Me and my 103 gear inch vs the wind.
Today was the Bristol South CC Open 10. It was up at Dursley on the U7B, the same course that the recent Inter Club TT was held. I was looking forward to riding the course on my bigger 103 gear inch, having previously found the 96 not quite enough, I was hoping to go under the 23 minute mark.
The morning started off with a tyre change, there were a few gashes and holes appearing on my front tyre so I felt it was time for a new one. The pink striped version was nearly half the price of the grey option, so a few hipster points were added at the same time.
As with most occasions when I approach my bike with the intention of a quick bit of tinkering, something inevitably goes wrong. This morning it was my valve extender, blowing into three pieces. After kicking the tyre box and gently pushing the wheel across the room, in a really annoyed but don’t want to break anything style, I headed out to the nearest bike shop to grab a replacement.
Once my kit was packed I headed off with plenty of time to spare. Upon arriving at the usual meeting point, I noticed a distinct lack of bikes, cars with bikes in and people. In fact I was the only person there, a bit weird considering there was a 50 plus field for the race.
After checking the start sheet email, it turned out the HQ was at a nearby village hall. Feeling slightly rushed, but actually with plenty of time to spare, I got myself ready and headed out to the start.
There was talk of a head wind on the way out. This did not excite me at all. I wondered what else I would get wrong to go with my valve and location mishaps.
The ride out to the turn at the roundabout was tough, I was really struggling against the wind and watched my average speed tumble until I gave up looking at it. As I approached the roundabout two cars came from the right and I pretty much had to stop before I could pull out, something that I completely forgot had happened, but probably cost only a few seconds.
If only that was the thing that slowed me down. Today the wind well and truly destroyed me and I posted a time over a minute slower than at the Inter Club.
For the faster riders such as PJ who walked away with the win! The wind was not a problem, he blasted through it and then powered home with the tailwind, to post a time only a few seconds off his pb. I gave PJ a lift home as he’s racing a hilly TT tomorrow, it’s always good to hear about his experience of the race and all the other racing he does on a regular basis.
As I’m lying here on the sofa writing this my arms are aching. This has just reminded me, that apart from the wind, my main problem was my arms aching a huge amount throughout the whole race after only a few miles.
Since riding the 103 gear inch, my upper body has had to do so much more in terms of stabilising myself due to using more power when pushing the bigger gear. On Wednesday at the lake my stomach muscles were hurting and today my position just felt terrible.
I think it’s due in part to moving further forward on the saddle to be in a more powerful position and so my arms are too bent and taking too much weight. This is something I need to work on!
It was worth the pain of the racing for the selection of cake afterwards!