Gearing up for a Road Race; TT style

Those of you unfortunate to have read this blog over the years will recognise that it tends to drift towards the more solipsistic side of bike racing; the lone effort, the race of truth, the time trial. However, occasionally I have dipped a toe into the filthy pondwater of road racing, where the strongest rider rarely wins and not going home in an ambulance is generally seen as a quality result in the Cat 4s. This year i’ve renewed my racing licence; it’s not cheap. This fact alone tends to spur me on to making some use of it, at least to get a degree of value having purchased the laminated card. The first of these is next weekend, the Bristol South Road Race. It’s ridiculously early in the season, but what the heck, it’s time to wear the red and gold amidst a sea of other roadmen and generally not take things too seriously.

Last weekend was the Bath Hilly, a horribly lumpy affair somewhere in Dorset, or maybe Wiltshire, i forget which. It was hailing and cold and wet and not particularly enjoyable. I did my best and came 4th, taking a cake home for my troubles. A few other roadmen came out to ride; all on the TT weapons though. Secretly they like the time trial, it’s so much simpler. Tavis Walker is back on form and he destroyed a quality field. I managed 4th place; it was a classic day where the time initially looked a bit slow, but the other times were even slower.

Ed tries to get warm

I’m looking forward to this weekend and holding out hope of slightly more clement weather. We shall see. I shall strive to enjoy it and smile. This sometimes annoys a particular clique of roadies who value seriousness above all else and refuse to countenance the idea that you might, on some level, enjoy bike racing.

4 thoughts on “Gearing up for a Road Race; TT style

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  1. I wouldn’t say “the strongest rider rarely wins”, I’d just say that in a similar way to most other sports, “strength” is not just judged by power, aerobic capacity etc. but by tactical nouse, knowledge of the opposition, knowledge of the course and observation of the bunch.
    Make sure you do all of your “brain intervals” on Sunday and don’t just ride on the front all day long and wonder why you got beat in the sprint like all the testers do…

  2. I must say, I attempted to strike a conversation up with a fellow roadie in a race last weekend and was met with stony silence. Either he didn’t enjoy my wit about racing for 30th place, or was particularly annoyed about being rather inadequate at the whole riding a bike thingy.

    Still, he could have at least faked a smile!

    1. dean robson was regaling me the other day about your ‘well-timed’ break in the CCC+C road race last year, as opposed to his ‘ride on the front, TT style, for about 40 miles’ break.

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