As I’ve whined about lately, this season has not got off to an excellent start. This event was only the second event I’ve started and the first I’ve finished in 2013. This has been due to a severe bout of back pain that has only abated in the last day or two, and which has sidelined me from training and indeed riding bikes for the best part of a month. The last event I attempted was something of a disaster. Meanwhile, I’ve kept eating as if I was actively training and racing with the consequent impact on body weight.
Riders for this event were greeted by overcast skies and a chilly breeze. It was with some apprehension that I rode down to the event. I really don’t feel fit at the moment, and I was concerned that my bad back would flare up again. We had quite a good turnout of 11 riders – I was off number 2.
Heading out, I immediately found myself struggling to keep a decent pace – partly of course, this was due to the headwind (gentle though it was), but also I found it difficult to get comfortable in the aero position on the tri-bars. I’m not too worried about that, because early season events are always like that for me. I gingerly negotiated the first roundabout, successfully avoiding the potholes, and pressed on through the second roundabout and on to join the dual carriageway section. Once up there, the head wind was rather nagging and I had difficulty keeping the effort up. But after the turn I found the return leg quite a bit quicker and more confortable. I eventually finished in 24:41. Not a particularly good performance, but somewhat better than I’d expected in the circumstances. More importantly, I finished without a recurrence of back pain. It can only get better from here, I hope.