Hog Hill 24th April 2010

With a very mixed start to the season the ambitions for today were pretty modest – to finish the race.

I decided to get the Parlee out of storage for it’s first use in anger.  I couldn’t bear to put the ‘wheelchair wheels’ that Geoffrey Butler built for me on it so I rode with my PowerTap-less Dura Ace wheels.  So no power.  Or heart rate.  Or speed. 

The pace of the race was reasonable and I was very comfortable in the bunch. 

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Repeating the mantra ‘do not ride on the front, do not ride on the front’ I ended up on quite a few occasions riding on the front.  I can’t help it.  I like to be at the sharp end of the race and somehow it just happens. 

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Barry from Bespoke went off the front early and I was sorely tempted to try and join him but with a DNF already at this track this year after a daft push off the front I decide to play it cautiously instead.

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The race was 1 hour plus 5 laps.  With just under an hour gone I got horrendous cramp on the hill simultaneously in both calf muscles.

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I had to totally back off and I thought my race was over.  From the front end of the bunch to the back and off.  I must have been at least 150m off the back.  I practically resigned myself to my fate of another DNF.  However, my legs slowly started to come back so I thought I’d do another lap and see what happened.  After a mighty effort for 2 laps I managed to claw my way back on.  After another lap or so getting my breath back I made my way back to the front of the group.

With only about 3 laps to go I was pretty bushed but managed to hold on for the last lap and finish comfortably in the bunch. 

The modest outcome dovetailing nicely with the modest ambition.

Other Bigfooters?  ReubenE, like a lot of other riders, did not stick the pace for the whole race though ReubenE’s downfall may have been down to an ill-advised early dig at the start of the race.  PaulS put in another very solid, strong performance and finished 5th I think.  Brilliant.

(all pictures courtesy of DaveC)

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