TLI Oulton Park Road Race 24 Jun 07

This is the fourth Tuesday on the run where I’ve had another eventful unique experience. Some may have taken the opening of my last TLI write up as me being a bit down, far from it. I knew I was out of my depth, you just don’t know how far on your first event.

I’ve made a few changes to the bike since last time, including wheels , tyres, gearing, bars, and saddle.  As we all know it’s not the bike but the rider, I still got dropped but this time by the vets. I forgot to mention I was riding in the vets class (50 +). I’m not going to improve in two weeks to do justice to the main field and anyway I’d qualify for it soon enough.

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There are a couple of decent shots that I can post here , but as it was  I had a great start. Or did I?. Unlike the previous ride I was straight into the pedal and although not first going down Dear Leap a good second.  After Old Hall I drew alongside the guy in the lead and said this wasn’t going to last.

This is where it was a bit surreal, on the first ride I was already struggling to stay on the back. This week I am off the front and have the unique view of clearing the track of bunny rabbits. There are loads of the little buggers of various sizes sunning thenselves on the early evening tarmac.

This goes on until after Druids  where it becomes a bit more exposed  and the bunnies have scarpered. No roadkill here, they probably get plenty of warning on a trackday.40-50 oldtimers doesn’t compare to 120 db of open pipe mayhem.

I’m under no illusion about what is happening on this ride, whereas on the first I was struggling to stay on the back this week I am off the front. Never in a million years is this sustainable but at least it lasts until the straight after the Shell hairpin. You don’t realise how long this stretch of track is and it’s all into a good strong headwind. I manage to slot in to the pack after having been given a warning by one of the New Brighton guys.

 

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This week things are a bit different and I’m still in the main bunch after 1 lap. The next couple of laps involve learning how to ride in a group and this is where I don’t  learn from my first lap escapade.

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This is lap 3 and who is the soft sod leading the chase here, you guessed it moi. The pack had slowed to a crawl and I’d gone from the back to the front in the run up from Old Hall to the finish line. 

There are times when the group slows to a pace that just invites the inexperienced like me to go off the front, well it happened again. Bear in mind in my first event i was on my own for eight laps with no hiding place.

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The above is lap 4 and I’ve gone from the front to the back twice now. If I’d have had any sense I’d have took Big Phils advice and stayed with the bunch as it wasn’t going to happen a third time. From Druids to Shell Hairpin you can really get sucked along in with the bunch. It’s fast and you are in close company. You have momentum for the climb and the descent is fast usually with the wind behind you.

On lap six I am off the back with another guy. I’d wasted effort by going off the front once too often and this was payback time. The thing was it’s not until you look back and see no one behind you except the broom wagon that you realise that if you can’t put that extra effort in to stay with the main bunch your well and truly finished.

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Two laps to go and the timekeepers are waiting to change over to the last lap sign.
Once I was off the back it was just like the previous event. As I passed one of the Marshall boxes on the Avenue one of the wits that was in it commented “Your getting your moneys worth”,  “Always do” was the reply. One of the lighter moments of the evening. The thing is there is a tendency to call it a day and pull in if you can’t maintain the pace.

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I think Frank is going to want the original of the above.

Maybe the chap was right I was getting my moneys worth, but all I’m looking to do is finish on the same lap. It’s all about finishing in my eyes. Pulling out isn’t an option.

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This is me getting flagged off with a lap to go, I was not a happy bunny at the time. I’m half a lap behind the group and so wanted to do the full distance this week.
Next week I’ll use a bit of common.

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http://maps.google.com/maps?q=http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/kml/episode.kml?episodePkValues=3139490

Re live the first 6 laps at least  with this link:

http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/invitation/email/accept.mb?senderPk.pkValue=86342&unitSystemPkValue=2&episodePk.pkValue=3139490

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Now I was half a lap behind these guys, next Tuesday the aim is to finnish on the same lap. Don’t do anything stupid and just get the hang of things. These guys have been doing this for a long  long time most of them. I’m way out of my depth and finnishing on the same lap is a bonus.

I’ve no hard feelings about being taken off early as the way things were the previous week it would be getting dark by the time I had finished.

This was Tuesday  on Wednesday I went out with the CTC for 54 miles  and then went to my Lifestyle and Weight management follow up class.  I’m still on this plan and less than a year ago I was just riding on my own. On August 1st 06 I joined the CTC . So effectivley I’ve been riding with the retired and pensioners for a year.  Everyone has to start somewhere and this was my start. What does amaze me is the mileage some of these guys do. 

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2 thoughts on “TLI Oulton Park Road Race 24 Jun 07”

  1. No problem Andy, it’s been another good month. Just done 54 miles with the CTC and it’s looking like I’m going to have to start going out with a club.

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