Thursday, July 29, 2010

Civilian Casualties.

I used to want to be a road racer. It's true. When McNabb and Nath were trying to convince me to come down and try track racing, I told them no, I wanted to concentrate on the road. But eventually they suckered me in, and I kinda got addicted. Even with this addiction, however, I still remember being really freaking excited about the beginning of last year's road season. It took about two months for that excitement to wear off. The road was just too hard - I was getting dropped, getting cold and wet and sick, getting pissed off. It was obvious: I was a track rider. More than that - I was a sprinter. And when I first signed up with Rick, that's what I told him.

So I wasn't heaps happy when, after coming back from my break, I received my new program. Road racing. Every weekend. But I'm a willing pupil, and generally do what I'm told. I signed up for B grade and hoped I'd be able to hold on. I couldn't.

A few weeks went by. I did a mountain bike race, some crits, a lot of long hard ergo sessions on the wind trainer. In an attempt to actually find a road race each weekend I drove all over the place. I lost a lot of weight. The hills started getting easier and I started to learn how to suffer. And in some handicap held outside of Geelong I ended up on the podium. The next week, back with the Northern Combine, I made the top ten in another handicap. More results came in, I got bumped up to A grade, and I started thinking differently. I started thinking that maybe I could do this after all.

Of course, that led to choices, and lots of umming and ahhing. Some decisions don't come easy. I think I even lost a little sleep. Which I could've avoided had I just spoken to Rick straightaway. Aside from the Tour of Bright, Road season here seems to peter out around October, and he was all set to have me race road until at least then. And when I suggested that maybe I'd be better off as an endurance rider on the track, he fairly jumped at the proposal.

So now it's all settled. Road til October, perhaps culminating in the Melbourne to Warnambool. Then a couple of months of solid training on the track before the Christmas Carnivals - perhaps the Tasmanian versions. If you need me, you know where I'll be.

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