Burnout, Summer and back to Racing

Monday 7th September 2009

by MikeC

Well, it’s been quite a long time since I posted a blog, so what happened? I burned myself out, that’s what happened! My winter training went really well and I was chomping at the bit come the start of the season but my big mistake came back in October when I didn’t have any rest and recovery time. Dan was telling me to back off and build slowly but I didn’t listen……………whadya know, the old bugger does actually know a thing or two.

After 2/3 months of PS2 time rather than chamois time the muscles in my legs had ceased to exist and my thumbs had become rather well defined, however I decided not to shave them. I got back on the bike around the middle of July and the PS2 went back to its role of gathering dust in the corner (which it does very well indeed). As most bike racers know August is a bit of a wet spell for weather and a dry spell for races, which leaves only one thing………wet training rides. To be fair though the weather wasn’t that bad and I was so happy to be back on the bike again the weather didn’t really bother me. One of the highlights was a cracking road ride with Dan, Mike G and Chris over to Rosedale in the North York moors, it took all three of us to pin Chris down and bend his arm to stop for a coffee, poor lad, I don’t think he will ever be the same again. More recently I did a 5 hour mountain bike epic over to Lordstones Café with Jason. It brings a smile to my face when I can take people on awesome trails they have never ridden before and this was the case over at Lordstones. The scones at Lordstones Café are the size of my fist and I seriously considered buying another one and putting it in my Camelbak for the journey back.

So all this training and no racing to test my fitness out. The first test came in the form of Brownbacks Mountain Bike racing at Lee Quarry near Rochdale on the first weekend of September. The racing here is a bit more relaxed and caters well for those new to racing with categories like ‘Weekend Warrior’ (I used to be one of those). Lining up with the racer category I was looking around to size up my competition, and as is the case with most bike racing, looking fast and actually being fast are worlds apart! Big quads, chiselled calves, shaven legs and tattoos do not make you ride a bike any faster, but I think it puts a bit of doubt into your competitors mind though (does anyone know the number for Scorpios tattoo studio in Redcar?). The start was on a hideous loose, rocky, steep climb which puts you anaerobic until you reach the top 1km later. I settled into 2nd place and stayed there the whole race finishing a few minutes behind first and a few minutes in front of third after 1 hour 40 minutes of racing. The course was a challenging back destroying 4.5km lap on rocky, purpose built trails with tough, steep climbs, loose rocky descents and switchback burms, great fun! Encouragement from other riders and marshals was great and a brief following of a female rider showed bike handling skills better than some of the expert men I race against!! I think said female won the female racer category. The prize giving had a fun, relaxed atmosphere with plenty of on the spot prizes for things like ‘the best crash’. Hopefully I can go one better at the next round and claim the win, we shall see.

2 Responses to “Burnout, Summer and back to Racing”

  1. Dan Smith Says:

    Nice blog post Mr Coward! An excellent lesson to riders of any age and ability. It’s just a pity that nearly all (myself included) have to learn from their own mistakes rather than the mistakes of others! Keep up the good work Mike.

  2. MikeC Says:

    Thanks Dan. It was certainly a frustrating lesson to learn but I seem to have got back to a respectable level before the season ends.

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