Sunday 7 April 2013

Tyres, racing and gentlemen

I had a nervous moment at one of the recent MK Bowl races. In fact I had many, but one of the them involved taking to the outside of the track, whereupon I discovered a lack of grip and made a mental note not to verge too wide on subsequent laps.

I also added a new pair of tyres to my wish list which was granted by my parents on my recent birthday and I received a pair of Vittoria Open Corsa Evo Tech tyres.  I fitted them for the next MK Bowl race, inflated them to 120psi and had no issues with grip.

However, I used my race bike for my 100km recovery ride and when I gave it a post-ride clean I noticed that the tyre was deflated due to an embedded flint. I must have been feeling tired as, rather than replacing the inner tube I chose to patch it; a decision I later regretted...

Yesterday I entered the 4th Cat race at Hillingdon, rode around the 0.9mile circuit a couple of times to warm up and then joined the start line. As I listened to the Commissaire briefing another racer pointed out that I had a flat tyre. My race was over prematurely.

In fact it wasn't over. I was lent a spare wheel by a very kind young gentleman who was carrying spares for his girlfriend also participating in the race (Cat 4,3,2,1 women were racing 1 minute behind the Cat 4 men). I slotted the rear wheel in quickly and re-joined the bunch waiting to start.

Sadly I didn't score any points in the race however I dodged the (several) crashes, stayed upright, did my share on the front, covered a few attacks and finally finished within the top 20. 

I am enjoying racing with the 4th Cats but would like to score a few points.  The 24mph average speed is within my capabilities but I need to do some training and fettle my race bike to make it a bit more race-ready in advance of my next planned race in a couple of weeks.

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