Weekending 02 Mar 08

Monday: Spinning at Europa Pools preceded by a session in the gym. Bumped into Frances in the gym who I hadn’t seen in a while. It turned out that this was her first session back after being knocked down by a hit and run duo of father and daughter towing a car. Obviously one of them has no insurance. If you could afford it you would have breakdown cover. Bit mixed in the gym and the class was low key as I wasn’t making any numbers that I normally do.
This was a late class and I hadn’t had anything to eat beforehand and I think it does show at the  end of the day.
Tuesday: Spinning class at West Kirby preceded by a session in the gym. If there are ten machines in the gym nine of them are being used as chairs by blokes and lads using them as chairs between sets. 30 seconds between sets at the level these guys are doing. It’s not as if they are lifting the full stack. 0.5 km on the treadmill at 12.5 km/hr soon had the heartrate up.
This was a far better class than Monday, probably because I was still recovering from Sunday. Most of it was in zone 4 with a couple peaks into zone 5.
Only bloke in the class but there is the usual rush by the girls for the back row. Betty gets a hard time from Barbara in jest, guess it must be a woman thing as I can’t make it out. I had a really good spin to one of Betty’s CD,s. Booked for next Tuesday and Wednesday while I was at it.
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The above snapshot clearly shows I was a heartrate zone down between the two classes. Some days you feel good somedays you don’t.
Wednesday: Spinning at West Kirby again. For me it’s about separating life from work. A sort of detox session where you can rid yourself of the days troubles. Call of the wild day, clear blue skies and I’m stuck in work and not out on my bike.
Had a decent spinning class spoke to the woman next to me about what she thought of the class. She’s been to ones where you get the full audio visual treatment and the bikes are state of the art too. Not enough resistance in and they flop all over the place.
Sounds like I’m missing out on something.
Thursday: Spinning class. Spinning at West Kirby and booked in for next Thursdays class while I was at it. Had a good go. Garmin Connect has been updatedand it’s now showing to support 705 data. The latest I have is the 705 is supposed to be released tomorow 29th Feb. Not holding my breath on this one
Friday: Not booked anything but the track beckons. Tried to buy an Edge 705 guess what mid March is the best I can get from someone that has them in stock, plenty of people telling porky pies on the net. As it was i ended up doing a spinning session at West Kirby, this was a poor session by previous results but better than nothing. This was another class where I was a zone lower than the previous class.
Wasted a couple of hours seeing if I could get a GPS enabled phone on an upgrade, well you can but it’s going to cost you the cost of a Garmin Nuvi. Had a comment from Tracklogs about Garmin courses so need to do a bit of investigating.
Saturday: Feed the ducks day with the grandson. Fed loads of ducks at Raby Mere. By the look of things it’s a regular duckfeeding station.
Sunday: Ride day come what may. Getting on the Toy for the first time in a week felt good. Delayed going out meant that the Northend were leaving as I was arriving. Had the wind behind me but caught every light on red going out to the Eureka.
Can’t do a ride without a breakfast so had to have one. Opted to go out with Chester and NorthWales CTC to The Red Bull at Kingsley. The last time we went here it was a bit of a disaster but this time it was a lot better.
I’ve got to admit CTC rides are a lot more organised nothing is left to chance. Bob had rang the pub at 10 o’clock with numbers for lunch. It was Mothers day and they had 50 covers for lunch throughout the day.

The diners had soup and a roll and sandwiches for a fiver. Carrot and corriander soup was great and we had more than enough sandwiches for us. Couldn’t give the cheese sandwiches away. Beer was good too. I’ll add the ride pictures when I get around to it but they were Ok (I think) as I choose not to take pictures into the sun. Modern CCD camera’s don’t like taking pictures into sunlight.

Janet’s 50 Mile Tourist Trophy is only two weeks away so I must get my entry in. I don’t expect to be first back this year as I think I have lost a bit of form. Not that it matters, it’s a nice ride. Todays pace was a bit slow but nobody was dropped and we waited for those that were struggling.

More later……..
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Back at the Eureka it looked as if everybody had planned an early return. Most had returned and left by the time we (moi and John) got back. Luckily enough a band of Sunlighters addresed the balance.  
Garmin Edge 305  battery ran out during the ride as I started the day with only two blobs on it as I hadn’t recharged it. Turned on the Forerunner 50 for the ride home but even managed to switch that off too. 
Not a bad week but have a twinge in the knee that I haven’t had for a long time.

