Saturday, 27 June 2015

LVRC MK Bowl Circuit Races 2015 Rounds 8 & 9

After missing round 7 due to work commitments I was keen to give it a good go for round 8.  Luckily the weather Gods were just starting to get onside, and I had a rare chance to race with a full set of aeros (so far if bought new they were costing me nearly £1000 per ride) So weather, wheels and eagerness all in place.
With the customary forty minute warm up concluded I lined up with the bunch. No guns or whistles just Trudies  off you go, and we're racing. I was really keen not to get on the front today, usually I don't mind as I finish out of the top ten, so see this as my opportunity to do some work that might just have the smallest effect on the race?
I chose to keep on Pete Smiths wheel, now there's a good wheel to shadow. Riding along side him the race felt slow, but within minutes we were lapping the EF race and picking up dropped AB's so clearly not slow. I can only conclude that we were doing it right. So it was going well, and I wasn't at all tired.
Then! The lead AB race came past us, which is fine. We allowed a little gap to form so the two races didn't influence each other. However a group of 'our' back markers jumped on the AB race and we gave chase. I did say we should leave them as I didn't think they'd live with the AB's, but heckles up we went after them and the race became fast and messy.
I was annoyed by the lack of sportsmanship shown by those backmarkers and felt sorry for those that had worked hard for half of the race now floundering like myself.
Of course the strong riders regained their rightful place and the backmarkers fell one by one to the wayside.
The remainder of us TT'd to the finish and ended it with a minor places bunch sprint...which I took (insert smiley face here)
Justin took a win in the F race. Dave didn't win tonight only because he was marshalling.

Round 9.   
Proper nice tonight sunny and still, and a four man LBRCC turnout with a man in AB CD and two in EF.
Good tight racing tonight. Not much to say as we kept together for ages. I did a rather foolish breakaway at about twenty minutes before returning to the back to push my lungs back down. The big boys were struggling to get away.
I was beginning to sniff it tonight before going off the back. Then I got the bell when I shouldn't have and pulled up early. No problem though, wasn't going to win and had put my strongest ride in so far. No silly bugger break aways next week, as I might have come between 8th and 11th looking at the results.
Andrew Martin came in 10th in a super strong AB field. Dave Brown top three in F followed Justin in the F race.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

LVRC MK Bowl Circuit Races 2015 Round 6

Tuesday nights seem to now herald stormy weather, and this Tuesday didn't prove to be the exception. So as now customary I have a little practice with both aero's fitted, then pop back to the car and fit a standard front purely for control. With so many riders out it would be reckless to ride a bike that might develop a mind of it's own at any point. Think I'm kidding? last week a rider was actually blown over.
With warm ups done I line up with all the other racers AB's CD's and CF's Then when we get the off I realize I'm right on the back of the bunch, I imagine what my clubmates would think if they saw me now. 'I thought he knew what he was doing' probably. So I make sure I'm in a better position when we come round again. Not content with a better position I move up to around a fourth place spot, and suddenly the race becomes a whole lot easier.  For half the race we let others chase down breaks and counter any decent attacks. The race feels slow from here, but we pass plenty of dropped AB's and lap the CF's so it only feels slow. Being in the company of the big boys is making life a lot easier.
However things are about to change! The warning has gone out and the race is about to go onto the full circuit.
Dear God what am I doing. I've let far too many riders past for the first turn onto the extended circuit. Even before I've made the turn I know I've blown my race and undone all the good work that had gone before.
I'm fast going out of the back, and when finally separated I have to settle into TT mode in an attempt to draw in stragglers and get 'something' going, but that doesn't work. Instead I simply ride round passing those not wanting to play.  So again it's mid bunch mediocrity, rolling in 15th, two places up on last week.
Going better that night was Dave Brown, getting the win in EF's. I saw Dave in a three man break so I assume he won the sprint.
Still good representation for the club.
Congratulations Dave.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

LVRC MK Bowl Circuit Races 2015 Round 5

Another race and another weather warning. It's dry at least, but there are small branches on the course so its pretty windy.
I'll have a go with the 'Lightweight' aero's first. Hmmm it only takes a moment to realize that they will be too dangerous for racing close quarters. I'm going to go for low a profile rim up front for control and a deep profile on the back.
After a forty minute warm up I line up with the other old boys in a very large field. Whilst I wait for the off I wonder if it's going to be a 'gentlemens' start or an out and out hoon. We're given the off. The pace is high. The field will be split by the time we go onto the extended circuit at this rate.  I've no issue with that if I can hold on. Easier said  than done though, I'm not sure if I'm reading things right as the attacks seem to be coming on the flat straights? usually they come on the few inclines.
When I feel settled in I sneak a look at my watch to see I'm a third into the race....that went quick. However the warning that we're about to 'go outside' see's a sudden urgency in the pace. And me go off the back.  I look behind to see if there is another rider behind to share a wheel, but the guys behind are way back. I decide to go for it. If I get on then great, if I don't I've got a long solo ride ahead of me. Much to my surprise I do get on. That's good news in the fact that I must have picked up a little more race strength. However I'm soon out of the back again and this time the strength is clearly missing. I'm now doomed to a life of the soloist unless another set of wheels come by.
When they do it's the older cat race so I hop on the back unable under the rules to influence the race. We snake round the circuit with class, I even hear a spectator comment about how smooth we are. Obliged! not to work I find it pretty easy going here on the back.
Our race is momentarily interrupted by a crash in the AB race. We slow down and verbal instructions go out to allow our race to regroup as we were before coming across the stricken riders.  Again pure class riding, sadly not seen right across our sport. I find it odd than a few individuals have gone down, perhaps it's the incredibly strong winds? I know I've had a few moments.  Thankfully I'm safe or at least feel safe in my group, if only I could have a pop.  I'm one of three 'out of cat' riders in this bunch and we're positioned behind a few struggling still in category. Knowing rules dictate we don't pass, but after a while they wave us though, kind and sportsmanlike. There is now a huge gap for us to play in, the three of us play hard enough that by the time we reach our old group there are only two of us.
The old boys get the bell and soon have finished their race. The two of us race on and for the remainder of the race collect other riders that have fallen by the wayside. Though way down the field we've not been lapped, this is why I think it's important to carry on, especially so early in the year. This is great training if anything. Coming up to the bell lap I sit on the wheel of a pretty strong fella. I could probably sit here and take honours in our race of tail enders. But for some reason I think it's better to get on the front on the bell to lead the group round. It's not as if we're in the standings, so I push myself for the last few minutes. Of course on the flag straight I hear the sounds of gears changing and two come by.
Still a good day of racing and I'll go home with a bit more in my legs for next week....I hope