Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Road racing reports

John and myself have been trying out a few criteriums and road races recently. John has regularly been entering the Ingliston crit series organised by the ERC, and loving every minute. Last Thursday he persuaded me to have a go too. The next day John Said "I feel a million dollars this morning, though a bit sore. There is a good spirit between the riders lower down the pecking order, if only I could just fine a small amount of acceleration I could improve more. I love the start and when the fast guys rip by. I'm using it as a learning experience plus its worthwhile training for pushing your own limits."
It was a very exhilarating evening, great to ride on a closed circuit and able to use the whole width of the road for some fast cornering on the hairpin. John and I were cheered on by Clarionettes, Jill and Claire, they shouted every time we went by - lovely! The series of races is incredibly well organised by the ERC and even has free massage before and after the race!

On Sunday I rode the May Day Gallup in Larbert, organised by the Falkirk Bike Club. 64 year old Davie Miller from Glasgow Couriers crossed the line first. The TT expert jumped away into the wind on the last lap, I underestimated Davie's pedigree and thought he'd never stay away because the going was so tough. I planned to make a move on the final hill, 2 miles from the finish. It was getting a bit messy in the bunch so I jumped on the run in to the hill, got a gap and then Jamie Whitworth from the ERC joined me. He was super strong on the climb, all I could do was stay on his wheel and couldn't help him build up the lead because I couldn't get past him! I thought we'd catch Miller but he wasn't slowingr. The Finishing straight was a 40mph blast to the line, I lost Whitworth's wheel on a busy RAB and couldn't close the gap and finished 3rd. 
The event was a handicap, I was in the second group which was caught by the first cats after I'd got away I think. Our group worked well, through and off the whole way round with some riders working harder than others on the 10 mile circuit which we rode 5 times.
There was a good atmosphere at the HQ and Falkirk BC put on a great event. Well worth considering next year. The handicap system has the riders going off in groups of similar ability, which allows a wide level of riders to get a descent road race experience, without getting blown out the back straight away - I reckon the guys doing the Tuesday chaingang would be able to handle this event.

Photo by Ian Henderson at Falkirk Bike Club, more shots here


roadrunner said...

Well done Matt. Great ride. When I read the result in the Glasgow Herald, I wondered if it was theee Davie Miller? Your mention of his age confirms it. No shame in him riding away from the bunch, I remember him doing the same thing in the Sam Robinson Memorial RR 30 years ago!

Matthew Ball said...

Yes, completely underestimated Mr Miller. ONly realised his age after the race, in the bunch he looked 40-something!