In New York, I found my enthusiasm for cycling diminishing. In the Big Apple it was hard to motivate myself for anything more than 1 a hour plod. By the end, I was just tired of the unfriendly cycling vibe, and was even considering taking up a safer sport like free climbing or Russian Roulette. I once went to a outdoor velodrome (a real boon) for a training session, but after 4 minutes hard work, packed up and went home, I just didn’t feel like it.
Before going to NY, in a fit of enthusiasm, I’d entered two races at the weekend – only one day after returning. I was seriously considering dns for the Sunday morning race – especially when the Thurs flight got delayed from 11pm to 4am on the Friday. It’s always tough to get up early in morning, but when you’re on EST, it’s even harder. But, back in England, I was soon re-inspired to cycle. Even just cycling into Oxford was good.
Saturday afternoon was the second 10 mile TT of the year, though it felt like the first. It’s hard to remember doing a very cold 10 mile TT in mid Feb. For the first time in 2013, Saturday was relatively warm and sunny. You can’t beat a warm sunny day for re-finding the joy of cycling. The 10 mile TT organised by AW Cycles was on the H181/10 Witney course. I did a time of 20.32. Eight seconds behind winner Justyn Cannon (RAF) who won in a time of 20.24. It was a good fast day, and I also enjoyed being able to cycle out and back to the race, not relying on the car.
Sunday was a harder race. A 50km hilly time trial organised by Alton CC. I like the course; it starts off with a timed hill climb, and then you have another 49km of undulating roads over quite nice roads. Nothing too steep, but even with a mild headwind, it was tough up to Four Marks on the A32. Many years ago, I did the national 100 mile TT on this course. I finished 4th – helped by the hilly course putting off many riders from entering. The last 10km was downhill and a tailwind, so it was a good way to finish. I did 1.12.?? – just pipping a few other riders by a couple of seconds. It was very close. You win some you lose some.
A 2nd and a 1st for the weekend, was pretty good to say I was close to dns’ing. Because it was another glorious day, I did a few more miles after the race, going over the South Downs towards Winchester and back.
The only drawback to the weekend was picking up a cold on Sunday. That’s the problem with long transatlantic flights, it’s too easy to pick up bugs and colds afterwards. But, on the positive side, I didn’t come back with a deep vein thrombosis like in 2012. That was even more annoying than catching a cold and trying to stay awake at Terminal 7 JFK until 4am in morning.
I do hope cold gets better soon, I heard from Steve Batsford at the race, that the Little Mountain time trial this Sunday is really hard; he warned me you really need something bigger than a 23 sprocket – sounds like my kind of race. Can’t wait.
The picture is from the Circuit of the Dales, earlier in April. It captures the pain at 40 miles, up the hill towards Ribblehead. Thanks to Ken Roberts for photo!