30th Anniversary season in the can

Thanks to Lisa Jane for the image.

This season has been a lot about resilience and making the best of the time and opportunities to ride my bike.

There has been ill health in the family, along with uncertainty and anxiety about opening up and going back into offices and schools across the whole household.

This is still an ongoing situation so the chance to finish work in my bedroom/office and ride out to a club event at the start of April was a real relief.

It didn’t matter so much that we were all still having to distance and not mingle before or after the event. The key thing in those early weeks were the single digit temperatures which made the racing tough and the ride home in the dark chilly at best.

My tradition after riding a club 10 is a midweek pizza and beer to celebrate and this has been respected in 2021 and become a really key part of our life.

It was great to be up and running and despite not really looking like I was going to make inroads into my personal bests the training felt good.

As we moved into the summer the easing of lockdown, if anything decreased the level of certainty I had about stuff and the arrival of coach Darren Kelly in my corner was much needed.

He was able to provide me with direction and structure in my training which added an element of cross fitness with some running sessions. I was already playing rugby as well which we were able to keep in the diary.

Having some goals and long term targets in my mind made the work hard but enjoyable and knowing that someone has taken the time to plan the training session you are doing made it much easier to get out and push myself.

I am still working with heart rate and not power so there will be a limit to how far I can go, but we are not there yet. Not by a long way.

As the summer progressed there were a number of interruptions to my season. I started to travel to Yorkshire from Lincolnshire for work and road closures on our time trial course saw some cancellations.

It made the events that were on more of an occasion including an open 10 mile time trial south of Peterborough on the roads I grew up riding and had ridden and trained on from my teenage years. I always feel special riding over there and this hot and sunny day was no different.

As the season drew to its close a sheared bolt on my tt bars caused me some issues on a tough night on our back up course, but I put that behind me before riding the last event all out.

The time wasn’t quite where I wanted it but as I put my lights on and rode home there was a certain sense of satisfaction at a season well ridden. As with all members of our club it had been about resilience, dedication and adaptability. Mentally it had been a lot tougher than I’d anticipated when going through it all. But now I can look forward to a cycling future and what it holds.

How would I view year 30 against year 1?

Well I won a lot more medals in my first year than this one, but cycling has for a long time been more about what I can put in rather than what I take out, so I am pretty Zen about that.

My original plan had been to knock it all on the head when I turn 50, but let’s see.

I will write a post looking back over the last 3 decades at some point soon. Its all processing and formulating in my mind at the moment.

Until then, enjoy the end of the road season and stay safe across the winter.

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