today was my first attempt at road racing. i didn’t get on very well, but i learnt a lot of lessons.
the race was 30 laps of the mallory park motor racing circuit and as soon as i arrived i realised i might be in a bit of trouble. lots of shaven legs and very fit looking men on incredibly expensive bikes. sure enough, the opening couple of laps took me by surprise as we belted along at 40kmh. riding in the bunch was fun apart from the spray being kicked up off the wet track.
after 7 or 8 laps, i had got into a rhythm where i would get towards the front of the bunch at the bottom of the climb and then let people pass on the way up, before being pulled back down the other side in the slipstream. this time though, i found myself with only one rider in front of me and when he swung off, i though ‘ok, time for a pull on the front’. half a lap later i looked around to see who was going to come through and take a pull next. but there was no-one there. so i am in oxygen debt and 50m clear of the field. my inexperience left me wondering what the hell to do next…
i eased off and let the bunch swallow me up. but rather than accelerating back up to join the back of the bunch, they went straight by and i was left to face the main straight, into the headwind on my own.
that was the end of that. three laps later i gave up chasing and trying to get back on and sat up to wait for the bunch to come back around and be lapped.
i tagged on but only lasted a few more laps before being blown out again.
i knew i’m not very fit at the moment, but i wasn’t prepared to be quite so humiliated. people didn’t openly laugh. i didn’t hear sniggering as i was overtaken but that may have been the roar of the carbon wheels…
so lessons learnt. i’ll try again because that time spent just being dragged along by the bunch is great, but i’ll be very carefull about my positioning within the group and might try a bit of training first.
that’s me at the back!