Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Race Reports 2 & 3. by Beate Kubitz



Race Report no.2Do not attempt Tod cobbles in 34 x 25. Even if it is your lowest gear.That is all.

Race Report no.3The learning curve of a cx novice (aged 40 and a bit years old) part the third

Armed with lower gears and a lighter bike and on a relatively easy course I made a good start. Chipps made sure I actually lined up near the front row rather than my usual lackadaisical 'anywhere will do' place. He may have regretted this generosity when I passed him on the first bend. The ground was close mown and not as soft as I had feared and I realised I was keeping up a fairly good pace and opening up a gap over the nearest girl. It wasn't a very technical race with only one steep uphill bank made more difficult to ride by a couple of small ruts near the top which caused me to stall if I didn't judge it completely correctly. I ploughed on, noting that I was gaining seconds every lap and feeling great. This was surely how it was supposed to feel?Just over half-way, however, chasing down a bloke who had just passed me, I followed him up the steep climb. Maybe stupidly, as I knew I was climbing more quickly than he was and the firm line on the track was pretty narrow. He skidded and slipped just ahead of me, somehow rolling backwards into my bike. As I tried to climb back onto my bike to make up the lost time, there were shrieks from the sidelines.'Don't, your rear mech is off'.Thankfully they reached my dazed brain before I could try and do anything that would ruin my wheels as well. I couldn't quite believe that the race was over. I waited for perhaps a minute for my nearest rival to pass. And cheered her on.

Then I turned to Chipps to cheer him up the hill (and woefully display his lovely bike, in bits). He stepped off the Kinesis he was riding and handed it to me. I would love to say that I repaid his chivalry by going on to chase down nearest rival, but I managed to get within 20 seconds of her before realising that I wouldn't catch her and settled to a more sedate pace. I had lost my momentum and besides was slightly unnerved by his DI2 gears. At least it was relatively easy to correct mistakes (once I had noticed that being in the big ring was making the going a bit tougher than necessary). But I finished - and I learned what a difference a good start could make. And also not to ride too close to other riders on tough hills. Tomorrow I will learn how much a rear mech hanger costs.

2 comments:

simondbarnes said...

Loving the write ups. Am going to have to give cross another go this Autumn. May even be brave enough to try and start a race from somewhere other than the rear of the field :)

chrisD said...

I need a Chipps following me with a fresh bike. great write ups Beate, keep it up.