Sunday down at Eastway again, this time for a straightforward novice race. Apparently last week’s one was a fast race and so it wasn’t me being plain rubbish. By contrast the pace in the novice race was far more manageable and I was sitting in quite comfortably by the halfway mark.
I even took a few pulls on the front and insanely tried to jump the bunch in that slightly comic fashion beloved of novices – head down, pedalling furiously and entirely oblivious to the fact you’ve been chased down within a couple of hundred metres. Then it all started to go slightly awry, leading to another tale of woe. My first mistake was probably the most costly in terms of the race, the second was definitely most costly to my pocket.
By about the halfway stage one rider had gone away and established a good lead which was proving difficult to chase down. As we came down the start/finish straight I asked another rider if we were going to chase him down or not but forgot to check my line and found myself on the wrong side of the track coming up to the tight first bend. l I overcooked the first hairpin, avoided T’ing another ride, ran wide and then couldn’t get back on as I tried to chase back up the rise and into a stiff headwind.
In the end I found myself up slogging round trying to get back on before I got lapped by the bunch just as the five laps board came up. Was happily dragging it along, seeing as it seemed like it might get me back up to another couple of riders ahead of us and by my calculations near enough to a top 10 finish.
As we went up the rise at the beginning of the lap, just after the hairpin and dip I promptly snapped a spoke in my rear wheel, thus ending my race. Yet another blinking DNF to the list, this time a mechanical.
So like any sensible cyclist I went and consoled myself by replacing my shimano 550 wheels with a pair of Mavic Kysrium Equipes from Cycle Surgery in Spitalfields. Well I had to get home somehow and nowhere seemed able to fix the wheel at such short notice at lunchtime on Sunday. To be honest, I’ve been meaning to buy some new wheels for a while as I’ve found the Shimano ones a bit flexible and spongey. The Equipes about hit the right price for me – I can’t relly justify pimpin’ my ride with anything more expensive than them – £:224 is about as much as I’m willing to go on a £:750 bike.
Today I’m not feeling too bad appart from the usual amount of post race stiffness. Looking forward to next week’s novice race and the prospect of hopefully finishing at last.