Sunday, 30 September 2012

Damn Those Limpets

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly one can lose form, particularly when it takes so long to gain it. Last year I made the imprudent decision to take a month's vacation from my bike, and consequently had to drag myself through four months or so of swinging on the back of the bunch, labouring my way up Takaka, and swallowing the shame of the pity claps when I came crawling to the finish, after most were packing up to go home. Needless to say, I felt two weeks off would suffice this year.

I did feel a lot fitter after my break this year than last, but it has still been (and remains) a struggle to be as competitive as I would like to be. Though I have kept in mind that my target race isn't until February next year, and that one cannot be on brilliant form all of the time. So for now, I just have to suck it up and focus on laying the foundations that the coming track season will be built upon.

Even with all of this in mind though, it is hard to rock up to the NZ Schools Nationals and not want to win a few medals and a bit of pride, so of course that was my aim. But the thing with schools nationals is that they very rarely go to plan, and it is very easy to get swamped by a heap of erratic cyclists in a bunch kick, despite one's best efforts to avoid this by spending a good percentage of the race on the front, trying to lose the swarm of sit-on and shit-on-ers, however unsuccessfully. As you can imagine, there was a fair bit of screaming, shouting and maybe a few swear words incited by a dangerous mix of rage and exhaustion.

Long story short - I had two very hard races, and two somewhat disappointing ones.

Big ups to Devon Hiley for a hugely impressive display in the points race. Holding off the bunch in wind so relentless that my max speed in the sprint laps never surpassed fifteen kilometres an hour, would have taken a great deal of will power and a lot of gas in the tank. Well deserved win.

Now to start the familiar task of packing my suitcase and bike boxes so I can head back down to the foot of New Zealand (Invercargill) for the sixth time this year. But this time it's to try my luck on the road at the Yunca Junior Tour of Southland. I haven't raced the tour in a while so it will be a nice change (though not of scenery), and I'll have a chance to get my track legs going again at the ILT Track Racing the following few nights. Better give my Spaggs a polish ツ


>Limpet Definition

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The Road Less Travelled

The dust is starting to settle on my blog and I think it's about time I brush it off. By now you might have noticed somewhat of a trend.. if I'm not content with how things have gone, I'm often dilatory in advising the world about it. Most likely because I'm subconsciously trying to avoid digressing on something that has been pushed so far back in my memory stores that I will have to search through primary school playground disputes and trips to Lollipop Land to find it.

To be quite honest, I was severely disappointed with my performance at the the Junior World Champs. I'm not complaining about a silver medal in the Team Pursuit, and I stand proud to have made it one step higher on the Podium from last year, but I cannot help but feel that I wasn't the best that I could have been that day. Which was made quite apparent five days later, when I rode nearly two seconds slower than my best, and one and a half seconds off the time I rode two weeks earlier, immediately after a fairly brutal training block. Lessons are yet to be learned, as soon as I work out what exactly went wrong.

I've had a decent break from my bike, and it was much needed - if not for my body's sake, my mind's. I would like to thank the people who have stood behind me, and urged me on when it would have been so easy to give in. You know who you are. It's not going to be an easy road from here, now that I've been thrown into the 'real world', but it's a road that I am going to charge down and not look back, and one that I hope to leave some decent footprints in.