Buckfastleigh – Evening Race
14th May 2011
When keen cyclists like myself look out the window and see it’s a floater, they can’t help sighing, “If only I were racing tonight, I’d have a good chance of improving my Personal Best.” And, as there have been a few floaters lately, I’ve been rather obsessing over them…
Now, just in case there are any alarmed non-cyclists reading this, I’d better explain that ‘floaters’ aren’t as bad as they sound. They are, in fact, those calm conditions in which you’re most likely to increase your PB because there’s no wind to hinder you as you hurtle along at a pace that would make your granny giddy.
Having heard me moan on about missing out on all the floaters lately, my poor Cycling Widow of a partner looked up the forecast on the internet to see what the conditions would be for my time trial on Saturday evening.
“Look,” said Alannah, “Do you really want me to tell you what it says?” Her rationale was that, if I knew it was going to be windy, I’d worry my cycling socks off all week about the possibility of doing a bad time… and if the forecast predicted a floater, and it ended up being windy, I’d be disappointed. “You’re right, don’t tell me anything,” I conceded.
So it was that we headed off to Buckfastleigh for the race. It was lovely and sunny when we parked up and all seemed pretty calm. But out on the A38, it was a different story, with the wind against me on the return leg.
For any cyclists who don’t know the course and are thinking of trying it, the Cycling Time Trials Council call it S4/10 and it’s a fast out-and-back course, unless you get held up at the turn coming back.
All in all, my body felt stronger than normal and seemed to make up for the wind’s countering effects; and my time wasn’t bad at 24:30.
Although I’m not normally forecast-obsessed, I can’t help thinking about it when it comes to cycling. But, as my wise soigneur (who’s typing this!) reminded me, the conditions aren’t everything. In any case, you can’t change the weather, so it’s important to work on the things you can change instead.
When I reflect on my performances, I often come back to one main question: “Am I enjoying myself?” In all our competing and striving to do better (than ourselves if no‑one else), it’s always important to enjoy the journey and to remember that there’s more to life than floaters.
Follow our campervan to the next destination in the forthcoming blog, enigmatically entitled Underground, Overground.
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