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Audax Cheadle to Radway.

A new ride for me this year but Ray rode it last year. The weapon of choice was the Toy and if I’d had any sense I’d have fitted the raceblades but that’s in hindsight.
A belt of rain was forecast and I was hoping to avoid it.
Clothing is dilemma at this time of the year, overdress and you fry, under dress and you freeze. Throw in some rain and it can make for a miserable ride.

Turned out to be a good ride with Ray, Martin, Phil and moi riding together again. All using GPS with Ray’s route programmed in. We had a slight detour and I managed to drop my overtrousers that would be needed later. Soon back on course though.

Now we hitched a ride on the back of group of fast guys. There was a steady headwind  and these guys were up for it. The average speed went up and it was just like a club run. Strong guys on the front setting a good pace.

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We did pass Jodrell Bank and I did get a picture on the move but it mainly consisted of an overgrown hedge. It was good to see all the same. The digital camera doesn’t like looking into the sun. First stop was the first checkpoint which is the third picture. Time for a bite to eat  and a sip of energy drink.

Our group gets split by a set of traffic lights so I ease off the back of the front group to remain with them. Getting back on to the main group takes some doing and it takes a while if not a set of traffic lights to rejoin.

It starts to fall apart again on a hill. I manage to bridge the gap that was forming to the lead pair. The group is well split but once crested they know they have split the group and I opt for a stop for a picture.

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Ray in the Hi Viz, Martin in red and don’t know who the guy in blue is. Probably the highlight of the ride for me, had a good go on a climb. Things went well until the next control point. The weather that we were hoping to miss hit us, not before I took two pictures at the control point

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Nice place, the landlord of the pub even offered us in and that was after the rain had started. No mudguards meant I was in for a soaking, the Sealskinz socks held out as I had no overshoes but the hands took the brunt of it. Had retrace my steps as it became obvious that the rain wasn’t going to pass and it was best to don wet weather gear if you had any.

The next section isn’t fun as I’ve not brought along the right gloves. The BBB winter gloves are not waterproof and being fleecy act like a sponge. My hands are freezing and I contemplate dropping off the back to warm them. Luckily the next info point comes up and by this time the rain has stopped.

Had a near miss at the rail crossing, I’d parked my bike on a lamppost at the level crossing as we needed a number off the post box a few feet away. Next minute there is a bleeping and the barriers starts to come down. I whip the toy out of the way with seconds to spare as the barrier would have chopped the toy in two.

Next thing an Intercity Express train passes at around 120 mph, it doesn’t bear thinking about the speed it passes by. Got a bit of warmth back into my fingers and the next section isn’t too bad. Ray has pencilled us in for a stop at a Tesco mini supermarket rather the garage or KFC.

Going back to Audlem the staff at the Coop are getting used to us invading them for till receipts. Soreen malt loaf for lunch (a whole one) with a large Lucozade sport to top the bottle up with. The rain has made a handy cyclist splashing puddle right where we are congregating. It didn’t happen but we had at least two barstewards sounded their horn at us on the ride. One idiot in an Audi was even coming the other way.

Back to the ride, we had lost Derek by this stage as he has tagged along with us on the last Cheadle ride. Ray pushes a high gear and I mean high, I followed him up one climb and he went up it in 52X12 or 13. I’m assuming 12 because he’s in it all day.
Phil on the other hand says he feels like a prat spinning away on the new Ultegra Compact groupset he has fitted. I make no bones about it if I need to go into the granny ring I will. On the longer steep climbs I have been overtaken by riders pushing 39X25 only to re pass them further on near the summit. Don’t get me wrong I’m still in the red but the lower gearing at least allows me some acceleration in a situation like this where normally (every other club run) I would not be able to  respond.

The run in to Cheadle isn’t too bad and I do my stint on the front. There is no rain now and the roads are drying so someone can take my mudguardless wheel. There is one part where I sprint off the front downhill because it is a waste of a good hill if you don’t carry that momentum up the other side.

The route back takes us through some of the quieter (better) area’s of  Cheadle but you are continually reminded of how close this is to the Manchester airport flight plan. The jets can’t be more than 100 metres above us but it still an impressive sight. The frequency is about one a minute when they are landing in your direction.

