As the year draws to a close, so is bicycle racing here on the sunny island. Road racing was capped off with the second and last round of the URA car-free-Sunday criterium. Somehow, someone forgot to block off the adjacent roads to the course, allowing a lorry and a motorcycle to come onto the course when racing was live. Considering many cyclists here are already used to vehicles trying to take them out, everyone handled it pretty well and racing still managed to go on safely. There wasn’t much action on my part as I stayed out of trouble and enjoyed the atmosphere. Good job on the recovery by Cycosports and the commissaires.
I then took the plunge into the other deep end by getting in on the final MTB race of the year. It wasn’t elegant riding, there was plenty of walking and it most definitely was NOT fast. Considering I’ve only actually ridden a proper mtb trail less than a handful of times, there were certainly some jitters before the start. I got through it without any broken bones, and cleared alot more obstacles than my first attempt at the course. Then again, I didn’t set the barrier very high on my first go. Cheers to the boys for the support and my mate Malek for the pre race prep. I definitely need to do this more often.
That’s it this year for pinning numbers. I have quite a bit to think about for next. More as I gather my thoughts in the next few days.
So I’ve finally gotten around to pening some thoughts down. I’m at a stage where it’s challenging trying not to make honest sound negative. Well I CBF now.
I’ve always enjoyed sharing the journey and experiences. As much as I haven’t written much about it, I actually still do. Even if you DNF or come in dead last, you still take away lessons. In the society we live in, there’s usually nothing worth mentioning/sharing if you don’t win or podium. Everyone wants to read/cheer about winning stories. People either aren’t sure how to react to poor performances or feels it’s a waste of time.
I may not be a champion bike racer, but I’ve made it my goal to be a constant learner of things. However, if you don’t have a pro contract, haven’t worn yellow, green, polka or rainbow, it’s highly unlikely anyone will take you seriously. We whine about this city state being pancake flat with no real hills to train on. When I suggested to someone to think about adjusting his brakes on to hit the numbers he’s after, I got the eyebrow “that sounds ridiculous” raise. When I told him that was what a rider said in an interview about the year he won the rainbow bands, he looked away with a straight face.
I came into cycling with heaps of energy, negative and positive. The negatives have remained negative, the positives have now become negative. It’s pretty clear that the problem I’ve had with racing on the bike is all between the ears. The community involved in competitive sport is small and exclusive. I have yet to see the light, but I’m thankful to have a few who share the same philosophy to share the journey with. For now I’m just getting on the bike and enjoying the ride.
Nothing exciting to report to be honest: DNFed most or nearly all my races. The training block really only took off in the last 3 weeks. I struggled to find my feet at the beginning 3 with lack of direction and focus. Talk about a roller coaster ride, besides the rolling hills.
If I was going to chuck in any of the goals I kicked, at least I’ve worked up the grades. First crack in an open A grade race in the form of Pickering Brook. Well you gotta throw yourself into the deep end to know where you are and how far away the shore is. Working through the mental side of things alone isn’t a fun game at all. #characterbuilding
At track side, I definitely struggled to find any track legs. It could have been a combination of a number of factors, but I’ll remain focus on what’s within my control: my own progress and performance.
Push through, and good things will come out at the end. I left knowing and seeing that I’ve stepped up (with some valuable help) and made new friends. Cheers to the AvantiPlus boys for smashing me in the hills and the crew from BikeForce Success for looking out for me when I made the hike down to have a hit out at the Peel races. Top job by the Peel District Cycling Club.
It’s been a blast catching up with everyone. They say cycling is cliquey. While I won’t agree entirely, neither will I entirely disagree. More about that next time. Thanks Track Cycling WA for welcoming me back. Till we meet again.