It's been a while since my last post, while to some this may be a relief,I thought it was time to kick off the Winter series.Today was also the first bike race for me since early June and Dookie was where the action was. Shepparton Cycling Club
were running their annual Cameron Gray Memorial road race on a great circuit near Dookie, and along with a few other Wangaratta members, I'd entered.
Now it's been rather and odd weekend to say the least.I started out Saturday morning with a touch of Gastro, and things only went downhill from there.After deciding at the last minute to drive into Wangaratta for the Saturday morning bunch ride I found myself on the wrong side of the law.Cruising towards town I didn't slow down quick enough when coming into the 80km zone and ended up with a speeding ticket.I know I was in the wrong and it was stupid,especially when every time I drive that road I see highway patrol cars along that stretch.But bugger me I haven't had a traffic infringement for at least 10 years and I was shocked when I received this one for $282.Could of bought a new SRAM Red casette for that.
Saturday afternoon I was asked to do some family portraits for a friend who lives nearby.His 2 boys live in Canberra and he wanted some recent shots taken with them.I love taking photos for friends and was hoping to get some decent shots for him.
One of my favourites from the session.
I know I've digressed a little from my Dookie trip but I'm coming back to that.On awakening Sunday morning, to the sound of rain on the roof, thoughts of staying in bed were inviting.However after reaching for my Iphone and looking at the local radar I could see the last of the rain wasn't far away.Still not feeling 100% with the thought of a 54km race I gingerly climbed out of my warm bed.It's about 100km's to Dookie, so I wanted to leave home around 8am.I'm not the type who can jump out of bed and walk out the door,my preference is at least and hour from horizontal to getting in the car,90mins is even better.
The drive over to Dookie is pretty easy on quiet country roads,some with pretty unusual names,see pic above.Also on arriving at St James I was greeted by a headless St James on the edge of town.I was hoping this was not a bad omen for the race.
It appears St James has been decapitated.
About this time I had a text from Tully Lyster regarding the day's handicaps.I have learnt to largely take no notice of the mark he suggests I will be riding off.Also the previous days brush with the Highway Patrol had left me very nervous about the town speed limit.Needless to say I stopped before replying to his text.
I'm in the 13min bunch.not off block as some had suggested.
By the time the race had started my little group had shrunk to 4 riders and as we rolled out of town one of the Shepp guys in the bunch was telling us to do track turns.Now I'm not a novice but I guess in my 3rd year of racing there is still plenty left to learn.So I had to ask what the bloody hell is a track turn as I cant see any velodrome on the horizon.After a brief explanation it was pretty simple.Rather than continually rolling over,the rider on the front would stay there for as long as they felt comfortable, then flick the elbow for the next rider to come through.My little group was a beauty and everybody participated pretty much like clockwork.We caught the limit riders on the first lap and were never headed for the rest of the race.The result came down to a bunch sprint between 5 riders(we'd picked up one of the limit guys).I was on the front with about 250metres to go and jumped with all I had. The line was coming and I was still in front.But then,in the last 50metres I was swamped,and ended up fourth.Not my finest hour but happy all the same.Gave my all and came up short,can't be too unhappy about that.All this on top of one of the biggest training weeks I've ever put in, so I'm pretty satisfied.Also thanks to Laurie Lyster for the on course encouragement,it's nice to get a race under the belt again and I'm looking forward to a great spring series of races
There's 30 bucks toward my fine.