Thankfully the two are not connected. In my last post I reported on the return to racing and being pleased with a new course PB on the not-especially-fast H10/3A course in Berkshire.
Fast forward to Sunday just gone and it was time to go racing again, this time on the sister course H0/3R which runs between Hungerford and Newbury. And like for Monday's race, what was supposed to be a Level-B club event looked a bit more like a national championship race with visitors from far and wide contributing to the near 90-strong field.
I had the 'luxury' of a late start, being off at number 80, and thankfully my friend and all-round speed machine Alan Murchison (returning from a pretty nasty crash six weeks ago) was off six minutes behind me. On reflection, an earlier start might have been preferable, as Berkshire's finest car and van drivers were more than a bit 'horny happy' by 10:20am (those of us waiting at the start especially enjoyed being narrowly missed by a car towing a caravan - one can only assume it was done deliberately). And maybe having Alan a little closer behind might have made me push harder!
Like Monday, due to social distancing there was no push-off, so again I fumbled it but eventually got going. The winds were pretty light, so there was no distinct advantage on the out or back (maybe slightly harder going on the way back, but not too much in it).
To cut a long story short, I probably went off a little too hard, which meant my power dropped about 3 percent on the way home. Still, I gritted my teeth and managed another course PB, taking a good 20 seconds off my previous time.
I did, however, suffer the ignominy of being caught by my minute-man in the last 800m or so. Damn. Like I say, there were some fast boys and girls out.
What would have won me the race in previous years was only good enough for 11th on the day, such was the level of talent (and/or raw power) on display.
Generally, the photos (thanks to the photographers!) seem to suggest my position is okay, but I'm still struggling with vision when my head's down low. More work needed as I'm sure that's costing me time. Big thanks as always to all the organisers and volunteers.
Back onto the road bike and I've managed wreck another brand-new Schwalbe One tubeless tyre. Despite the cut looking pretty innocent, the sealant just would not seal and by the end of the ride I'm sure I had more sealant left on my legs and bike frame than was still inside the tyre!
The Schwalbe Ones just don't seem to like Wiltshire roads... People are saying to try the GP5000s, as they are supposed to be a little harder-wearing? Typical, no punctures at all on the much-maligned Giant Gavia tyres that came with the bike, then the moment I change them I ruin two tyres in less than ten rides!