Third time… Unlucky

I think it’s fair to say my racing campaign this season hasn’t gotten off to the best start. It can be summed up as follows:

1) Illness
2) Mechanical failure
3) Injury – again.

I can take a small amount of comfort in that number one wasn’t my fault – two days before planning to make my racing debut I came down with a heavy cold. I might have reached the podium had it been a race to determine who could produce the most mucus in the time but sadly this was not to be. In the end ‘Race day’ was spent sat on the sofa indulging in a spot of Netflix whilst feeling very sorry for myself. “Next time” – I said to myself. If only.

You might have looked at my bio & seen the Master of Procrastination description. You may think it an exaggeration but I promise you it’s absolutely true – in this case it was to be my downfall. Three months ago it occurred to me that my bike may need a service, having been ridden all though the Winter. The roads of the West Country are not forgiving at the best of times, add rain, mud & salt and
you have the perfect formula to ruin your nice components. Getting back on topic, I had of course pushed this idea to the back of my mind – allowing my poor bike to continue in its rather sorry state.

Of course, I would get my comeuppance in my second race – this time I at least got to the start and
managed four laps. However it was at this point that my bike decided to obtain revenge for the
neglect I had shown. Off with the chain, slipping just enough for me to lose my position in the bunch, the first time I dared to hope it was a one-off but, the minute I had rejoined the frey, the incident
recurred. My chain problem continued to get progressively worse, finally, having only completed
fifteen minutes worth of racing, I had to call it a day. “Next time” – I told myself again, this time with a little more apprehension.

Time for round three. This time I had a bad feeling from the start – if only I had the sense to listen. By this point I was desperate to finish a race, having seen several people I knew win on their first or second attempt. It was with this in mind that My father and I set off to Devon on a Tuesday evening, braving gale-force winds, driving rain and a Sat-Nav that seemed intent on sending us down the most treacherous roads possible. At least, by the time we got there the rain had stopped – “maybe”, I told myself, “this might be a success after all”.

Sadly, once again, this was not to be. I managed a very poor start, after being un-able to clip in
properly (for anyone new to cycling, I was using clipless pedals which, today ceased to be my friends. I ended up at the very back of the bunch, never a good position to be in. Next came a crash up ahead, resulting in the separation of the group – needless to say this didn’t swing things in my favor. I soon found myself in no mans land, having dropped the riders behind me but not being able to claw my way back up to the main bunch.

I carried on, determined to at least finish this time. Sadly it was not to be, having watched three other riders crash on a particular corner, half an hour into the race I went down myself. Yet again I was forced to call it a day.

To add injury to insult, I managed to damage my wrist in the process. Thankfully it wasn’t broken, (late last year I endured six weeks of being confined to the indoor trainer due to a collarbone injury & could think of little worse than having to subject myself to the sweaty torture chamber during the height of summer).

It was now that I found myself unable to do anything but laugh. There it is, six weeks into what was supposed to be a season of successful racing I have yet to finish one. The only trophy I have acquired thus far is a wrist splint to add to my growing collection of injury related paraphernalia. What the future holds I do not know, and, judging by recent progress that may well be a blessing.

Stay tuned for more.

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