There is a good spread at the finish with some hot tomato soup that goes down well.

Weekending 24 Feb 08

Monday: Gym for weights, rowing, 15 minutes on the crosstrainer and a spinning class at Europa Pools.
Tuesday: Booked a spinning class at West Kirby. Not a bad class did about 10 minutes of weights beforehand. And 500 metres of running. I\’me  going to reccomend more chairs as all the blokes seem to be using the machines as rest stations again.
Wednesday: Another spinning class at West Kirby. Max was 174 BPM with a lot of the class spent in zone 4. Shower, home. Looking at cycle lighting articles on audax uk. The Cateye site has has updated it\’s beam patern diagrams. They now reflect  what you see from the bike. The EL530 maybe good as a battery light(I beg to differ) but the EL830 is absolute luxury compared to it. Wednesday is a ride day at the Eureka, glad I was tucked up indoors today. Just had time to look at Winners Dinners from the weekends Sunday Times, he\’s plugging his diet book  again saying the Times is reccomending it (they would). I\’d say it was more to do with nearly loosing a leg than healthy eating. Don\’t see anybody calling him obbesesive  for not publishing his weight in the articles but it\’s obvious he\’s put a bit on.
I\’ve also followed the Indera Knight articles as she has had a good go as well.

All I can say is that money and an easy life springs to mind in both cases. One of the reasons this site has no adverts is that I don\’t want to be seen from profiting from it.

The fact that I now have a good few years in me is enough reward for me, I\’m not expecting to keel over in the near future but it was the next step the way I was.
Thursday: Guess what another  class at West Kirby. 84.3 kg.
Friday: Not sorted out anything yet but the Velodrome beckons. Booked in for a taster/improver session.
A dozen of us turned up for the taster/impover session and an hour had us doing three group exercises. Picked up a bit more knowledge.
Saturday: Sort the bike out day.Took things easy, had a good look at the TOY and had had a go of my Xbox 360 which isn\’t getting a lot of use. Loaded Rays Radway Audax route onto the Edge.
Sunday: Audax 150k from Cheadle.

Weekending 17 Feb 08

Monday: No rides, spinning or gym. Kodo Drummers at the Phil, third time I’ve seen them there and just as good. The only exercise I got was when I ran back to the house for the tickets. Discovery Channel kit is getting harder to find and I need a set of bibshorts to replace the torn ones.
Tuesday: Back to normal by the look of things. Booked next Tuesdays and Wednesdays spinning classes. Got to tonights class too early so it was 10 minutes in the gym after I had got a ticket. One of the Europa Pools regulars tried the class tonight, don’t know what she made of it but it was a fairly tough class. We did talk about Sheila’s classes being a bit unpredictable. Now unprompted she said the same was for the Aerobics class, you just don’t know what is coming next. I’ve never done an Aerobics class but could just picture it, everyone thrown by an unexpected call.

After the class it was back up the gym to run the proverbial mile. I’d set a max in the spinning class but still felt I still had a bit more to give. Started at 10km/hr with the distance set at 1.6 km/hr. At this pace I was up to 150 BPM and it steadied out at this reading. This seemed an easyish enough pace and if I wanted I could have upped the distance. I chose to up the pace to 11.5 km/hr for the final 0.5 km with this the heartrate settled at 164 BPM. This is well and truly aerobic exercise for me.

Last year I could get the miles in, throw in a Steve Cummings Training Ride when i felt like it, Wednesday ride and a Saturday or Sunday ride. Really great times. I want to regain those times, I’m not that far off it but until I up the ante and really push my self I ain’t going to improve. At the moment I can’t recognise what specific skills I’ve got but I suspect endurance may be one of them, sprinting for signs ain’t one of of them. The track is a bit of an unknown, I was boxed in for a fair section of it but at the end of the day I need to improve my personal times for individual events.

So if it’s the track I need to be able to time my effort to the end of the race. A jack of all trades but a master of none.

Time trials may be the easyiest start but the year is young. Had a problem with the Forerunner 50 upload tonight, no training centre data as it got deleted. Garmin Connect was OK but there is no data export.

