>Imperial Winter Series

>I haven’t ridden the Winter Series at Hillingdon this year. This has given me a decent Winter break for the first time in three years, but I’ve missed the rhythm of having a weekly crit to ride. I didn’t commit this season because I thought we were moving house before Christmas. The latest guesstimate of a move date is mid-March. Next year the circuit will be too far away. I haven’t bought a road licence for this season – I may have ridden my last bunch race.

Anyway, I popped down to Hillingdon last Saturday to catch up with the Series. The new clubhouse at the circuit makes it a much more civilised affair than in previous years. Unusually three race weekends have been lost to the weather this year (though they did add an extra Sunday race to replace one of these). The last races are this Saturday from 1pm – well worth a visit if you’re passing through Hayes.

Former club mate Peter Dixon was riding the 3rd cat event. It was a tough, windy day. A group of three broke away and worked well together to hold off a bunch that found it difficult to maintain a consistent chase. Peter did a bucket load of work but lacked the sprint to be up there at the finish. He was 12th or 13th in the end I think.

I was almost suckered into riding next Saturday. Organiser Lucy Collins had persuaded me that it would be a good idea but then I remembered that I’m riding a Prime Coaching track session at Calshot Velodrome that day. In some ways I’m pleased (I would probably have been dropped early on), but I miss the buzz of a Hillingdon race.