Paraparap is about a 2.5 hour drive away from home, so any race at this location becomes almost a full day for me....I'm not sure what is the most tiring..the travelling or the racing. I've been there before for a race with the Geelong vets, but their course is a 2 lapper at 20km , whereas this one is a there and back course of close to 25km.
D grade was populated by most of the women with me being first cab off the rank as the oldest and potentially the slowest which seems to be my lot in life now...better get used to it. There are a few downsides to being first off:
the traffic marshals aren't always ready for you
there are no bums to chase
you have the longest wait for the presentations
actually I've never had the first one happen before, but it surely did this time. Approaching the last right hand bend on the way home onto a major road one is around a blind corner and the marshal there wasn't ready for me...at all. Luckily there was no traffic on the main road I was crossing into. As to the last point...well I got tired of waiting and, not realising I would feature, left before the presentation.....whoops!
The starting few km was into a block head wind which was gusting fairly strongly when I set off.....management of my energy levels at this point came close to cracking wide open, but luckily it didn't and so I was able to pound on and enjoy the total hoon over the same road on the way home..topping out at 51kph. Needless to say all my 5 km splits were negative compared to the first 5km.
I return here twice more (once on each course) before travelling to warmer weather in 45 days, so those 2 plus 1 race at Castlemaine (starts with a 2km climb so I'm told) and 1 race at the Kew Boulie will see the end of this racing block. TG
Take 1...weather too awful for pathetic little me
Take 2...my saddle fell off!
the weather was great..perfect for racing and with my saddle was firmly clamped in place and the Garmin cemented into place..what else could go wrong?!
Actually I didn't really feel like racing. I was a bit jaded as I'd spent the past 2 days driving around the state firstly taking a great niece to Sovreign Hill in Ballarat then driving out to woop woop to be the trail car at my cycling club's race. However..you do what you have to do and I HAD to race.
The weather was perfect..cold, windless, clear blue sky. Approaching the race venue there was a great vista across the city with 7 balloons up in the sky...magic.
The KB course is undulating..persistently undulating...there's not 1 flat bit..the link is to Strava where there's the map and details but for those not on Strava here is a chart of the elevation (and my heart rate!)
And this race's mechanical was....a dropped chain about 1/4 way through the race..didn't cost me much time as it went back on easily, but it probably cost me about 5 places in the race and a shot at my PB which I set in 2009...doh! no one from my grade passed me and I managed to pass 3 who started ahead of me.
A tough race like that deserves a reward and mine was a Peppermint Magnum...YUM!...oh and 2 snakes! (an ice cream and 2 jellied lollies/sweets for non Aus readers!)
Next race: next weekend at Paraparap (great name,eh?) ... this course is also lumpy but not quite so up and down as KB:
no doubt I'll be one of the early starters...better get used to it as I'll be no doubt be first off in Trento.
On Sunday I rode the 21.6km TT at Benalla..one I've done annually for the past 5 years I'm happy to say that despite the windy conditions I did at 30 second PB...seems like the training is working..older and faster. yay
There were , of course technical issues and why wouldn't there be? ..can't break the mould now can I!? This time round it was minor compared to my saddle falling off!!..this time it was my cyclcomputer not being tight enough on the handlebars. As a result it flopped down to lie almost vertical and well out of my sight, resulting in me doing the whole race on perceived exertion. Maybe this is the way to go as I did quite well although I normally not only check my speed but also how far I've gone to aid pacing.
I was second off and never saw the speedster in front who clearly wasn't off first due to an anticipated slow time. It being Mothers Day there were only 10 starters and on raw score I was 6th I think and 1st on age/gender handicap. I beat my age standard time by 11 minutes and 13 seconds!
I was pretty tired the next day..a 2-3 hour drive there and back plus the race caught up with me big time. The drive out there was just as dawn was breaking and the sun rise was spectacular with pink/red tinging the undersides of the grey clouds. I also spotted a fox and a huge raptor which would have had to have been an eagle.
Alex won 2 of the 3 selection trials for the World MTBO Championships to be held in Estonia during the last week in August. He came 2nd in his least favourite discipline, the sprint. As the no 1 ranking MTBO rider in Australia it was a no brainer that he was picked to represent his country.
as a result it appears he will be joining my sister and I in Turin and then travelling with me to Feltre for a week before he jets off up north to Estonia.
As the old man of the team, no doubt he will be described as "evergreen" soon!