Thursday, 24 September 2009

V . D .

"will you still need me , will you still feed me ? " *

Ah yes . The windmills of your mind . Like a wheel within a wheel .

We've just been up to the Manchester Velodrome for some ' accreditation ' action .' Was'nt too sure what to expect . Re: earlier post . I'd been fortunate enough to sample the delights of fixed wheel track riding just a few weeks ago at the Scott thingy . Stuart and I probably did about an hour or so ,just messing about really . I was fairly tired after that ,so today I was expecting mucho paino , what with over 5 hrs of track time to come .

I've been to a few taster sessions , that have been good , and I even have a ' fixie ' these days too , so it should'nt be that hard . Should it ?

We started out by being put through our paces doing fairly basic drills , just warming up I guess . John ( 64 ) was coaching us round in his rough rawtenstallian ( ? ) bellowing style . It's fair to say we were all over the place .

Gareth and I had , somehow , managed to be on the back for a couple of the drills and we both said how much more difficult it was. The thing is any tiny mistakes up on the front of the group are magnified as they travel down the line . Personally I love riding bikes , and I dont have any worries over my bike handling abilities . If I fall off , I fall off . It does happen from time to time , honest . The biggest problem I had on the day was trusting other peoples abilities . Being a MTBer ( mostly ) , I'm used to having a bit more room to manouvre and do my thang , but when your half a wheel off the person in front and they look a bit , well , dithery , it's not very confidence inspiring .

In subsequent drills I selfishly positioned myself a bit farther up the line , which made things a lot easier .

Another big problem I had on the day was hearing . I'm more than a bit mutt + jeff at the best of times . We set off on one of the drills were as riders rode off the front and up in a 'chaingang ' style it came to my turn and I'm sure someone said " dont go up " . I put in the extra effort off the front though ,and pulled away from the group . I can see that it's a serious thing , but , you've got to laugh .

Later on John had a word with a few of us , me included . He said to me that '' I really needed to concentrate more to pass the test''. I was just thinking that I was needing to relax . Hmm. What was it , Kung Fu ? Did I have to pick up a red hot cauldron with my bare wrists ?

Since I've got the fixie bike I feel a lot happier adjusting my speed on the 'drome , feeling the sprocket , and all that . I think I was watching other people too much and trying to adapt , rather than just chilling into the groove. He also said that " maybe my fitness was'nt as good as I thought " . I was a little tired by then but it honestly wasnt a problem . The pace was never too high , and on the individual efforts I felt OK . There was one thing we did in 2 groups ,where each lead rider on the whistle had to sprint off the front and join the back of the other group . I particularly enjoyed that .

Towards the end we did a kind of ' mock race ' . I honestly havent got a clue what was going on . We were changing off the front on full laps , and then half laps , then it was ' every man for himself ' . My bad leg ( I dont like to talk about ) was very tight by then , and I was digging deep . I found myself behind Gareth for a lap or two . He pulled up and I went with him . I can see now that it was probably my turn to pull , haha . I just kept on digging and according to Stuart ( who'd turned up to photograph some kids in Lycra ) , John said " I was worried about his fitness , and he's just won that " .
I dunno . Did he mean me ? If all it takes to win a race on the velodrome is ride round blindly for 20 laps and put in a bit of a spin to finish then Chris Hoy'd better watch out . Especially since he started doing all his TV work and getting a bit porky.

All in all a very enjoyable day out . We put in over 50 miles of laps in the end . I've kinda got it out of my system for a while .Itch , scratched . It wont be replacing the mountainbiking just yet , but I will definitely be getting up there again for some of the SQT sessions .

* When I'm 64 .

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