Wednesday: Spinning at West Kirby  after work. Booked next weeks class while I was at it. No running tonight. Upload to training centre was OK tonight. Now I’m still only doing what I was told at the start of all this, 30 minutes  a day five times a week. OK  a spinning class is 45 minutes but that is neither here nor there.
A number of you think I am overdoing it, well when you get dropped weekin weekout it means I’m not at the right level.
Thursday: Northend clubnight, this will be my first and the intention is to cycle down there on the Toy to give the Cateye lights a try out.
Spinning class at West Kirby as I’d booked it last week, picked up Cycling weekly on the way home only to find Steve Cummings first stage win wasn’t in it as it didn’t make the print deadline. There was a bit about him not being an automatic choice for Beijing so I guess he has answered the selectors good style.
Gear change then rode to the new club venue for monthly meetings.
Well pleased with the new lights. Cars even dip their headlights, all of them did. Didn’t stick too close to the gutter as you don’t need to with this amount of light.
Took the EL530 out for a comparison, putting this on was sheer luxury, the spot is more distinct than the EL830RC but there is no comparison really. Two levels on the EL830, 3 watts and 9 watts. 3 hours @ 9 watts and 5 hours at 3 watts. The 3 mile run to the rugby club took 10 minutes.
First there and had a 15 minute wait before Maxine turned up, then Paul and David who went on a run at 7 o’clock. Then Tempo and a few others turned up on bikes and it proved to be a good turnout for our first time at the venue.
Anyway I’ve got my first Northend jersey only one slight problem no pockets.
Blackadder kit this weekend by the look of things, again.
At the end of the day I can appreciate why the Northend ride in their kit but I really like my Disco kit and as they are no more it’s a pity that Discovery Channel didn’t make more of their branding. After all they have won the Tour de France 8 times under various guises and what have they to show for it, American Chopper week in week out.
Now I used to be a biker but for over 2 years I haven’t been on one. Got plenty of oversized kit now and hope the helmet fits as it was made to measure.

I just ain’t a Harley man, maybe a Buell at a push but at the present rate I ride more on a push bike than they do on their rides. Last year I rode my pedal iron more than wannabe road racers rode their bikes on the road.

Back to Discovery Channel they mismanaged the team from a media point of view , how not could you not profit from Lance Armstrong 7 times Tour De France winner. Discovery Channel their sponsor did zilch and I mean zilch. The new CEO came in and chopped the team, it’s a pity he didn’t say the last CEO was an arse and sold the brand short.

Now , looking to the future, do I follow Astana (Discovery) or Barloworld (Steve Cummings). I don’t hold any hard feeling against Astana now the old Discovery team is running the show. But  the decision is to follow the local guy, Steve Cummings.

For lots of you, you may not be aware of the history of this site. I was once 21 stone  but after seeing the light I deceided to do something about it. I turned up on my second time trial to have Steve Cummings (Discovery Channel rider) be my minute man. Thanks to my GPS logging he passed me within 2 miles. This was an awesome site to see, to be passed by one of the worlds best really does bring it home.

Enough rambling for now.

Friday: Work followed by changing the oil on the Polo that didn’t go to to plan.
Spinning at West Kirby.
Saturday: Woke up to frost, ride day. What a day, got dropped twice and never recovered but I did end up at the destination which was Llandegla Mountain bike centre.
Being tail gunner on a Northend ride is a risky business. Ended up doing 68 miles most of it on my own. More to add including the route and some pictures

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Sunday: This is my 10/2 day, 2 years ago I deceided to turn things around and do something with the rest of my life. It was a turning point and things haven’t been better since that decision was made. No ride after yesterdays debacle, well a ride to the Eureka for breakfast doesn’t really count. Back through Puddington and Neston for 15miles. The Polo needed a new tyre so it was off to Costco for one.
Funny place Costco attracts large affluent customers and the cafe is cheap with a limited range of stuff from the shelves. I’ve had the odd chicken bake which is the dearest item at £2.50. Well I won’t be having too many more because I’ve saw them in the fridge and checked out how many calories are in one of them. 824 kcals and 40 gramms of fat.
My favourite Tesco finest pizza is only 630 kcals with 16.6 gramms of fat in it.
It’s full title is Mozzarella Pearls, Rustic Tomato & Basil Pesto Hand Stretched Tuscan Pizza, it’s filling and I know if I have one I can still loose weight. Anything over a 1000 kcals is out of bounds, that’s just a personal decision. Bear in mind that packet of Minstrels I was scoffing along with the wine was 1500 kcals for the minstrels alone.
Cheshire Oaks for some cycling magazines then home.
Felt at a loss so did a spinning class at West Kirby. Forgot the HRM strap so did it on feel. Sweated the usual bucket, the girl next to me is shaking her head at the pool of sweat on the floor under the bike. Came out the saddle on the final sprint (which isn’t in the class) and a fair few followed me up. Shower, home and the end of another good week.

