Friday, 7 August 2009

It’s a family affair



Something happened at the time trial on Wednesday night which I never thought I would se, it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had in a time trial (Admittedly that isn't saying much).About 2 miles into my club 10 I passed the person who had started a minute in front. A 49 year old man on a cheap road bike, not much out of the ordinary there. The difference was, this was my dad!


Every time I go out to ride I'll always walk into the kitchen and mix my bottles and grab my trek bars from the box on the windowsill. Traditionally my mum/dad/sister will ask me what I'm doing and I'll tell them I'm going or a bike ride and ask I they want to come. They laugh, say no and off I go. My family aren't really into cycling, occasionally my mum will watch races and she supports me as much as she can. My dad was a pro rugby player and has never really been physically suited to a sport which favors those with a high power:weight ratio.

Anyway last week my dad asked what I was doing on weds night and I said iw as riding out to the club time trial and asked I he wanted to come. He had been riding or a little while on a bike I had built for him and I had suggested he do the tt. He said he was thinking about it. I called him at work and told him what to expect. I wasn't sure if he would make it so I set off to do my ride before the race. I arrived and signed on, as I was warming up I saw the amiliar shape of his estate car pulling in. Sure enough it was my dad, I helped him put on his number and made sure I was behind him. He was a little nervous but everyone was very encouraging. He didn't want to get overtaken by too many people. I started one minute behind and made sure to sit 100 yards behind rather than blowing straight past. Once I was sure he was safely riding on the biggest road o the course I came past and set into my tt rhythm. I wasn't as concerned with my race as catching a sight of my dad on the way back. After I finished I hung around at the end. About 5 minutes later my dad arrived, looking tired but exhilarated eh quickly integrated into the friendly banter in the gateway after the finish.

For someone who hasn't been riding much I was really impressed, I rode a nice tempo and logged a 24.08 for the ten on my road bike (I was pleasantly surprised given that this was my first effort since the op) my dad did a 28:36, this means an average of over 20mph, which is a very good first effort. My dad drove home in the car, I rode home (it's about 15 miles) . when we got back we had a pie and a chat and he admitted to quite enjoying it, the next day he even took 2 nakd bars to work instead of chocolate bars. A new leaf has been turned over and I'm proud to be part of it.

On Thursday night I did the elite race at castle coombe. Having been in Spain and San diego all year it's fair to say I have turned into a massive fairy boy and I was shivering about ten million times a second before the start of the race. I honestly feel that a snorkel would have been better than a helmet in conditions like that – I hung on for just over 8 of the 15 laps, people kept flying out of the back o the race and eventually I couldn't get around. I went back to the 4th cats (lower category riders) and did some solid work on the front of their bunch, I nearly managed to help them stay away from the elite (pro) field and win the handicap race. Sadly my scheme was foiled on the last lap but nonetheless my baptism of fire (or flood) was complete. It felt good to be doing a proper bike race again, one where you pin on your number properly and wear embrocation. Where everyone can ride their bike properly and the peloton goes through and off. Now I just need to get my legs back so I can ride like a proper racer!

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