This was it. At last I was going to go for a ride with Wil. He is fast and fit, has just started racing and his enthusiasm is infectious. I am just about old enough to be his granddad. We’ve been trying to organise this ride for ages. My plan was to see if I could keep up and, if I could, to give him a hard ride to get him used to the bigger races. I also wanted to enjoy a hard, nonstop blast. He has done two Gorrick races and done really well, however, although all racing is hard, there are not really any long climbs in the Gorrick series. We were going to climb today.
There were five of us in the group with mixed intentions. There was a super strong rider (TT fit), Wil and I, a Marathon runner and a father of three young ones. So Wil and I got the good deal with Jes up front in comfortable cruise control, Robbie spinning out the week’s miles in his legs and Matt hanging on at the back.
Eventually each of our colleagues headed home to meet their respective family commitments and Wil and I could get down to business. The only problem was that by then my legs were hurting from the pace so far. Wil was like a limpet, he just stuck to my wheel. I tried to keep the pace as high as I could cope with. It would have been nice if he eased off as I was getting tired but he just kept driving me on. We really struggled through the mud in Angmering Park and by the time that we could get stuck into the climb up to the SDW again I was pooped. I took a Torq Guarana gel and led off again waiting for its magic to work. I wonder how something that effective can be legal but it works and it’s all natural stuff. We rode on for another 12 miles mostly climbing and all the way I was praying for young Wil to over take to let me ease up but he just wouldn’t pass. Whilst I was really suffering I was also enjoying the mental battle that you go through when your body is screaming at you to stop but you head is urging you on. This is what I have been missing all winter and I was loving it. I’ve got to get fitter and do some races this year. We got back totally splattered. Apart from the woods the ground was still firm but incredibly slippery. I am still running Maxxis Medusas which have go to be one of the best mud tyres that you can use around here, I could even get out of the saddle which was useful as that was the only way that I could keep the pace up.
It was wonderful to ride in the warm and good to see so many racing the local trails. Well done guys.! I had a great, great ride despite the rain, mud and missing the first Goodwood 4th cat road race. I’m happy and incredibly not feeling too tired yet or hungry thanks to a protein bar. I know that I’ll suffer tomorrow. I’ve just seen Tommy Voeckler win the Paris-Nice in pouring rain and now I’m watching the final 20Km of the Tirreno-Adriatico. Watching races is always better when you’ve got some hard miles in your legs. Bliss!