Saturday, 28 January 2012

Imperial Winter Series Race 10 28th January 2012

We have been so spoilt this year with mild weather that today seemed exceptionally cold at about 5 º with a breeze from the North to propel us down the back straight and to slow us up to the finish.  The pace seemed altogether more sedate this week especially when working (or not)  into the wind.  We passed the 4th cats but just before they were getting ready to sprint for their finish.  As a consequence we all came over the line in a coagulated lump for their finish followed by some hairy moments as those still racing got apart from those who had finished.  Unluckily I punctured again this week though more luckily this time it was in the second lap, not the second to last.  I finally got to use one of the spare wheels I have been dutifully carrying to the hut.  I did spend most of the race at the back of the pack but at least this time I remained within the bunch until the finish.  From what I could see there was not a lot of activity off the front this week. 
I have a lot of catchup to do before March and time is starting to run out.
Thankfully no crashes today.  Must get onto Wiggle for new race tyres.
What a relief not to be blogging about my commuting dramas for a change.

Stats:  27.79 miles in 1h06m.  Average 25.3 mph.  Max 34.8 mph. 

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Imperial Winter Series Race 9

Another very mild day but with a strong westerly wind today.  I am afraid that anyone coming here via the Imperial site hoping for a meaningful race report is going to be disappointed again.  I was not well enough to race last week (or indeed ride at all) due to the heaviest cold I have had for many years.  I was not really up to it this week either; that and the wind saw me dropped as the race blew apart 30 minutes or so in.  As I took a breather, I was passed (lapped) by a lead group, a chasing group and the remainder.  I hopped back onto the third group since I was there and badly need the training and because I never voluntarily abandon a race.  I understand the front two groups got together again and then 2 got away in the final stages.
The race felt, and was, safe this week.  No crashes and no close shaves.  The main thing, as always, is to remain upright.
Today brings home that I have a lot to do before the road racing season gets underway.  I hope to make it to the first of my local reliability rides tomorrow with that in mind.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Imperial Winter Series Race 7 Saturday 7th January 2012

I have had to miss a few over the Christmas season and shockingly we are now already on race 7 of 12.  It could have been an April evening rather than an early January afternoon.  The sunshine brought a large field out today.  Temperature was 12ºC though with a stiff north westerly breeze which gave a cross wind over most of the course.  (Nothing as bad as the wind on Waterloo Bridge last Thursday though which had me climbing off my Brompton for fear of being blown under a bus).
It seemed fast this week, interspersed with some very slow periods, but this perception may be because I have not been on a proper bike for 3 weeks.  There was an attempt to go straight off the start by 2, they did not seem to have their heart in it and were quickly reeled in with most of the work done by the lady Wycombe rider.  Two thirds of the way through the race 5 or 6 made a good effort to get free but there were enough fast riders in the bunch to bridge that gap stringing us out and in the process sending me gasping to (but thankfully not off) the back.
Thereafter things seemed to get more and more twitchy.  Shouts were going up chiding other riders and there were a few wobbles and near misses.  Then trouble started.  First at the tight bend, I was taking the inside when alongside me on the outside several riders went down.  Shortly afterwards at the turn before the clubhouse, there was trouble on the inside of the bend when I was on the outside.  7 casualties in total though I understand none severe (at least not to bodies, bikes may be a different matter).  The sprint as usual left me behind.
Stats: 1h 04m at an average of 25.0 mph.  Max 31.8.