Reality check.

This winter is proving very difficult for riders to settle down. A long season, that in fact is still going in some cases, makes me want to carry on. I know it’s suicidal, ahead of the long challenge of 2013 but I’m still enjoying the training so might as well do it.

As i mentioned previously, I have acquired a new racing machine, courtesy of Wilkinson Wheel. I was testing it whenever I could on the track. Weather is very unpredictable as always at this time of the year. To give my tests a bigger picture I have decided to try the bike indoor as well.

Ever since I went to see the Indoors first time in 2002, I thought to myself: “Easy”.

I have seen Steve Harris winning his yet another British title and was thinking, what a shame we don’t have it in Poland. I even had a little go on Steve’s bike which was specially made for indoor racing, and liked it a lot.

Obviously, I have never raced indoor and had no idea how serious you have to be, regarding your tyres, to even be able to stay on the track. I bought a new set of Bontrager slicks and thought I will just walk on to the track and wipe the floor with everybody there. On a monday night, my indoor career had a massive reality check. Good thing about it all, we all take it easy. First session at Leicester was really well attended. We had local riders from Leicester, Bretford and Sheffield too. My first race lasted two and a half laps. That was the only one I managed to do with the top group of riders too. We have a relegation system, so if you come last, you drop a level down. After a couple of very unsteady rides I was relegated to a group of youngsters. Although I was laughing about my lack of preparation and riding on brand new tyres, which is a no no, I was getting annoyed at my pathetic lack of skills. The worst thing about it is, I can have as many advices as I can take in, I will still make the same mistakes. I can watch all the fastest riders go and try to imitate them, but I still suck big time. At the end of that first session I felt more comfortable on the bike, but still comparing to the better guys, I wasn’t anywhere near the top group. I can now see how annoyed beginners are when they come racing against us. I was getting beat by all the girls there, Lucy, Vicky and Lauren, even little Luke passed me.

My competitive nature instantly made me want to do it again.

Last saturday we went to the Coventry session. I was told that bigger facility with a wider circuit will suit me better. I was getting a little bit better, but still no chance of reaching the top group. I must have come second about 8 times. I’m amazed at the abilities of some guys out there. Our Craig, Ryan, Matt Smith and Mark Whitehead can lay the bike so low and turn in so sharp I can only dream of that. I do hope practice will eventually make me better. As I said there is no pressure. I can’t compete indoor anyway. It’s only out of curiosity and purely scientifically I want to put that bike through further tests.

Test results are interesting too. I have a good comparison already. I can only compare it to what I have been riding, so it’s very subjective. I just want another couple of sessions on both bikes to do it proper justice. I have another indoor session tomorrow at Leicester and want to do it on a Lynskey just to see if it will make any difference at all?

Practice makes perfect?

I hope.