Since I announced that I had acquired a racing licence for this year on twitter a couple of weeks ago, there has been frenzied speculation as to why. Or, more accurately, a couple of people have asked me.
Well, at last, all can be revealed…
Having edited trackcycling for the last six years despite having only ridden the track three times (and never in competition) has always bothered me a little, but having nudged 18 stone (that’s 252 pounds for our American readers and 114kg for those of us living in the 21st Century) there didn’t seem much chance of me doing anything about it.
Then, for entirely unrelated reasons, I decided to do something about the weight. By Christmas I had lost 20kg and was becoming more confident that the other 10kg I was aiming to shed would follow. When my son announced that he was going to return to the track in April, I decided to use a bet as an incentive and, rather rashly, suggested that if he won the B League at Reading Track League, I would ride the Individual Pursuit at the World Masters.
I’ve no idea where the idea came from – and it was always a bit rash, because he’s won the B League before… but by the end of January it began to dawn on me that if I waited until the end of the season to see if I’d lost the bet, it would be a bit late to start training.
The more I thought about it, the more I thought it might make an interesting project. How much progress could a 49 year old who’d never competed above 4th Cat level (and competed is a bit of an exaggeration) on the road, do on the track? People might want to read about that… And with Strava and Garmin data, they’d be able to see what progress – or lack of it – I was making.
The initial idea was to go even further and see if I could do all my training on a Wattbike and just turn up and ride. When I roped in our coaching columnist Alex Wise to help me, we quickly decided that was a step too far – but I’m pretty busy and travel a lot, so track time was definitely going to be limited. I will, though, be riding a couple of other events in preparation and micing in some club 10s and road miles in between.
And it’s all going to be documented here. I’m actually a month in to the training and this week I’ll share what I’ve done so far and what we have planned over the next few weeks. There’ll be regular training and competition updates and, hopefully, a few video diary entries along the way. We’re not daft enough to set targets – this is a journey in to the unknown – but I have a sense of what I’d like to do and Alex has made a predicition based on the first month’s numbers – and they’re not far apart. We’ll share them at the end.
I’m also delighted to announce that we have a couple of backers on board – glove maker 5bling and 3D printing specialst (and bike computer mount manufacturer) Raceware – and we’ll be announcing some more over the next couple of weeks.
Watch this space.
(Oh, and I made it to 80kg)