*as I type this there has been sleet and snow!
The first weekend in March feels quite early to be starting racing. Despite having been out on my TT bike the previous weekend, 10 miles at race pace on J2/1 was a real shock to the system. I had tweaked my position a bit over the winter – 2cm lower at the front and saddle 2.5cm further back – and I hated it. It made my shoulders and neck painful, made my legs hurt in ways they don’t normally hurt and my power wasn’t where it should be. On the plus side, the weather was quite pleasant, the earlier start time seemed to work well and the new organisers, University of Manchester Cycling Club, did a great job. 21:54, 6th from 59
The next weekend was on J4/20e in very windy conditions. I persevered but the position felt no better and I was blown about a fair bit. This, and an unscheduled stop at the first junction, contributed to another disappointing set of power numbers. 22:32, 2nd from 40
Very high winds and lots of rain put paid to the following weekend (good call) so the next race was on J2/3 a week later. At the end of a decent block of training I felt tired going into it and unsurprisingly performed pretty badly. 22:42, 14th from 96
I finally lost patience and put my bars back up to the same height as last season ready for the Stretford Wheelers Gordon Pickering Memorial 10 on J2/1. Gordon was a lovely man and is still sadly missed. Disaster struck for me pre-race when the zip went on my skinsuit so I raced with 4 judiciously placed safety pins holding my belly in, much to the amusement of the starter and pusher off (no I haven’t put weight on!) My legs felt a bit better but nearly a mile idling behind two cars behind a slower rider put paid to any thoughts of a decent time. I still wasn’t happy with my saddle position so after the race I put that back to last season’s position too. 22:16, 11th from 104
In a major error of judgement I had decided to ride the Merseyside VTTA 15 the next morning in Shropshire, completely failing to factor in the change to BST robbing me of an hour of sleep. However, despite it being much windier and colder than it looked, my bike felt comfortable again and I recorded an average power over 15 miles higher than any of the 10’s up until that point. 33:48, 6th from 68