Northend Ride to Hideaways Cafe.

This is the second time of writing so I hope to get it published this time.
Eureka is full of Northenders on their Saturday rides. There are about three rides leaving the cafe and I opt to ride with the fast group.
This means I’ve got to chase the group as they stop for no-one, not een me taking pictures. I’d just about got on the back by Woodbank. Others had gave up and opted for another group.
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I just had to post the fourth picture as it is a shot of the Northend at a red traffic light. Nothing too unusual in that but the number of times the front rides thru on green and the tail gunners get dropped by a red light happens to often.
Anyway I got dropped for taking the pictures. Later on I got dropped again and lost cintact with the group. It came together again at Buckley when the group rode across  a set of traffic lights I was coming up to. I was in if it’s a hill it must be on the route mode.
Now there some tough climbs on this route. There was on by the hall with the white gates that was steep. I was in the granny ring and Tempo and Chicago passed me only for me to pass them back further up the hill. Needless to to say I was in the red but thats the way I cycle. It’s about the only time it happened for the rest of the time I was off the back.
18% kept cropping up on some of these gradients which is seriously step.

The climb up to Hideaways Cafe is 18% in parts and just gets rougher as it goes up. Once you leave the mettled section it is just limestone but worth it. The pictures at the cafe don’t do justice to the beauty of the area.The best shot would have been when we left the cafe but I couldn’t afford the time loss.

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The cafe managed with our numbers bespite being overloaded at first. We were the only customers.Pancakes for a few of us went down very well. Apple and Bannana pancake went down really well.

I took the ride down from the cafe steady as it is rough. Needless to say I was last. The worrying thing was a Labrador choose to chase me down the road at a great rate of knots. The hippychick owner having no control of the animal.

That was about it I was well and trully dropped, even at 30 mph at Loggerheads I was falling behind. I just latched on to Peter and Clive at Mold but they were off the back too. It was a fast trip down Ewloe hill turning off through Queensferry and GardenCity. Once up Woodbank we were sorted. Cafe and home via the missing link.
Great day even when you don’t think they will turn out like this.

 

Weekending 10 Feb 08

Monday: You’ve guessed it spinning class after work. Just made it to West Kirby in time only to have to buy a parking ticket as the wardens were on the prowl.
Put the usuall effort into it. Went thru a citrus Lucozade sport in the class (with caffine boost, if there was any boost I didn’t benefit from the effects) as I didn’t have time to fill the water bottle. 15 minutes in the gym has the weights ticked off. I’m going to have to get a bit of tuition on the weights as don’t know enough.
Tuesday: Spinning class after work, no gym. logged most of the class on the Forerunner 50 but I forgot to press the start button. Couldn’t book into next Tuesday’s class as it was full as Monday. Kodo drummers next Monday so don’t need a class on Monday.
Wednesday: At ten o’clock on a Wednesday I get the call of the wild these days. I look out the window at work, look at the weather and think I should be out there.
I’m missing the Northend Wednesday rides and even Allan’s Merseyside CTC jaunt’s.
I think I’ve got a Lifestyle and Weight management followup class at 5.30 so this means getting off work early.
Thought I was on the wrong week when I turned up as there are a lot of people on a diabetic course when I turned  up. Ron came out and said it looked like it was only me but as it turned out 9 of us turned up which was a good showing. It’s getting to nearly 11 months since my course finished so I’m looking at weight maintenance as my goal’s each introduced ourselves to the class with how we had done and what we considered to be important parts of the course. Exercise came up repeatedly for those that had done well, inactivity through injury or personal problems repeatedly came up for those struggling.
One of the points Ron brought up was learning to say no,  as those that are struggling seem to be lapsing into old habits.

