Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Disappointments, diabetes and a double flat

Well, to cut along story short this weekend was a bit of a bummer. I really wanted to win the road race on sunday, it was on the first course I ever raced on. When I entered that first race I didn't know about entry forms or licenses or any of that malarkey, I wrote on a bit of paper "hi, my name is James, can I enter your road race" then I wrote my phone number, that was all. Thankfully the bloke organizing the race was a top legend and called me, told me about how bike racing works and took me under his wing. I did the race 2 weeks later and flew out of the back like I was stuck to the road. Paul continued to help me with my riding and without his help I have no doubt I would not be where I am today without his help. He drove me to races, taught me how to ride in a bunch, how to chaingang, how to eat on the bike ( it took me a while to grasp that one, I never eat enough) and all the skills you need to be a bike racer.

Ever since that first time on that course it has been a bit cursed for me , I have raced on it twice since then, both times in the very early season, both times in snow. One thing my life has taught me is that God did not fashion James stouts for going outside in cold weather. Had it been any other race I wouldn't have started, one time I was violently sick, I hung about for 1 lap before unceremoniously vomiting all over my bike, not the finish I was dreaming of. The other time I just minced off the back shivering like a reed in the wind (which is probably what I looked like) both times my parents came to watch, this is about the only time they have ever come to watch so I was pretty gutted.

This time, my parents came to watch, the race was going well, I had been with all the jokey moves that always go on the first lap and felt fine, on the second lap my best mate and wily sidekick matt had gone up the road. We rarely ride without each other and I could see he was looking lonely in the wind so I went with the next move that was headed up the road, we had a gap and were smacking it pretty hard to get across. I was on the wheel of some bloke from the cyclingbargains team and he neglected to point out a stupid, pointy stone which had absoloutley no business being in the middle of the road. I looked up just in time to see his rear wheel swerve, being as there was less than an inch between our wheel I couldn't react, my front hit the rock, so did my rear. I heard a loud hiss and, for a while hoped I was imagining things. At 30 mph a while gets you about 100m, but with two flat tyres that same while allows you to completely loose control of your bike! I got my hanbd in the air to signal to the bunch that I was in trouble and they came past giving me a wide berth, I pulled over and treated anyone in the vicinity to a veritable thesaurus full of four letter language. Then I tried to hail down a service car, but there wasn't one. I ended up riding back ot the HQ in a farmer's truck holding my bike out of the window, must have provided an interesting sight to those who overtook us. Matt assures me the rest of the race was "wheelsucking crap" and I wouldn't have enjoyed it anyway. We rode the 20 miles back to my house and moped around quite a lot. I ate a whole tub of ice cream and watched the office, this made me feel marginally better and a lot fatter.

The next day was the last of the upavon evening races which are generally windy, bloody hard and start at 7pm. For some reason I CANNOT get my bloodsugar right for these evening crits and as a result I was hanging after about 3 laps and after 5 I was sat in the carpark looking for someone with a packet of jelly babies. Not the best of weekends then.

On the plus side I made a really good rice pudding AND discovered that rice pudding with bananas and custard is a top notch breakfast or desert. I also went on a really long walk with my dog and picked lots of blackberries.

AND this morning a massive package of goodies arrived – trek protein flapjacks, amazing raisins and Nakd bars, I was like a little kiddie at xmas (I'll upload piccies of my stash soon) I can't say thank you enough times to the people at natural balance. As a diet conscious, wannabe healthy diabetic I find their foods not only yummy but also healthy. You know you're hooked up when people come to your car before the race to try and beg borrow or barter an energy bar!

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