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Entries For: May 2007


How to lose a race

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I stuffed up my chance to win the D grade road race at Crib Point

I could see the finish line. I could feel it. I could taste victory.

There I was a mere 200 metres or so from the finish line at Crib Point on Saturday thinking I had it won. But it wasn't to be. I blew my chance due to a bad case of impetuosity. Or was it bad luck, bad timing or inexperience.

Basically I sprinted too early into a strong head wind and up an ever so slight hill. After all it was only a couple of hundred metres and I know I can sprint the last lap of the track at Blackburn and that's 330 metres. So where's the problem?

With about 400 metres to go I was third wheel and sitting pretty behind a guy and a girl driving strong. But then they both blow up simultaneously and I'm left on the front. What do I do now? Where's the coach in my earpiece when I need him? I was faced with a dilemma. Do I get off the front?  No. That would mean I drift too far back and with the finish so close I could get blocked or be caught by a late attack or early sprint.

So I look behind me. The guy and girl are no longer a threat and there's a small gap between me and the next bike...So I go for it. Head down and I start sprinting for the line. The gap widens. I think I've going to win. But my legs are burning (I shouldn't have raced DISC on Thursday night) and the headwind is killing me. I'm dying a rapid death but I will hang on. Then a guy goes past me... What the #$@#$@? Oh well second is not bad. But then 3 or 4 more riders go past me. Shit.Shit Shit. And on the line I'm hit by a bunch of 4 or 5 guys all now going faster than me. Crap. I've gone from thinking "I'm gonna win this" to "Oh well second is not so bad" to finishing somewhere between 5th and 10th within the space of 200 metres.

Where did I go wrong?

Well the legs were sore when I started courtesy of Thursday night racing but they did loosen up after about 10km so I'm not sure that's a valid excuse. I do know I didn't have the kick I normally have. Until the last lap (D grade was 6x 8km laps and about 30-40 riders) I had raced the perfect race. I had managed to hide in the bunch, do minimal work and just have a good time chatting up the Kathy Watt pink girls. On the last lap I thought I better move toward the front but go too close to the pointy end and ended up doing a turn into the wind and up the hill proper. Then a guy attacks and guess which fool chases him? I mangaed to catch him pretty quickly but I'm stuffed and drift to the back thinking my race is over.

So with half a lap to go I'm at the rear again but work my way back to a good position with 400 metres to go. I impressed myself with that fact alone. In other races, in other years I would have been totally blown and come in last but here I was able to finally contest a finish. So I should be happy.

But what might have been....


Am I a sandbagger?

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Last nights win at DISC seems a bit hollow

I returned to DISC for last nights racing but since I hadn't even sat on a bike in the previous fortnight (illness, working 7 day weeks, father in hospital, sore hip, excuses, excuses..) I put myself in D grade.

The scratch race was awful, no one could hold a line, I was chopped (and probably did some chopping myself to be fair ) and at one stage ended up on the boards to avoid someone who suddenly decided to move into the sprinters lane. I finished third but felt bad and really tired.

The points race wasn't any better. I had a dip at the first sprint, got a third again but blew up badly for the rest of the race. Again I was just glad to stay upright as it was real messy.

The motorpace was good. Being a controlled paceline made it safer and the gradual increase in speed suited me. It also meant the weaker riders dropped off the pace as the speed increased and gaps opened up in the pace line so twice when I peeled of from the guerney I was able to drop back in without having to drift to the back. I found myself third wheel when the motorbike peeled off and was able to easily sprint over the top to take the win.

A win is a win I guess but given I'm normally a C grader I felt guilty. (I donated the prizemoney to Emily). Back to C grade next week and hopefull that aboc guy is in a generous mood and will look after me.


Captain Grumpy

I hate not riding my bike

Beware if you cross my path today because I'm one grumpy dude! What began as a great week turned into a weekend of frustration and now some innocent is gonna have to pay. (Where's the cat?)

Last Saturday I watched Emily in her first race at Siemans. It was great to sit back and watch partly becaue I was warm and dry as the kids went around in the pouring rain. That was a nice change I thought. She started off nervous as hell and almost beside herself with fear but finished strongly and with a big smile on her face and eager to do more. Despite the rain it was a great day.

Then on Wednesday I did the 100K for Anzac Day ride (should become a tradition) and surprised myself and possibly a few others at how well I rode in illustrious company. Glorious weather and a great ride.

Thursday night was my racing debut at DISC and despite heavy legs from the day before I did OK in C grade. I finished each race well and even managed some points in the second sprint of the Sprints race. I need bigger gearing - 90 inches isn't enough at the speed these guys go - but otherwise I reckon I can be competitive and maybe figure in the pointy end of the race by seasons end.

Friday it all started to go hay wire. A sore stomach Friday night ended up full blown acute gastritis. A trip to the hospital was avoided by finding a doctor who would come to me who prceeded to inject me with a brew that knocked me out until 3pm the following day. Needless to say no riding was possible this weekend and next weekend I'm working (come say hello at the photography show at Jeff's Shed) so I can't ride next weekend either!

Although under done I intend to race at DISC again this Thursday night and in my current mood I suggest no one gets in my way!

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