It was bound to happen… I had a really solid month of training before I announced the project site weeks ago, had another good week or so – and then everything went mad and I spent two weeks off the bike altogether and two weeks with just a ride or two.
Not ideal preparation – but exactly the sort of thing most amateur track racers have to deal with – so I guess it’s all good material for the blog. Or it would have been, if I’d enough time to write the blog!
Quite a few positive things have happened since the announcement. Another couple of backers have come on board – or increased their involvement – with Martyn Harris of Raceware Direct stepping in top provide a Garmin Edge 810 and a Stages power crank for my road bike. It’s a long story involving a series of unfortunate misalignments between my existing bike and recent cycle component history, but he also ended up helping to source a new 11 speed Ultegra groupset and Mavic Kirriemuir wheels.
On the track, Tony Brooks of Brooks Cycles is providing a bike – one of his 7vrn carbon machines which I will get to ride for the first time next weekend.
And just a month after that first foray on to the boards, I’ll take part in my first track competition – the National Masters Track Championships at Newport . They say there’s nothing quite like jumping in at the deep end, but I have to say it feels very like jumping in at the deep end!
The idea of entering the Nationals isn’t to ‘compete’ by any sensible definition of the word – I won’t even be doing that by the Worlds in October. It’s to gain experience and to set a baseline to see how much I can improve in the intervening months.
One positive outcome of the absurd travel schedule I’ve had over the last month or so is that Alex has created a series of workouts that I can do if I have half an hour or an hour and there’s no gym. With a series of strength and endurance workouts, I really have no excuse now – unless I’m doing something totally insane like a day trip to Singapore. Unfortunately, I’m writing this in the departure lounge at Changi airport at the end of a day trip to Singapore – not a lot of opportunity to do any kind of exercise. And I have a month of travel that includes, believe it or not, another day trip to Singapore. Still, if it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing.