This is it... first race of the season

From couch potato to 4th Cat racer: The sofa is a distant memory as the first race looms

by SamShaw   March 27, 2012  

Road racing in Scotland

So this is it, the first race of the season for me this weekend and the first of my racing career.  Things are busy at work and home so I’ve little time to worry about it yet, but I’m sure the nerves will set in soon enough as the weekend approaches.  As has been the norm this year, I’ve got (yet another!) a head cold so I’m avoiding the first club chain gang of the season tonight in an effort to get better for Saturday. 

I’ve been keeping an eye on local races on British Cycling – there’s a neat feature on the Events page that allows you to search by region and by type of race (road track) then you define the category (4th Cat in my case) so I can see which events I’d like to do.  For most events there’s a simple online form that’s linked to your British Cycling account, you enter via the website and pay on your card.  The payment’s only accepted once your entry has been accepted so it makes entering multiple events quite straightforward.  Other events are entered via a pro-forma that can be downloaded from British Cycling and entry is paid with a cheque.  It’s bit more time consuming, for organiser and entrant so I imagine that it won’t be long until it’s all done online.

The race I’ve entered on Saturday 31st March is the Dunfermline Road Race, organised by Dunfermline Cycling Club, that incorporates the Jack Murray Junior Trophy.  It’s for Cat 3 and 4 riders held over a distance of 50miles, according to a club mate, the course is either up or down with very little flat, I’m not sure that this will suit me, but nothing seems to suit me as I seem to have a knack of getting dropped either on ascents or when the pace gets really high!  My aim is to stick with my club mates who are also taking part and finish with the bunch, there’s not been much talk of tactics but I don’t think that it’s reasonable to expect that we could influence the race – maybe I should cut down on watching pro-cycling…

My bike’s prepped, the annoying squeak that has plagued me for the last few rides has been found and eliminated, new tyres will go on before the race and I’m as ready as can be expected after the disease-ridden winter I’ve had.  The last thing to do is to stick a picture in my race license and find my race legs!


So after staying home last night and battling to get my 3 year old to bed, I got the "didn't-go-to-the-chaingang-blues" and felt like I'd missed out. I need to give a bit more notice at home to get a night off from puttind the kids down though so it's been given for next Tuesday and I'll be ready for my legs and lungs to be on fire.

7 user comments

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Good luck Sam.

Finishing in the pack will be an achievement in your first race.

posted by chinchli [31 posts]
27th March 2012 - 14:10


Cheers. Finishing would be a result - I'm somewhat nervous of getting caught up in a crash after hearing of a friend face-planting in his first race last weekend!

Twitter: @velosam

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posted by SamShaw [321 posts]
27th March 2012 - 16:46

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Good luck Sam. I don't race, but I can imagine how you're feeling right now. It'll be a great experience (once you've finished). Looking forward to reading how it goes.

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posted by Low Speed Wobble [152 posts]
27th March 2012 - 17:18


I hope it'll be a great experience, I'm not too worried yet. New tyres fitted last night so they scrub in before Saturday, Schwalbe Ultremo ZX's - they feel really weird until you pump them up, they don't feel rubbery at all so I was amazed at how solid they felt on the road.

Twitter: @velosam

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posted by SamShaw [321 posts]
28th March 2012 - 9:23


If you're worried about getting shelled on the climbs, know where they are and move up if there is the chance so that you reach them in the front 10-15 riders, then let people come round on the way up.

Much better than starting them at the back and killing yourself to hold on.

posted by racingcondor [150 posts]
28th March 2012 - 21:15


See you there Sam I'm racing Dunfermline too!

I've got a cold too (get the excuses in early!) but am doing my local chaingang tonight anyway although I might cut a lap or two.

Good luck! Cool


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posted by Squiggle [414 posts]
29th March 2012 - 9:28

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Maybe we should try forming a cold-ridden groupetto if we start struggling! Big Grin

Twitter: @velosam

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posted by SamShaw [321 posts]
29th March 2012 - 10:23

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