As an update is well overdue I thought I’d summarise last years cycling and contemplate some goals for 2020.
My main aim for 2019 was to get back into racing crits and TTs. Having bought a TT bike in the winter sales, I wanted to see if I could get PBs on the local TT courses. Hopefully I hadn’t just wasted £650? I had also joined a new club, so was looking forward to racing some crits with some teammates. Ultimately I wanted to score 40 BC points and get my 2nd cat license back, and in the process see if I could win my first crit.
Family commitments over the previous two years meant racing bicycles had to take a back seat for 2017 and 2018. I was back down to 3rd cat after failing to score any points at all in 2018. My fitness wasn’t great to begin with, but to make matters worse I started the year getting “someone please kill me” ill in January/February. Couldn’t have been much worse a start to the season. My first 10 mile TTs in March were road bike only, and unsurprisingly my performances were not worth dwelling on too much, a long 26 and a 24.
In April I was still suffering with illness, but started to get some strength back and gain some fitness later on in the month. I started crit racing in May, leading out a sprint for a club mate I got a 5th and my first BC points. My TT times started to come down too, with a 22:33 at Grain. Perhaps mainly due to the TT bike, this was my fastest 10 mile at this time. I had probably been overreaching because in June I felt like I was going backwards and got ill again. I then had a good July with more TT PBs on two courses. I managed to finally peak in August with more TT improvements, managing my best ever 10 mile time, 20:59 on Q10/19, and two wins at Cyclopark crits. In September, perhaps feeling ever so slightly over confident, I entered a 2/3 road race, and was thoroughly humbled when I was dropped after half an hour. Its going to take a fair amount of work to be on terms with those guys. I’d only managed to get my 35 BC points, so entered one last crit at Lee Valley. Feeling much more at home I managed to control the race from the front. Playing it safe I came away with 3rd and enough points for my licence upgrade.
So pretty much all my 2019 targets met. Apart from one – no 25 mile TT PB. I did enter a 25, but the event was cancelled. With the form I was in, and a proper TT bike, getting a 25 mile PB would have been just a formality, one for next/this year.
A pretty successful year, and to top it all off I landed a couple of awards from my new club, the evening 10 TT cup and a club shield, both dating back 70 years! Riding with the Gemini boys was great last year, having friendly faces at most of the crits and TTs I rode was super cool. And the kit is the best one around.
On to 2020, and main goals are more of the same really. I never thought I’d be able to before my 2019 season, but would love to go under 20 minutes on a 10. With better equipment (have better wheels and skinsuit on order), a better start to the season, a bit of structured training, and a decent nights sleep I think I should be able to do it. I reckon I should be able to go under 55 on a 25 too, and would love to go under 50 one day. Previously I’ve managed 58 mins, twice on a road bike.
Crit-wise I’d like to see if I can get the 25 points needed to keep my 2nd cat license. Getting a win at E12 level might be a bridge too far. I can but dream, it’s something to aim for.
I have entered the Kentish Killer again (why do I do these things to myself!?), so would like to PB that. But really I want to “win” it. I was 11th in 2019 coming straight back from illness. This means that I need to stay healthy through January and February for once.
After watching a couple of YouTube vlogs about it I quite fancied the Brands Hatch Revolve 24 hour race. But looks like its not going ahead this year. Sad face. So will be on the lookout for something else to do. I might do a Chase The Sun, or something like that.
I’m toying with having a go at the Kent Cycling Association Best All Rounder competition, which includes 25, 50 and 100 mile TTs and then a 12 hour TT in September.. Will have to see how the season unfolds, lots of work ahead.
Gemini BC is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. This means there will be some special rides planned, and we might be hosting a race. So that’s something else to look forward to. And I’m looking forward to the new 50th anniversary kit too. Watch this space.