Legs turn to rubber

C grade scratch
Pickering Brook
8 June 2014

After racing on Saturday and deciding to be more aggressive, what do I do racing on Sunday. The first few laps I sit at the back just watching and waiting. Actually it was more learning a course I was unfamiliar with and getting more confident with a fast descent and a couple of corners. Also as there were fires dotted around the course, the back was safest place, so I could regularly use on my asthma medication.

When the pace picked up, I did move up the pack, only to be in the middle of the bunch and have the rider in front pop on a climb and have to move around him. Though I would drop back for the descent and fly up the climb on the other side, only to hit the brakes so not to run into other riders who slowed and spread across the road.

After a couple of tentative attacks, two riders established a break. The bunch did not seem concerned. Though at one stage, I was a little worried so I went to the front up Forrest Road and rode hard the gradual climb, halved the distance to the breakaway and rolled to the back with legs full of lactic acid.

Next lap, up Forrest Road we caught the sole leader of D grade, on the descent I was off the back picking my line on the descent for my charge off the front next lap. I rode into the back of the bunch on the ascent with the D grade rider who then overtook the bunch and the breakaway. A little deflating for the breakaway and an indication of how slow we were going.

The breakaway was picked on the drag up Repatriation road. Another rider went off the front and once we turned onto Pickering Brook road, I took of in pursuit, caught him before the turn with the bunch strung out behind me. Drove hard up Forrest road, hoping to cause damage on the descent and sharp climb. Did not even get to the top of Forrest road drag when my the muscles in my left calf started spasming. Could not even turn the pedals over. I could not swing left as rider was coming up the inside, so I swung out yelling cramp and rubbed shoulders with another rider.

Lost 100 metres in the next 200 metres before finding the spasms had stopped and I could pedal. Set off in pursuit, went hard down the descent and hammered up the climb got to within 10 metres and the bang that was it, my legs turned to rubber, I was cooked. Into the small ring and cruise to the finish.

Overall, happy with my performance, I do not go into WCMCC races aiming to finish in the top 10, which I could do if I rode conservatively. I race to improve my skills, confidence, performance and have fun. Which is why I attacked with a lap to go. There was no power peaks like yesterday, actually the numbers were very ordinary. I did not spend enough time at the front end of the race, I had muscle spasms and blew up earlier the I hoped, but I chased hard. On the plus side of the ledger, I am getting a better understanding of how hard I can race, that I need to improve my hydration when racing, even in winter. The most important takeaway, was that I no longer fear the Pickering Brook course, the corners, the descents and short climb have been conquered and I am looking forward to racing there again.

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