I got an email from the racing secretary of my cycling club this morning reminding us about the upcoming race. Last weekend and a fortnight prior I competed in the first 2 legs of a tri-club challenge (3 clubs, not swimmer/joggers-who-happen-to-own-a-bike type club) and the email was a call to arms for the 3rd leg.
The first race was 40 minutes plus 2 laps of an old car racing circuit, 2.4km/lap with a couple of hills – a 400 metre 4-5% grind and a 200 metre 9% pinch that then provides the altitude for the 700 metre run (300 down and 400 flat) to the finish. I finished that race with the bunch but 12 times up the hill took my legs away and I rolled over in about 9th or 10th.
The second race was Saturday just gone and I punctured at the 8km mark having been dropped at 7.2km on the 2nd 250 metre 12% climb of the day. It would have been 2 laps of a 19km course that is highlighted by the hill I just mentioned bookended by, 1km prior, its preceding twin, and followed 3km hence by a horrible monstrosity best described in scientific terms lest I burst into tears… 150 metres at 6%, then 100 metres at 8%, then a 50 metre false flat finished off with 100 metres at 14%. Fortunately I had the honour of climbing the 3rd hill in privacy after repairing my puncture.
The exciting part of the competition is now at hand. I’d already been told that the final race was a flat crit with wide open corners. Here’s the course description that arrived this morning;
The circuit is;-
* 1,200m long
* Fast – smooth surface – safe…ish!
* Almost completely flat
* 450m finishing straight
* Between 6 and 8m wide
There’s no climbs at all, so ‘sprinters’ can usually race ‘up a grade’ at Nundah.
Here’s my take on the whole “race up a grade” scenario. What kind of idiot do they think I am? I nearly died on the hilly course 3 days ago (my quads still speak to me when I rise from my chair). I barely survived on the mildly undulating circuit 2 weeks prior. I think a flat fast crit is karma for all my suffering. I’m riding the same grade and taking back my 3 weeks entry fees in prize money with a clear conscience.
Then after I cash in my karma chips, the following weekend is the Metropolitan Championships. A concept that was birthed out of city/country rivalry caused when a bunch of clubs in rural Queensland ran a race in the late ‘70s that excluded riders from clubs that were based within 100km of the capital city. The Metros have outlived the country championships by nearly 2 decades but it’s still a title race. The best part is that I have to work on the Sunday when they are running the hilly 80km road race so I have to put all my
drugs effort into the Saturday afternoon criterium championship – another flat fast race.
While I wait for these exciting dates to arrive I’m just going to continue with my ongoing program of self improvement by writing some 9000 words of essays on 6 different topics over the next 2 weeks.