Formed in June 09, Here Come the Belgians is a non-elite anti-team celebrating all things cross, cobbled and Belgian.
Seeking a different experience to the traditional cycling club, its aim is to harness the energy of a vibrant internet cycling community with grass roots racing and riding based around Cyclocross and Spring Classics. There is no race programme in the style of a racing team, more a collection of individual experiences through rides and racing, in whatever location a member may be, that all can share in and contribute toward.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Fail to prepare, Prepare to race... Northwich.

Or should that title read the joy of intervals.

Let me expand. My initial thought on seeing the Northwich race early in the calendar was one of anticipation and focused excitement. The previous year's pre-race food consumption had me facing the man with the hammer whilst the wide variety of mud on the course had me reaching for the ejector button.

Would this year's race be a drier, better fuelled, better trained for affair?

Lets look at my previous week's intervals...
Wednesday: 1 A.M bike building (yes, 1 in the morning)
Thursday: 11.40 P.M bike building
Friday: Rest day - entertaining friends via the beer & curry program
Saturday : 10.40 P.M bike finished!

So as you can see, not ideal race prep. I managed 20 minutes on the old frame prior to stripping and cleaning and rebuilding into an 'Oom Johan'. Any intention to be competitive was reformated to 'go out and see what happens' .

Sunday morning arrives and I was confronted by a girlfriend with food poisoning and a puppy with diarrhea. Having finally put the household on an even keel I throw the bike on the roof and get to the race with 20 minutes to spare. To say I felt stress is putting it mildy - although I'd resigned myself to arriving as the whistle blew and everyone disappeared around the first corner. At least I'd arrived, signed on, managed a 100 yard warmup...then as I adjust my wheels everyone lines up ready to start. I was so close to being left home alone.

So the whistle blows and my stress disappears. I'd absolved myself from all the previous weeks and hours of stress and just got into a groove. I really enjoyed myself. I felt a semblance of flow, stuck every remount and felt pretty good throughout. I even managed to put the hammer down and put a half lap burst in to better the gent I'd been battling with throughout the second half of the race.

So in summary I had a great time. We had a great team vibe and I'm gutted Mark punctured as he was looking at a decent finish, expect a few sets of spare Belgian wheels in the pits over the forthcoming races. I'm a fan of the Northwich course and can't wait for next year already, I have a feeling I'll be better prepared.

So now for the real intervals and time to learn a bit of race craft.

Tyre pressure sidenote.
I threw averything in the car and forgot my trackpump. I arrived without time to use it even if I'd had it. I had wheels with tyres on and just had to get on with it. I checked my pressure tonight and I looked like 40 something on the front and 30 something in the rear (psi). In clinchers.

I wonder if I can get any lower...Maybe have to forget the pump more often.

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