South West Regional Road Race Championships, Hatherleigh Devon
The morning of Sunday 19th May (which was exceptionally sunny and pleasant, leading to wide-spread last minute sunscreen panic moments). Perfect day to put on some lycra, a helmet and funny reverse-heeled-shoe to go ride our bikes in circles really hard. At least 12 (or 13?!) of us thought so (as well as some junior and senior men ;-).
Once everyone had been to the loo about 2 or 3 times, signed in and pumped up their tires, it was time to hit the road.
After a short neutralized section, to get us onto the main course, the race was on, and of we went. The group stayed together for the first few laps, although there were lots of little attacks….from as far as I could tell (with most of my blood going somewhere other than my higher functioning brain areas, so I cannot really vouch for this) most of the riders, making things pretty speedy from early on. But as all the ups on the course were quickly followed by downhill sections, nobody managed to quite get a big enough gap to not get reeled in again. In between the attacks, we also had some calmer moments, giving the opportunity for all to get to know the beautiful triangular course (so not actually a circle) and let our thougts drift (I do remember these bits, so maybe it is a good thing that I pedaled too hard most of the time to remember much, or this report would be very long and very random):
– where the biggest potholes were
– where not to cross the road because of the dead baby fox (I believe Miss E.B. is currently looking for a bereavement counselor after today’s events, any suggestions please in the comments section)
– how to best circumnavigate the piles of gravel on the road, and to plan an exit strategy for how to best use the piles of gravel next to the road for stopping in case of catastrophic break failure (this was Miss E.B.’s dad’s idea initially but it did come back to me and made me ponder possibilities)
– to decide which of the many little hills was the most horrible (my personal favourite has to be the one before the left turn onto the road to Jacobstowe, which didn’t really look like a hill but bl***y well was each of the 7 times I went up it)
– admire the scenery (and the opposition’s bicycles). There was a very pretty church with a graveyard, and a magnolia tree. But no cake shops.
– think to themselves that this was painful and question one’s soundness of mind given that one had just PAID MONEY to participate in this activity.
– Look for shortcuts (I couldn’t really see any viable ones)
Well, before I get too distracted and digress further, there was a break that stuck. It consisted of Natalie and myself. Unfortunately I cannot really say much other than:
– I felt like a hero and pedaled really hard for the first lap of it (sorry Natalie…bit wild ;-), and then felt very unhero like, regretting my hero feelings it for the remaining 30 odd kilometres…(fortunately I had Natalie to drag me along for bits!)
– we worked together really well, and managed to cross the line in first and second J
– The last 15km or so were rather unpleasant, with both of us trying to stop bits of our legs go into cramp….
And as concerns the rest of the group:
Ellie says she can only remember it was painful too…It looked like it, as the remainder of the race came in in drips and drabs of between 1-3 people, looking (almost 😉 as knackered as I felt.
Some further very important points I would like to make though (before I come to the results and having to admit that I am not quite sure of everyone’s name so am not sure who didn’t quite make it to the end for various reasons)
– nobody went the wrong way!!
– It did not rain, nor blow a gale
– Nobody fell off
– And did I mention, nobody went the wrong way!?! Amazing. Even me…
Right, enough from me, you are probably now all praying that Eleanor returns from her holiday in Italy VERY soon, so you don’t have to read anymore of my waffle…
WELL DONE EVERYONE, AND THANKS FOR RACING!!
1 Mathilde Pauls, Exeter Wheelers (No 28)
2 Natalie Grinczer, Abergavenney Road Club (No 24)
3 Claire Elworthy, Exeter Wheelers (No 23)
4 Mary MacFadzean, Cycle Sport Dynamo (No27)
5 Heidi Viles, Exeter Wheelers (No 31)
6 Ayse Vahiboglu, Exeter Wheelers (No 33)
7 Elena Bremer, Exeter Wheelers (No 22)
8 Alexandra Sheehan, One and All Cycling (No 30)
9 Stephanie Post (No 32)
10 Wiebke Rietz, 1st Chard Wheelers (No 29)
DNF Sorelle Johnston, Rutrainingtoday CC
DNF Adele Martin
DNS Louise Benn, Exeter Wheelers
If I have got any of these bits wrong, please let me know/comment on the facebook threat (I can then ask Ellie or Ivan if they know how to change it on the website…because I probably won’t know…).
See you all at Portreath I hope!