All photo's are Copyright of Scott Swalling or the tagged Photographer. (Background photo Scott Swalling Photography).

About Me:

24Hr MTBike racer and general bike rider, climber and mountaineer. Good coffee drinker and cake eater (any cake, seriously, don't leave your cake laying around). Also, I like to try new things that challenge me.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

ACU/Gorrick Brass Monkeys Rnd 1, 2 and 3

After crashing and trashing my back in the Gorrick Torq in your Saddle 12:12 in August, I hadn't done a lot on the bike. I was tired, sore and a bit fed up.

But I duly entered the Brass Monkey winter series (Army Cycling Union and Gorrick).  Each year I look forward to this, but on the start line for the 1st Round I felt weak and uninterested in racing, but I still got on with things, well the best I could with my back feeling sore before evening starting.

Long story short it didn't go well and my back increased in pain and soon I was struggling to pedal let alone race and so I pulled the pin in pain and limped back to the van.  It was good to see the other Cycleworks team members and friends do really well.

Back to the osteo, back twisted, crunch and put right and a great deal of strength and stretching exercises issued and I was told to climb more (can't complain about that).  Whilst I started to do this a week later I threw myself and road bike down the road quite hard and once the bruising came out the next morning I could bare walk for a day or two, so I had a stay of rehab for an extra few days. Damn it!

I managed two rides before the 2nd Rnd of the Brass Monkeys and surprising managed to ride into 17th on the day, after some wheel issues and ensuring I took things comfortably.

Soon Rnd 3 was upon us after the Christmas and New Year season and two days of stomach bug made it hard enough to function as a human, let alone train.  So this race would be handle purely by a years accumulation of training and stubbornness.  In some very heavy conditions that a fatbike may well have be a better option I managed to ride into 13th, but not before have some loose chain issues and then some getting stuck behind a hundred+ 2hr racers on a lengthy bit of single track (it did hone my overtaking skills though).

So I am happy with one thing mainly with the above, I am improving again, building strength and have learnt how to managed the back if it does flare up.  However, that is becoming less of an issue, Yay!

Rnd 4 is not far off and I hope to get some more training in and be better prepared so I can see more improvement.  I have set most of my cycling goals for this year, so seeing improvement this early in the year would be a positive.

Fingers crossed.

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