I haven’t ridden this noon hammerfest for about 6 years but I decided I need some speed in my legs. I rode on my own for the first 10 minutes just getting used to the course then joined in with the pain. My crit skills are very rusty but I didn’t really have too much trouble keeping up. It was a hard pace and I had two attempts at riding off the front just to get a feel for my form (the second one resulted in some sarcastic comments). There are some really strong guys out there , considering this is the off season, and the speed was pretty respectable at around 27 MPH average per lap. Three guys attacked off the front early on and our bunch never really made much headway into catching them. I did have some difficuly keeping in tight formation on one of the turns and got shouted at for letting gaps form (even though they were small). I have probably only done 35 laps at speed round this circuit in the last 6 years wheras some of these guys will have done thousands. I only hope by the time the racing season comes along I have improved enough to still be competetive. Being able to keep up in November isnt really anything to boast about and being the new kid on the block sucks.
I don’t know what the protocol is for the finish but it was suddenly over and everyone just scattered. Definitely not a social event :-). It’s a fast focussed ride and to be honest I didn’t enjoy it at all. It just reminded me why I hate crits.
My transition from Endurance and recumbent racer back to being a Road Racer is a difficult one. I am finding it to be somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster and the mental concentration to stay on the rivet and ride so agressively is often more tiring than the cycling. You really meet a nice bunch of people on endurance races and the social aspects of the shared suffering is quite uplifting. In stark contrast I am finding myself feeling quite low after some of the group training rides I have been on, which is odd, as the adrenaline rush normally gives me a high.
Strava reckons I have the 7th Fastest time round the circuit with a 27.3MPH average. Cant be many people using Strava Then.