I’m still very new to racing so every day is a school day and this weekend, travelling to Eastbourne for a seafront criterium, was definitely a lesson in problems not podiums.
0900 PRE RACE FAFFING
Control that which is controllable, because racing is anything but.
1200 THAT TRANSFER TRAIN
Waterloo was full of people dressed up for the races.
And there I was, heading to the races too, but instead I was wearing lycra, sipping coffee like it was champagne, donning a Rapha cap as my fascinator and with 15-1 odds of getting my ass kicked.
1400 NORTHERNER LANDS IN THE EAST
Swooning over the seafront was soon replaced with pre-race panic when I saw how technical the circuit was with corners as sharp as my tan lines.
1500 PUNCTURES AND PINS
Where there is a bike there is a ball ache.
60 minutes before the race one of the tubeless tyres I was riding burst.
I then ripped my skinsuit in a public toilet, whilst trying to pin my number on.
I couldn't find anywhere to buy water and there was nowhere to store my bag.
It felt like a finish line when I finally made it to the start line.
1600 40 MINUTES + 5 LAPS
Fast. Technical. Painful. Repeat.
1735 LONDON BOUND
Ass officially kicked. Finished 6th.
I cycled off the course avoiding the white dress of a bride who was watching the race, picked up my bag and headed to the station.
I spent the 2 hour journey home disappointed and over analysing the race.
Gin and tonic please.
Sometimes it's just not your day. But inbetween the issues and the oil stained tissues, there's moments that mean more than a medal. I strengthened my ability to ignore my ego. I'm now clued up on tubeless tyres. I was made aware of how far I have to go on this racing journey, and that's ok. I was reminded that if I'm feeling tired, it means I need to rest, not give up. I learnt that no matter how strong your backpack tetris skills are, your yoghurt can still explode on the train home... Thanks Eastbourne for the sun, the type II fun* and for reminding me that race days can sometimes be a beach.
*Type II fun: Sucks the entire time you are doing it, but you are excited to either brag about it at the bar later or look back on it and value it as a character-building episode.