I have to leave early as booked a spinning class at Europa Pools, West Kirby were grateful for me cancelling my booking there. Classes are now getting fully booked up a week in advance. I haven’t got a class for next Wednesday.
Typical Sheila class, you just can’t get your head around Sheila’s routine. Every other class is built around a count of 2,4,8 etc. Not Sheila’s, one minute it’s 2’s singles, fours. threes, maybe eights in no particular order. If your a bloke who can’t dance you stand no chance. You just can’t anticipate the next move with Sheila.
Sweated buckets but not because of the intensity and at the end got asked where I had been for the last few weeks, which is West Kirby.

Had that call of the wild I mentioned at 9.34 AM, brilliant weather and  the exact time I would have been ordering Frank’s Breakfast at the Eureka Cafe.
Thursday: Booked in at West Kirby for a Spinning class. No weights this time as I start to run late. Spoke to one of the regulars who span on Tuesday and mentioned I did Europa Pools last night after the Lifestyle and Weight Management course as it was nearer this led on to me telling her about the course and this site. Not a bad class, but there were six or seven empty bikes for a fully booked class. Booked next Thursday while I was there.
Friday:Work. Car needs a service and I haven’t booked a class yet and I need to do some weights. New wheel from Dane and a tyre from Costco had  the spare sorted, took the starter motor back and got an oil filter for the Polo.
West Kirby full but went to the gym and did those weights but probably not enough.
It turns out Barbara was ill and Margaret was taking the class. Margaret’s classes are good and I had a good session.
Margarets_class.JPG Final sprint was to Robbie Williams  Let me entertain you at 11 on the volume control. Really good stretching session at the end probably 20 to 30 seconds on each one with some stretches that other classes just don’t do.
Saturday: Ride day. Rode out to the Eureka for a breakfast and a ride. Ended up going out with the fast group and spent a lot of time off the back. Write up and pictures on a separate post. Great weather and a good ride even if I did spend most of it off the back. 75 miles.
Sunday: Track session with Matlock CC. Booked a bike and it’s a 9 o’clock start.
Paul sent me the results from the Northend Track Night. My time for the kilometer was 82.51 seconds which equates to 46.3 km/hr or 27 mph. Looking at the results I’ve got some improving to do. But the important thing is I’ve got a time and something to go for.

Between 9 and 10 we were filmed for a training video for beginners, the exercise being how to move up on the track. Later on there was another exercise where we were riding 4 abreast around the track, that did take some doing.
Bit of a mixed day, had a good ride but ended up in a crash after the race had finished.
I’m told she stopped pedaling on the bend but all I saw was her high-siding up the banking and then sliding down across my path. I ended up riding over her and went down. Skinned my backside and elbow. Poor girl may have suffered a broken collar bone. I got off lightly considering. It’s not something I want to repeat

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With the benefit  of a day to sort out what happened I’ll elaborate. The last event was a 12 lap race and it was my first and maybe last. 12 laps is 3 Km and it soon passes. I don’t know if any tactics were involved but a few went up the banking rather than stay on the front. I ended up on the black line boxed in for most of the race. I’m stuck behind the guy in the AG2R kit for more laps than I want to be, there is no going up the inside on the black line so I just have to wait.
With 2 laps to go it’s now or never, there is no one coming thru on my right so I pull out on to the red line and have a go around the outside. Amazingly it comes off, I’m in about 5th position and manage to hold it to line. I wish I had gone a bit earlier but as you can see above events took a turn for the worse.
The girl who went down had had a bit of a bobble on the final bend through putting in a maximum effort I suppose. I don’t know what happened after the finish but my life went into slow motion mode on that bend. I saw the poor girl get flipped off her bike and going up the banking for a couple of feet.
Then bike and rider started sliding down the banking. There was nothing I could do, the bike slid past but I couldn’t avoid running into the poor girl ending up in a heap about 15ft further down the track. She was obviously hurt from one or more impacts and needlessly kept saying sorry. It was just one of those things. We had been riding as a pair on one of the earlier track exercises where the two on the front went up the banking to let the group through. We were both first timers at this and I was nervous about going up the banking as a pair but we had talked on the preceding lap and did pull it off. I do so hope she hadn’t broken anything but it didn’t look too good.
If there is any consolation she beat a lot of riders I would consider a lot better than me, oh and she beat me as well.
Respect is due.