>Winter Series race 13 / Edgware reliability

>A good race this week. The Imperial Racing Team guys took the first few laps out quickly and smoothly and the rhythm remained brisk pretty much throughout. I felt okay, but I knew I was sluggish compared to most of the other riders.

I took a couple of turns on the front. These were not necessarily a great idea. I had been riding comfortably in the first ten or so, but when I swung out from the front position I realised I didn’t understand how to slot back into the line near the business end of the bunch. I ended up way back in the group having to cope with the whiplash effect off some of the corners.

However, I was there at the end, missed the crash and rolled up for 23rd place from 31 finishers.

That was the last race of the series until next December and I’m going to miss it. Thanks, Imperial and friends, for organising it. The standard of riding has improved through the series (though there are still a couple of wheels to avoid, probably including mine).

By the way, I couldn’t even win a prize in the post-race raffle.

Race stats: position – 23rd of 31 finishers, race distance – 20.12 miles, race time – 49:45, average speed – 24.3mph, average HR – 151bpm, maximum HR – 173bpm, top speed – 30.6mph (the 20th mile), fastest mile (the 20th) – 2:16 (26.5mph), slowest mile (the 1st and 17th) – 2:36 (23.1mph).

Winner: Jai Watson of Dulwich Paragon

On Sunday I rode over to Denham Country Park for the Edgware Road Club reliability trial. I was in the middle* group (4-4.5 hours) and we went out at an easy pace. It started to pick up once we hit the hill and all hell let loose when a faster group (led by Richard “The Guv’nor” Jerome and John “Mr Williams” Williams of the Willesden) caught us.

After three fast miles they shook some of us off. The dropees formed a group and tried to work together. The pace was pretty up and down for a while, but slowly we started to gel and make progress. By this time I had ridden yesterday’s race out of my legs and was feeling all right. With 5 miles to go I accidentally got a gap and pushed on. Two got up to me and we finished fast (53×13). My time was about 3h 25m, which was pleasing. I had over 75 miles on the clock by the time I got home.

*I thought it was the middle group but apparently it was the slow group. That would explain the welcome easy start.