The last time I blogged I’d just finished replacing a number of parts ready for the forthcoming cx season, happily the bike remained as one and I’ve summarised the first few rounds of the Central League:
Round 1 Sunday 30th September – Hillingdon
The day started promising with my daughter finishing 1st girl in the U10’s and 4th overall.
Come the start of the seniors shorts and SS jerseys were the order of the day. The race began with a 100 yard tarmac dash onto the grass section and after the mandatory ‘feel like you’ve started to fast’ feeling I settled in to a steady rhythm. After 25 mins of racing my mind wandered at the most critical part of the course – approaching the short ascent to the hurdles. I’d forgotten I needed to dismount and as a result, when I did re-engage my brain I made a hash of it and went down with my knee taking the full brunt from the pedal. I instinctively jumped straight up (why do falls always occur in front of an audience!) but straight away there was pain from my knee. I finished the remaining few hundred yards and then pulled out, with my knee bruised and swollen.
I was disappointed with the outcome but more so with the though of how long until I was back to being able to ride again as I don’t seem to be a fast healer.
To my surprise the next day the pain had subsided somewhat and whilst the swelling remained I was now more hopeful of being ok for next weeks round.
Round 2 Saturday 6th October – MK Bowl
Last weeks crash and subsequent knee injury had healed sufficiently during the week to not allow me the luxury of using it as an excuse after today’s race. The overnight rain had made the off camber sections challenging with one section being named ‘death corner’.
As a result of my daughter announcing that she was hungry 5 mins before the start and me having to sort her out, I found myself on the start line with only about 5 riders behind me. This meant waiting at the first bottleneck and I spent most of the race trying to catch up with people who I should be racing with.
Finished 54th out of 100
Round 3 Sunday 14th October – Hemel Hempstead
Its funny how your mental state can have such an impact on a race. With Hemel being my favourite round from 2011, I was up for this race as soon as I’d finished the MK Bowl race the previous week.
Luck was also on my side as the gridding was a bit of a let down and I found myself on around the 4th row in what was a field of almost 150. Inevitably a number of riders came past me before we hit the first narrow section but I settled down and managed to fish in front of a number of riders who were ahead of me at the Bowl.
Finished 59 out of 150
Round 4 Sunday 21st October – Abingdon
Due to the time it was going to take to get to Abingdon I decided not to race, however this had a detrimental effect on my training as I slackened off and lost motivation.
Round 5 Saturday 27th October – Brackley
Having not really ridden much in the previous 2 weeks I wasn’t too hopeful for this race and was in a very negative state of mind – I don’t think the almost freezing temperature helped matters. This somewhat changed after a couple of practice laps as I warmed up and found the course to my liking.
Once again I was slow off the start and it took me over 1 lap to catch a number of riders who were just behind me on the start line. I spent the 2nd half of the race duelling with another rider who was faster than me on the straights but who I seemed to have the better of on the technical sections, particularly the hurdles. With the hurdles being just 2 turns before the finish I knew if I could get in front of him on the hurdles on the last lap there would be insufficient time for him to pass me. As we approached the hurdles for the final time I was ideally positioned on his wheel, unfortunately a lapped rider was also negotiating them and there was no where for me to pass. I gave it my all but was half a wheel behind on the line.
Finished 47th out of 85
There is now 2 weeks of no racing which will hopefully give me time to regain my motivation and try and spend a few sessions improving my starts.