It’s nice to get some time on the new bike when the pressure is off and I’ve made the most of my month long racing break, but halfway through the first lap of Round 3 of the Gorrick Spring Series, I had a big old smile on my face – Racing bikes is fun!..
The trip over to Surrey for the Gorrick series always seems to take a little longer than I remember, especially if you go by Google maps and end up in a car park full of TT racers! Backing a long wheelbase Land Rover back out onto the main road wasn’t part of the plan, but it did seem to distract me from any pre-race nerves! I collected my number board and went for a quick blast through the first few corners.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in the Expert/Elite race at this point in the season with no training and the normal Master race seemed a little short so I’d entered the 4 lap Master Plus race which would give me a better idea about what lap times I could do compared to the regular crowd. Lining up alongside Jamie (Newall) I knew the first lap would be a good one and decided that I’d hang on for as long as possible and see what my legs could do. Halfway through the first lap I was still happily on his wheel along with two other riders, but even more importantly I was having fun.
The loamy downhill corners were beautifully bermed and you could stay off the brakes most of the way down the short, steep downhill sections. There was one particular compression which shot you perfectly off the ground and into the next corner, losing you time, but making you smile. Each of the fast downhills were followed by sharp Belgian climbs which were perfect little leg stretchers.
The first lap pace began to take its toll and I let the leading three riders go – it wasn’t going to be my day and I knew it was more important to test what I was capable of consistently doing so I could go back and train over the next few weeks and hopefully gauge any improvement long term. I had a great little battle for the next lap with James Waddington and Adam Wroz as we started to lap the slower sport riders.
After three laps everyone seemed to be having back issues. The course was very physical as you were constantly climbing, descending or accelerating out of tight corners. If you lost your rhythm in any section the course bite back hard and slowed down both you and the riders on your wheel – to be fast you had to be smooth.
Eventually I managed to speed up slightly for the last lap which is a good sign. There’s loads of work to do but I got some really good track time on the new bike and some useful data, but more importantly I remembered just why I love playing on my mountain bike.
- Paul Miller (WDMBC)
- Jamie Newall (Pedal Heaven)
- Peter Moore (Four4th)
- Adam Wroz (unattached)
- Glen Whittington (SDW)
Photos by Pip Jenkins.
Glen rides for the Southborough & District Wheelers. He races Mountain bikes in the UK National XC Points and Eastern XC Series, Road bikes in the Surrey, South-East and Eastern Leagues, TT in the South East Region and ‘Cross in the LCCA League. He receives personal support from Helly Hansen, The Velo House, Scott Bikes and THE.ÆIGHT.BICYCLE.CØMPANY.
Glen runs The Velo House with Olly and Matt, a coffee shop, workshop and bike shop welcoming all cyclists and even well behaved non-cyclists. We’re based at 5 St.Johns Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 9GW – 01892 554 505 – firstname.lastname@example.org.