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