It's my second race of the season this weekend (27th May). It's been a long time since March when I took part in my first foray of racing during which I got well and truly humped by my rivals as I got pumped out the back of the bunch on the 2nd lap.
I got pretty disillusioned about my abilities, or lack thereof, and decided to attempt getting faster before I humiliated myself again. Training in the last couple of months has focussed on getting used to doing hard efforts in groups, through doing the local chain gang and pushing myself harder than I usually do on solo training rides. I'm not sure if it's doing me much good though as I'm still lacking the ability to stick with my contemporaries when the road starts to rise.
The course for Sunday's VC Glasgow South road race has got one substantial lump in it and an uphill finish, neither of which are filling me with confidence at the moment. The 50 mile route consists of 3 laps round a circuit off the M77 to the south of Glasgow, there's a wind farm near the race, at the finish actually, so I'm guessing that it's not going to be pan-flat! There's going to be a bit of huffing/puffing/bar chewing on my behalf if I want to stay in touch with the bunch until the end.
This lack of faith in my inability to climb is being compounded at the moment by the fact that I'll be riding my winter bike as my Planet X Nanolight has sustained a frame failure and is currently winging it's way back towards Rotherham. I'm pretty gutted as the bike was a bit of a dream come true for me having never ridden anything carbon; going back to an aluminium winter machine this week was a bit of a shock. I'm going to have to get used to it for the coming weeks however as a new frame won't be available for 4 weeks. Not what I want when I've got races and we're experiencing the best weather we've had all year – scratch that, for the last few years!
Hopefully Planet X will pull it out of the bag and get me a new frame sooner rather than later. I'm slow enough as it is without trying to lug an extra 2kg of bike around during my training and racing, though I am approaching my goal weight of 75kg, tipping the scales at 76kg at the moment.
Sunday's race will give the answer.