Sunday, 16 August 2009

Pythons, pissing and pre – race meals

I have just got back from the python rr, I finished squarely in the bunch being the dedicated wheelsucker that I am. I'm okay with that though, im still getting some form back after the appendix came out so for me the goal was to finish a 90 mile race and try to do so without feeling like anything was trying to escape out of my bowel. In that case mission accomplished. The race itself was pretty boring; long, hot and flat, a break went, I tried to get across and pretty much found the limits of my fitness. I returned to the comfort of the bunch where I could roll around in fine company, eating my jelly babies and trying to avoid potholes. Amusing incidents of note include:

one rider needing to piss 3 times in a 90 mile race (I reckon he might want to get his prostate looked at) but then again I suppose it's a pretty good way to deal with someone who won't pull their turn on the front.

The bunch getting strung out behind a horsebox

Me nearly getting killed by an ambulance around a blind corner

Multiple uses of the famed reverse tap; you reach around a rider, tapping him on the opposite side to the side you are actually on, then you laugh at him when he looks the wrong way. It's comic genius, honestly.

Seeing as this would be a rather short entry without some other content I thought I would reflect on a couple of things. People often ask me what I think about during a race, honestly you don't really want to know. It's pretty boring. My internal monologue went something like this; normally you get a rubbish song in your head and it won't go away. Today's mental jukebox was spinning You've got a friend by James taylor and Ruby by the Kaiser chiefs – nice mash up. Aside form the song random thoughts tend to flow in and out. "it's hot isn't it, I should take some clothes off" "when was the last time I ate something, I wonder how my bloodsugar is" "it's a 90 mile race, what fraction of the race have we done, hmm 11/90 oh balls still got a while to go then, I should really think about taking this gilet off now." (unzip gilet, sit up) "oh balls someone's attacking, ouch this really hurts, I think I'm going to get dropped, o h there goes a wheel jump on, hey this guy has matching shoes and tyres, nice, ooooooooouch this really hurts and I have my gilet undone, I look like a cross between superman and a smurf, is that a horse or a cow, no it's a horse, oh good we've slowed down a bit, oh crap that's a pothole, cool I hopped it, I bet everyone is impressed with my bunnyhopping skillz" (sit up roll up gilet) "hmm I need to eat, I wonder if I can combine two flavours of jelly baby to make a cocktail – oh bummer, I can only find green ones, oh look a tractor, I wish I had a tractor (I really do), I wonder what I'll make for dinner tonight, maybe I should attack" (attack) "bad idea this hurts, but I have a gap oh crap it's a big gap, this is such a bad idea, this hurts soo much, pedal smoothly, hit the apex of the corner (brief James taylor interlude here, I also dribbled a bit) oh they've caught me, good now I can relax, oh crap they're spanking it, hang on, find a wheel, sweet got one, oh look this guy has hairy kneepits, schoolboy error, I'll tell him when I can summon enough breath to, oh that guy has race number 69, sweet. That man's mowing his lawn, it's ages since I have done that, I wonder if he has a veggie patch, looks like he does, bloody hell that's a mad combover on that bloke watching, if I move up now I can slip back on the hill.

And so it goes on until the last kilometer which is a little different: "who's wheel do I want, oooh not that one he's a chopper, this one looks good, swerve the pothole, get round this bloke he's dying, have I got any gears left, yeah 2 left, was there another corner, oh crap yes, slow down, find a hole move up, WE"RE ALL GOING TO DIE, phew danger averted, jump up a wheel, oh crap the right hand side is moving way faster, I'll move across, sorry, just crossed someone's wheel AAAAARGH IM CROSSING BARS, oh good I survived, crap yellow flag, change gear, out the saddle give it beans, oh balls my jersey zip just broke, shoddy, I don't think I have got that fat recently, maybe it was all the ice cream last night, oh crap there's the line, this guy's a nutter he's sprinting like Kermit the frog, can't get past those gangly elbows, ooooh my legs hurt, now my lungs hurt, now I cant see. Phew over the line, spin slowly, find a mate, find some water, ride back to the car. Rinse and repeat.

Another thing I wanted to reflect on was pre race meals, I like to eat about 3-4 hours beforehand, I have tried a few things but I generally try to avoid dairy, I like porridge with almond milk and I had rice and raisins today with soy sauce. Some people eat eggs but I think I would revisit them, I like yogurt as well but sometimes it makes me phlegmmy. I will sometimes eat ice cream if it's a group ride, if I have time/energy I make pancakes and waffles. Coffee is a must. Sometime's if I'm in a rush I will confess to eating a trek bar and a smoothie. The night before though, it has to be pasta. ON the continent they make you eat pasta 3 hours before, it's like a bloody religion out there, everyone's doing it and you get shouted at if you don't. I'm not hardcore enough to eat pasta for breakfast yet, maybe one day.

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