Saturday dawned a lovely day for a ride, and the crowd at BP2 certainly reflected this. I'd resisted the temptation to ride out with the Revolution boys, and hitched a lift with way_downsouth, Kah and Hollywood. A quick coffee stop in Aro Street, then straight onto the motorway. A short queue at registration, and we were ready to rock and roll. I had time for a short warm up back to the top of Wallaceville hill, and was able to check out the ride into the finish line where someone had come a cropper in the ditch on the way to the race... Poor blighter.
After a good rev-up on the line by Glenn, there was sure to be no slacking in the large Break bunch. There were a few of last week's Scratch cast offs, and Roadworks compatriot Joel, who miraculously had neither hair-dos, nor birthday parties to contend with this week...
The start was brisk, and we formed what almost resembled a pace line from the get go. About half way up cowpat, I was following Alex Revell and another, and found myself unable to get past. Instead of easing up, I kept hammering away, and before I knew it I was red-lining. I was last over the top of the rise, and had to make the best of my 90-odd kg to get back on before the flat. There was little respite before the short climb over Mangaroa, and by the time I hit the top of this, I was really struggling. The descent was rough, though I managed to pick OK lines. True to form, I slid off the wheel in front around the corner at the bottom and had to dig deep to regain it, the guy in front doing the same, etc, etc.
The race for me was done when the bunch started drafting a small truck. I was last in line, and probably about 15 riders back, and with absolutely no shelter from the truck, I suffered for the few minutes we were on. I didn't look at my speedo, but I'd estimate we were in the low 50s for 2 minutes or so. Too much for me, alas. When we hit the Wallaceville climb, I started to slip back, and about 2/3 of the way up, popped of the back of the bunch. I had company from Glenn and Ross Watson until Mangaroa where I couldn't quite match their pace.
Craig Lawn and one other passed me at the bottom of Mangaroa hill, and a short while later a bunch with Joe Cooper in it. At the bottom of Wallaceville, Scratch had lined me up. I slowed and went really wide in the corner, thinking they'd take the inside line, but I got a fright when they came around on both sides of me. I maintained a sensible pace up the hill, and worked hard from the top to the finish line. I didn't sprint, but was working hard to the line. Cheers to the guy on the right who eased up as I did, perhaps thinking it slightly impolite to draft for the last kilometre, and then sprint for 40th place or whatever it was... (unlike the guy on the left!)
All in all, a good hard workout. Given the lack of riding from March to June, I'm pretty pleased to be where I am. I can feel soft bits getting less soft, and my legs starting to cope with more. It was pleasing to see my lap times were almost identical.
Finally, I had a nice ride home with way_downsouth and Gerard. At the Silverstream lights we watched a bunch come on to SH2, and had to chase for quite a while to catch them. I always love SH2 in all it's smoothness, and slight downward gradient. With a tail wind, it was great to tick along in the low 40s for a while. We eventually caught them near Lower Hutt, and had a sheltered ride home. I was ready to stop by the time we got to Karori though.
No BP3 for me unfortunately, though Kaitlyn and I might go and watch. MTBO at Waitarere on Sunday though.
No need to take the bike to Oli for a once over, but it's tempting to see if he can pop me up in the stand, and give my legs a quick tune!
Originally published o vorb