Sunday, 6 July 2014

Mid-Season Update: Setbacks, Crashes and Slow Starts

This season really isn't going to plan so far, and there's a lot to be improved upon.

Things started out badly when during the first race of the season there was a horrendous death at Portsmouth Mountbatten Centre, which called a halt to all the mid-week circuit racing there for the foreseeable future (a significant portion of my planned calendar wiped out).

Things got worse when in mid-March on a brand new set of tyres and an oily roundabout, I lost both wheels and ended up face-planting the tarmac and coming away with 10 stitches in my chin.

As the season continued, I realised that the mid-week races at Thruxton, Ludgershall and Goodwood were less accessible for me than I had hoped they would be; and the after-midnight return home made getting up at 6am for work the following day difficult and draining.

In late April I went down with tonsillitis, which wiped me out for a few weeks. Then May proved to be a slow starter in terms of racing as well. June went by, the Dragon Ride went well at least; but then when I finally managed to do a road race, I definitely didn't have the form that I've had earlier in the season.

This weekend things got knocked again, yesterday afternoon on a brand new Felt F2 Wiggle Team bike, I was descending a local hill at 40mph, going into a sign sprint, and the chain jumped off the little ring, jammed in between the cassette and the frame, locked up the back wheel, and sent me skidding and eventually flying down the tarmac (the brand new bike isn't in great shape either).

This latest accident meant I missed today's Sotonia road race; one of the main target road races for me this summer. It also means I'm going to be a bit sore going into the Ras de Cymru five day stage race on Wednesday.

That list sounds like it's all on a bit of a downer at the moment; I must admit sat at the side of the road yesterday evening with a crushed helmet, a brand new bike in tatters and an elbow and hip full of tarmac, I felt pretty rock bottom. That said, although my race licence has an abysmally small amount of points on it to date, and things don't look great, there is one thing I can do fairly well, and that's pick myself up and get on with it. Roll on the Ras, and hopefully a better second half to the season...
Think that's a write-off
This is why you should wear a good helmet!

One ride, one brand new derailleur killed :-(
Finishing on a positive... Here's to more better days in the saddle in the second part of the year!

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