• Aeightracer

collectiveriderblog/oneeightfour – first ride of 2018 pt.1

Pip tells us about her first 4 races of 2018 – a total of 6.6 miles of racing…

I entered four early races this Spring to get started before the serious racing begins. When the first one was cancelled due to snow it was annoying and then when the second one was cancelled for snowmelt I knew it wasn’t my weekend! So I spent some time preparing for the following weekend’s 10 mile TT which was promptly called off due to potholes! Luckily the following weekend was dry and sunny so nothing could go wrong.

So when I got the email Friday night saying the Q10/22 had been shorted to 6.6 mile I questioned why I would drive one and a half hours to race for 20 minutes and then head one and a half hours back home again. But even a shortened VTTA 10 mile would be good mental prep for my season. The first race of the year is always difficult for me, I’m out of the routine will always forget something. So this year I decided to enter a few early 10 mile TTs to get back in to the swing of things.

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It’s important to prepare for more important races and flicking through the start sheet I was surprised by how many quick rides (and especially females) had entered – it would need to be a quick ride to get a good result – all out for less than 20 minutes. So I packed my bag, got an early night and woke up at 4:55 for breakfast. Arriving at the HQ as it opened and with plenty of time to faff I surprisingly found that I hadn’t forgotten anything from last year.

In Kent races you can’t use a trainer to warm up near the HQ so I got changed and hit the road to warm up. I’ve found warming-up difficult to get right before so I gave myself a good 25 minutes before heading to the start. It was a lumpy out and back course with a downhill finish and with the shortened distance you could pretty much go flat out from the start. With a slight headwind on the way-out it made it feel slow but I kept pushing up the ramps.

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Fuelled by the message taped to my Garmin, on the way back I was motoring except for a few cars slowing me down, but that’s the same for everyone – back on the gas I worked hard and pushed down to the finish to clock a time of 16:03, taking first place in the Ladies race by 2:17 (15th on the overall). I was pleased to have gone relatively well so early on in the year and on such a cold day. I feel much more confident about my first few proper races now which begin at the end of April with a 25 miler.

Photos by Dave Haywood and Pip. 

Pip rides for the Southborough & District Wheelers. She races  road bikes, TT and ‘cross at local and national level. She receives personal support from the.æight.bicycle.cømpany.

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