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Adventures awaits
Adventures awaits
30 something, who discovered triathlon in her late 20's,
Enjoying the lifestyle it brings, the people who you meet
and the places it takes you.

Potential method for a faster bike split..

LVereby LVereAug 28th 2016
After persistent hints from a friend to enter a road race, to be precise, Harriet from my local cycling club, I signed up for what I thought would be a relative easy 40k ride around the Thruxton race course. The day came and after unloading my bike on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year, I did a little warm-up and headed to the start. I was met by 15 ladies all looking very serious, with kit fully plastered with sponsors, flashy sunglasses, matching colourful kit and bronzed legs- I was clearly the odd one out. We were briefed by a rather relaxed guy from British cycling who rode a motorbike (I'm guessing at this stage he was the equivalent of triathlons 'draft buster' but for this draft-legal race). The briefing followed with a harsh warning that during the course of the race we would be passed by the men, to which the ladies should move to the far side of the track to let them through, under no circumstances where we to try to draft the men, if we did we would be disqualified. Ok, first rule of road racing, only draft your own sex. Ok.

We were told to roll off and we all clipped in, I then proceed to get up to full TT pace, only to find myself out on own. I was very confused what was everyone doing! Should I keep going and do this all on my own or slow down. I backed off the pace so they could catch up (thinking this would be a nice gesture), all of a sudden I heard shouting then they all streamed past me, what was going on had everyone just woken up, oh and did they not realise I'd just kindly slowed down for them- clearly not. Anyhow, whatever was going on I had been dropped!! I stood up and pumped my little legs as fast as I could physically go! thankfully I had enough just to get back on!! Phew!!

We had a whole 9 laps to do in total. The race included lots of what termed 'break away's' someone coming from the back and coming passing the pack of ladies pushing the pace to 45-50k/hr, most lasting about 15-20 seconds, you had to keep your wits about you, and ensure you had a nice wheel in front in order to reduce drag! The corners were very hairy and frequently with my lack of handling skills I'd nearly take someone down. I think the pack discovered this, and I was twice shouted are to 'hold my line'. It was all a whole new language to me. I came to hate any girl who made these so called 'break away's', I was quite happy going around 30-32km'hr round the track, perhaps we could just a sprint finish! This would suit me. We came to the last uphill 800 meters and the last break away happened, I was toast! I believe everyone passed me in that distance. Safe to say I crossed the line on my own, heart rate through the roof!

My conclusion is road racing is completely differ beast than triathlon cycling or TT racing! You need explosive power, short/sharp internal training and a mental reliance to get you through.

Will I be back? Definitely, (plus to prove to Harriet that I'll give road cycling a proper go!)
Will I start as I did before? Certainly not!

So if like me, your cycling could do with a little improvement or you just want to perfect that cycling split - I'd recommend giving this a go.

To locate your nearest road race look at https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/home
You require a race licence these are usually around £10 for a day licence or join british cycling
https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/membership/race

All cyclists start at Category 4. You collect points throughout the season which moves you up the Categories :)
 
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