Tuesday 17 June 2014

Return to racing Part 1 - Learning Curve

I've returned!

It's been a busy 6 weeks or so work wise, so unfortunately I haven't been able to write any updates on here. I have been racing however, so here's a summary of what I can remember based on the scribbled reports in my notebook! I've just been racing the Corley Cycles/Abbeygate Developments Summer Series at the MK Bowl, the first 3 were reasonably uneventful, the last 3

1st May - 14th
Very Damp, but we survived!
I climbed back onto a bike after 3 months of injury 2 days before this race! Needless to say it was pretty tough, with torrential rain not helping, however, I did manage to stay with the bunch. Being my first completed race, I didn't want to be involved in the sprint, as I'd heard it was dangerous, so I launched a few attacks off the front. These were to no avail, but at least I felt the race wasn't wasted.

8th May - 15th
The weather was similar for this race, with torrents of water running around the track. After another few rides I felt my body was starting to remember how to ride a bike again, and after seeing that the sprint wasn't as bad as people made out, I thought I'd have a go.
I managed to get in the perfect position with 1 lap to go, about 5 riders back, but in one foul swoop, or pedal, I ended up on the front with half a lap to go. Inexperience kicked in and I paniced, launching a sprint with about 400m to go! As I floundered like a fish with 150m to go, the bunch came storming past, leaving me with the longest 100m I've ever ridden. On the plus side, the winner said I'd led him out for the sprint perfectly...Great!

15th May - 13th
The weather was finally dry for this race, and as a result the field was a little bigger. This meant it was hard to get a position, every time I got near the front I'd lose it on a corner and struggle to get back. This wasn't helped by some dodgy riding, with people suddenly slowing or cutting lines. It wasn't quite to a dangerous extent, but very annoying! As the last lap loomed, I was in a terrible position, launching a sprint led me to gain a few positions, but nowhere near enough.

I was a little disillusioned after the last of these races. I knew I had the fitness, and I knew I had the sprint, and I knew where I had to be when. I just didn't seem to have the confidence to assert myself to get into the right position to launch the sprint. I guessed it would come with practice, but I thought maybe a week off racing would do me good. Eventually I elected not to, as the club were Marshalling, so there would actually be clubmates watching. As it turned out, this was a good idea, which you'll see in my next post!

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