SERRL Kenardington 15 Aug 2010


My third road race of the year – and third ever for that matter.  The other two went really well and I scored 5th and 2nd places overall.  After an indifferent – at best – run in circuit races there was a little bit of pressure to a) score a couple of points and b) prove the other outings weren’t flukes.


No doubt about it; the SERRL races are fantastically well organised and run.  Support vehicles, motorbike outriders, rolling road closure – the cycling peasants can briefly ride like kings.

So I line up with 59 or so other riders who are variously better trained, in better shape, have better genetics and physiology, aren’t pushing 40 and have more time to train.  You get the idea.  Getting a result is somewhat against the odds.

I promised myself I would not repeat the mistakes of yesterweek and respond to and try and get in to every break.  If I was going to do something it would be in the last 10km – the last thing I wanted was a repeat of last week which was a severe arse-kicking at the start of the race with nothing to show for it at the end.

First Half

Four other Bigfoot riders were also at the race; DaveM, ReubenE, PaulS and recently crowned 2nd Cat veteran SteveS.  Steve got in an early break whilst I was quite content to stick in the peloton and generally chill,  barely getting a workout.  One of the cruel travesties of cycling is that riding in the bunch is largely un-taxing at this level, but getting and staying away is very hard work indeed.  There are no prizes for doing something in-between these two extremes.

I was finding time for regular doses of “humour” directed at my teammates.  Average HR for the first half 155bpm.  Tempo at best.

Second Half

This all stopped abruptly when I ended up off the front of the bunch.  I can’t remember what precipitated this madness – it was only half-way through the race and the very last thing I wanted to do was spend the last hour killing myself.  I did my oddly normal trick.  Have half a go off the front.  Realise I’m not going to make enough gap.  Back off.  Realise that the peloton hasn’t made an impression and think ‘fuck it’ and have a proper go.  Weird.

I spent about 25 minutes in no-mans land.  Between a breakaway of two riders and the bunch.  At one point the game was nearly up as a furtive check behind revealed a looming shark of riders.  However I pressed on and caught the two-man breakaway. 

I got my breath back and we started working.  One of the guys was shot and couldn’t contribute to the pace-setting so it was down to me and a guy from San Fairy Ann CC rider to stay away.  We took good turns and at one point I thought I might be able to take the win feeling pretty decent on the small climbs on the circuit.

We had about 40 seconds gap for the last lap; not enough to relax and enjoy the moment that’s for sure. I had one last push on the last climb to see if I could put a gap into the other rider.  No chance.  And no chance of me producing a sprint at the end either.

So second place over the line.  I get the nasty feeling that, in my confusion, my celebration crossing the line might have been a lame thumbs up – I hope there’s no photographic evidence!

Average HR for the second half – 174bpm.  Threshold.


SERRL road races are great.  It was terrific to get another decent placing.  It would have been nice to have got the win of course and it did cross my mind.  But much better to guarantee 2nd place than take big risks and end up 25th.  First of the losers again!

Great to ride with the other Bigfooters who finished in the bunch.  SteveS did a job for me apparently marshalling the bunch but alas out of my sight.

No Comments on “SERRL Kenardington 15 Aug 2010”

  1. 1 Hugh G said at 4:33 pm on August 17th, 2010:

    So where does that leave you license wise?

  2. 2 paulnixon said at 4:39 pm on August 17th, 2010:


    I wish you hadn’t asked :-) .

    I have 30 points now I think this season – all from 3 road races.

    10 more for my 2nd Cat license. Can I get it before the season is out? Do I want it?

    My racing is woefully inconsistent and too event-dependent – do I really want to be lining up with 1st and 2nd cats next season at Crystal Palace? (that’s a rhetorical question by the way :-) ).

  3. 3 Steve said at 8:55 pm on August 17th, 2010:

    Nixy, does that include the points for gaining your 3rd cat license, if so you might want to check but I’m pretty sure they get wiped out and you have to gain another 40 for 2nd cat

  4. 4 paulnixon said at 8:58 pm on August 17th, 2010:

    It does (include those points towards my 3rd cat license).

    If you’re right that’s good news. I get an easier start to next season even if I do fluke another 10 points by the end of this year.

    Luckily we have a brilliant British Cycling website so this is all immediately obvious :-)

  5. 5 Reuben said at 10:21 pm on August 17th, 2010:

    This is great news for me too. Another team mate making useless jokes about my heart rate :-)

    Good report. Great ride.

  6. 6 paulnixon said at 8:50 am on August 18th, 2010:


    I’m sure if we’ve both learnt anything this season it’s that there is no situation on a bike that can’t be improved with a quick heart rate check followed by some light banter.

  7. 7 Reuben said at 2:56 pm on August 18th, 2010:

    Or declaring that the race is nothing more than a massive sausage fest.

  8. 8 paulnixon said at 2:56 pm on August 18th, 2010:

    Declaring loudly :-)