humps to take a flying crash to ground in front of crowd. That did me and the bike no good, and from that point on it kept on trying to drop the chain. My first ever experience of being gridded was good and someone kindly pointed out I had shipped my chain, before the start. It was a long ride uphill and the bit through the woods was interesting and dusty. In the end I did manage to ride all the course, even the tight uphill part. I did not like the boards being on a downhill and the chicane to slow us down just meant my line was never correct. 12th from memory.
Next race, Bristol Purdown. Two fields separated by a fairly big steep hill with a muddy climb. And just to make it harder they put boards at the bottom of the muddy ascent. Good start (being on the front row helps) and I spent most of the race keeping just ahead of the winner of the ladies race. A trick off camber descent was fun, the possibility of tumbling the whole way down was there and I did have a trip through the brambles one time on the way down. But that hill was a killer, it took me most of the lap to get my breath back. Phil was there going well and he shot past me as I wheezed around still suffering from that cold. 13th from memory.
Last race Bristol Lockleaze. At last my cold was gone and I enjoyed this course last time out. Second row at the start but I was swamped and on the first few corners got boxed in so fell down the field. A quick dive into a ramp then corner was not appreciated by one rider but there was space and a clear gap. From then on it got better, with a chance to grab spaces on the way. I was feeling good and passed the leader of the ladies race then the rear of the bike was all over the pace, the tyre almost flat. I limped to the pits to find the tyre was soggy so spotting a track pump I blew it up as hard as I could while a member of the public quizzed me on try pressures. I set off to at least get some exercise from the day. I felt terrible skipping and thumping over bumps but we were moving. I stopped next lap as I thought it was flat again, the opposite it was so hard it was thumping and skipping over bumps. Gethin kindly rushed over and offered to help but I decided to ride on. It survived all the way till I got home, next morning, flat again. I was not last but 28th of 38 felt like a waste. Oh and once again Phil lapped me.
I am going to have a gap from racing now, I have nearly doubled the points I have ever scored already, but lets be honest I am no race star and midfield on a good day. Also I miss things like club rides, at the weekend due, only time for one cycling thing at the weekend. Training has re-started with an FTP session. And some pictures.
Trying not to fall off at Stroud
The boards it felt elegant it looks Benny Hill
Getting up that hill
Walking up the hill, look I was ahead of Pete for a few nanoseconds