Tuesday, 13 May 2008

It's been a while!

Not posted on here since August, that's not to say I have'nt been up to anything, oh no.
After my last event of 2007 and the failure to even get to the 3 Peaks start line I just settled myself into a routine of what I call 'just riding'. Most of that time from early autumn to now had been spent riding alone, not that there had been any issues with my mates more a case of life getting in the way riding, we've all been there.
The thing with just getting out for a ride with no agendas attached is that you often end up riding more and if you're lucky you get fitter to boot. I'm also lucky that I have Woburn to ride on right on my doorstep, and if you don't now it, Woburn is the 'all weather pitch' of mountainbiking.
Anyway come Christmas the lack of the usuall weekend meets for a ride was getting silly so after a flurry of calls we all decided to meet for a road ride, a meet for a road ride that turned out to be on the coldest day of the year! Within a mile of starting we were all frozen, any more clothing would have seriously hampered your ability to ride, and none of us need our ability hampered! All of us had become unacustomed to riding with each other, though we managed fifty odd very wintery miles together. The high point came just after Nick-No-Balance told me to calm down and ride steadilly before I have a fall, when he had a tarmac/ice/carbon fibre interface.
After that most of us went our own ways again. Though I trained steadilly with Nick all the Spring, only seeing the others on occasions.
Not far into 2008 I felt I might be alright for some events so I booked some early season races hoping to capitalize of the reasonably ok fitness I had, and secretly hoped that most the other UK bikers had stayed in bed all winter.
The first event of 2008 was the G2 Revolver 12 hour that I was to solo. Everything looked somehow quite rosy when I thought all the other soloist around me were going too slow so I thought I'd put in a fast lap and earn some valuable minutes. It was'nt long before my rosy outlook turned black then blue (verbally anyway)On my first lap I punctured and spent nearly forty minutes struggling to sort out my tubeless tyre, then once on my way again I ripped off the valve. A long hobble on a flat tyre saw me second last on lap one. Setting off on lap two I had another puncture and another almighty battle with an ever shrinking UST tyre, so another poor lap. Lap three, and hang on I've cleaned a lap. Then somehow I went into brainless mode, five hours have past and I've not eaten or taken a sip. Getting slightly dizzy and struggling with double track I finally stop to re fuel, but a combination of wanting to give up, punctures and plain bad planning see's me stop at just over six hours.
My next event is somewhat different, I've decided that I'm good enough to resume road racing and promptly enter a local criterium. Finishing at the back of the bunch on this occasion I feel elated only to hear it was the slowest race there all year. Not phased by this I apply for a racing licence through the LVRC and race again the following week. Race two was'nt so easy, the vets know their stuff and take it very seriously, so on that one I'm well and truely lapped.
And here it kind of ends for now. Tonight I'm road racing again and hoping to last a little longer. Then on the weekend I'm doing another 12 hour solo, this time the Set2rise on Salisbury Plain. Pics and reports to follow.

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