My family are brilliant. There. That’s out of the way.
My daughter thinks I have some sort of magic ability on the bike. In both my races this year she’s said “you better win Dad!”. Completely unaware of her Dad’s tragic handicaps of age, inexperience, one gear, poor fitness, wrong tyre choices, etc. and so on.
I think her impression of me is that I ride a bike like this:
When as we all know I ride a bike like this:
Last week I went all the way to New Addington. The course was great. My “test lap” revealed to me that there was a big long drag at the beginning, a drag somewhere in the end, some flat sections, and a really fucking tricky twisty flat section followed by a tricky descent. I liked it. I liked it so much I tried quite hard at the beginning when the whistle sounded. I liked it so much I kept trying. Until I noticed my rear tyre was going “flap flap flap flap”. It was totally flat. Now. I could, and perhaps should, have stashed some spare stuff in the pits. In retrospect, I should have gone around to the pits and seen if I could have borrowed a pump. Or, I could have stashed a CO2 thing in my pocket. And then, I could have continued to exert myself on a course I quite liked and could see myself doing “alright” on. I may have even finished. I sacked it in after 2 laps. My excuse being: if I decided to swap the tube out, by the time I’d got the wheel off (hello single speed and chain tugs) and back on the race would be over anyway.
It was around this point in time I considered a new bike. Because. That’s always the way to solve a problem….