After my first race, I realised that I needed to up the anti a bit in my approach. The first race to be fair was on a tough course at Shelsley Walsh and it was my first cross race in 33 years, but even so, I felt some what despondent after the race.
Since then, I have trained more intensely and am seeking some training advice, as I realised that my situation now is very different to 40 years ago. Then I was naturally fit at 18 and had been training regularly for many years. I am now 58 and although I have been doing sport regularly, I have not been biking seriously, so I do not have a base biking fitness to build on. This season anyway is meant to be a try out and then I have all next year to hone my training and approach. I will see what a new coach can advise (other than forget it at your age!)
Saying that though, I have trained hard in the past 2 weeks, including going out on the Wednesday night chain gang with a dozen riders for a 40 mile burst round the Worcester lanes. I had forgotten how enjoyable (and hard) these nightly sessions could be! Thanks to Chris Edwards for organising and controlling these sessions!
My second race at Hengrove Leisure Park in Bristol last Sunday went much better. I was running 3rd until the last lap, when I slipped my chain and came in only 8th, which was disappointing! I had planned only to have a single chain ring (which I always used 40 years ago, even though then you only had 5 or 6 gears) and now you have 11, there seems even less reason to have a double ring. Unfortunately the single rings were not available when I picked up my bikes but it was changing from one ring to another, when the chain came off. Probably user error, but it could have been avoided by having a single ring.
The other annoying problem I had was that my shoe cleats came loose again, so I could not clip my shoes in easily. This made for some challenging pedalling. I have subsequently found, thanks to some help from friend and local tech guru Ian Moseley, that the screws in my plates were too long for the Lake shoes, so they could not properly tighten :-( Ian has now kindly shortened the screws and lock tighted them in! Fingers crossed now for a trouble free next race, scheduled for Baggeridge near Dudley on Sunday.
A big thanks to all the family members from Bristol and Exeter who turned out in force to support me at Bristol, you made all the difference!
I picked up my new Secondwind www.rideforcharlie race clothing from Planet X last week and Jorge Jorvino has done a great job with the designs. The design followed on from the great bike graphics, including the monkey, Freddy Mercury images (my love of Queen) and the pigs! Ever since I lived and raced in Italy, I have sworn in Italian, with the word porco featuring frequently in my vocabulary! My nickname Porco has been with me ever since, hence the pigs!
A big thanks to Dave Loughran and his team at Planet X for providing the clothing. Shortly team replica kit will be available through the Planet X website and in their shop and all proceeds from the sale will go to www.rideforcharlie.com
I have now set up a justgiving page, so anybody who would like to support my efforts can make donations
Thanks to those kind people who have already donated!
That's all for now, but do a bit of work in the office before I go out for some training later :-)