Friday, 7 December 2007

Melbourne: bipolar town

This morning at 7 am it was 29 degrees and very humid. 3 hours later it’s 19 degrees and very fresh as I walk over to my regular coffee bar for some vital body waking caffeine. This week the temperature range (form Sunday) was roughly: 32/23/24/32. Reading the BOM this morning, Mt Hotham will be 15 max over the weekend. Well, some of us have already packed, so I guess we won’t be riding up to the top of Hotham - what a pity.

DISC last night was oppressive in the heat. The numbers seemed to be down on pre-Worlds racing, but still good subscriptons in A grade (20 odd) and even better, a contingent of women. Hurrah!!! I counted about 8, but I suspect the figure may be slightly higher than that. Most of us rode D grade, with a couple in C and perhaps 1 in B grade, but I wasn’t looking that closely. It was great to be back on the track, and I was surprised at the number of hellos thrown my way as I was setting up my little camp. Nice to be home!

I expected to be more nervous for the first race than I was – instead, it was just another day in the office. I enjoyed the first race, but found myself a bit lost when I moved slightly up (to just above the red line) marking the guy in front when the woman behind me came forward to fill the gap below myself and some of the guy in front’s space. Not a good move. She wouldn’t let me back in, and the line closed ranks leaving me flying high, so there I stayed. I felt comfortable but I kept either rolling up to the front, or sliding backwards with the pace changes in the line below me, so I wasn’t able to really settle in. Lap 6 I was again sliding up to the front without any effort and I thought about hitting it and making for a getaway attempt. I thought about it enough that I suddenly didn’t like the idea, which then left me a puppet hanging on the sidelines. A little junior took the front with 4 laps to go and hammered away, and I fell off the back, pulling out with a lap to go. The gear felt heavy throughout the race, and I felt a bit flat, but I was happy with the ride, and didn’t really struggle until the tiny TFM bullet hit the front. Talking with one of the girls later, she said the pace was up on previous weeks. So either I’ve gotten fitter, or the pace has actually dropped off since I last raced. Some of the speedy regular D grade juniors have moved up to C grade (how embarrassing! 12 years old making C grade and I am still not finishing D grade races), which may explain the more sedate feeling in the race.

The pointscore was up next, and I had no speed at all. What’s new?? Ha! I managed to get back on after the first sprint after a few laps time trialling, just in time for the next sprint. Great timing. Again, no jump, no ability to turn the gear any faster. A couple of us were dropped, and I managed to pass some of my fellow dropees, but in the end, the heat got to me and I gave up and retired with a case of CBFs. After sucking in a large quantity of Endura, which sent my guts into a lovely flamenco dance, I pulled the pin on the motorpace. I knew I’d make it to the end but would have nothing to work with to go with the sprint to the finish. Ms Nonie Scrabulous got up for a close win, which was awesome to watch, as it was her Thursday night debut.

The racing seemed less erratic, smoother, with fewer idiotic moves being made. I felt comfortable (there’s that word again) in the pack, and really did enjoy being back out there, even though I was tired and really needed to be asleep instead. Next week is the final for the year, so my plan is to keep the analysis locked down, and act immediately on any thoughts of action in a race. ie think-do, not think/think/think/have a bit of a chat to myself about it/don’t. Let’s see if I have the guts to do it :-)

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