Sunday, 29 August 2010

I'm a bike racer again. After several years off, I decided to dip my toe back into the frenzied waters of vets sxc mtb racing. The Laggan course is local and the course was going to be a harder, more natural one than previous years, which appealed to me, as manmade ones are just like work (!) I also fancied a change to my current 3Peaks cyclo-cross training of running up very steep hills carrying the bike!
However, the powers that be deemed the course too hard for xc and "pulled" the major downhill section, on the eve of the race. I'm obviously out of touch with the current xc scene as I thought riders in this day and age would be "rad" enough to cope. I mean aren't the youth coming through being reared on a diet of riser bars, fat tyres, discs and "hucking" sick (sic) lines? On a more serious note, the head commissar had worries about casevac - fair enough, but shouldn't there be guidelines about this for course setters? Anyhoo, Lindsay of Basecamp worked into the night re-jigging the alignment to tame things down, well done, Lindsay.
I could see my locals advantage slipping away! I was really nervous pre-race, being so long out of competition, knowing I don't get as many miles in as I used to and just all that pre-race "stuff" buzzing around my head. A good warm up settled me down and I tried to muscle forward in the line up. Bugger, the start was a shock to the system, everyone tore off, my heart rate max'd out and all I could think about was how the hell was I going to maintain this. Gulp. But. Once we all piled into the downhill the fun started, crashes left right and centre and from then on in I had no idea who I was racing or what place I was in!
Generally it settled down into slog up hill and then tear back down slipping and sliding past anyone in front. Luckily I heard the announcer mention I was in fourth and realised I could out descend the third placed man just up ahead, so I was able to finish with a wee "the race is on" buzz. Ace. Loved it a lot. Next please.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Bugger. I've just been informed by the road race organiser that I can't race on a day licence, which I had been told would suffice. Bum. Now there's not time to get a licence, and have you seen the BCF website? flipping nightmare to find out just what you need, how is anyone meant to easily get into this sport. Anyway, buying a year membership then a licence on top of that just for one race - I don't think so. Ok, so as a an ex roadie I should have known better, but I just fancied a race having started to get some decent training in and as a wee tester on my way to the goal of the 3Peaks cyclo cross race. This race was local-ish (where I live sub 2 hrs is local!) and having checked with the race organiser I was assured that a day licence would be ok, but now it's not... Alternatives, none really, there is an SXC mtb race in Perth, but they cost waaaay too much to enter for the "pleasure" of getting changed at the side of the F.C. road, charging around some ad-hoc course for 1 hour 40 mins then driving home wet and muddy, no showers, not even a free cup of tea and a piece of cake. Would someone explain why mtb races are £30? So, come Sunday morning I'll just head out for a good long sesh' on the cx bike. Feel a bit silly I shaved my legs now!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Well, the time has come to rid the legs of several years of growth; aye road racing is back in my life and say what you want, you do not turn up to the Scottish Vets Championships with hairy legs - the commissars would probably just send me home. I've never had a problem with the whole roadie leg shaving thing (apart from that wee bit behind the knee!), regardless of the whys and wherefores, it's just what you do. I even did it for mtb races, it's part of my pre-race ritual, hairless legs = race pain! Those mtb'ers that have a problem with it should study the history of road racing, they are the real hard men, not the trail centre weekend warriors wrapped up in body armour (?!) on their 6" travel earth movers. Anyhoo, I've squeezed in all the training I can, not enough to win, but hopefully enough to be in the fight and am now "tapering". As this is my first road race since marriage and kids I'm getting quite nervous, I know it's going to "really" hurt and I haven't felt that on a bike for years now.