Over this half term I have attended both a Track Regional School of Racing (RSR) and a Circuit RSR.
The track RSR was held at Newport, and was a very early start as we had to be at the track for about 7:15. During the RSR we spent time on the track, and this time we were doing the Madison event, where two rider teams compete in events, with one resting and the other riding in the race group. To swap around it is most common for a sling to take place, where the rider that is coming into race will gain momentum from the race rider, with the race rider dramatically slowing down. I had never done one of these, so over the day I learnt a lot, and by the end I was getting the hang of it.
One of the best parts was practising behind the durney bike traveling at 30mph, slinging people in and being slung. I was grateful to my partner, who helped me throughout the track time giving me advice and tips as he had done a Madison previously.
I had Wednesday off of the bike to rest, which I was thankful for as the weather was awful.
On the Thursday morning it was off to Castle Combe, for the first Circuit RSR of the season. There was a big group of riders there, from the south, Central, south west and Wales regions. The weather was nice and sunny which made the riding all the more pleasant, even if it was a little chilly. During the riding, all 120km of it, we did various exercises based on the concepts of bunch riding skills, cornering and also a little bit on attacking at the end. For the bunch riding and the cornering I was relatively confident, as my past of group rides from an early age, riding around odd down plenty of times and also various race packs I’ve been in had helped me to develop my skills in this. I liked the attacking part of the session, even though it came at the end of the day when I was starting to tire! I quite like putting in attacks and trying to catch people unaware, so through his exercise I was able to practice this and experiment with different tactics that could win a race in the future for me.
It was a great couple of days riding, although it ended on a bit of a negative as I left a toolbox behind that I had bought with me – “D’oh!”. Once home it was swiftly in to contact with the coaches, and one of them had thankfully picked it up for me to collect at a later date.
Lots of lessons learnt in these days, both on and off of the bike, but the stand out one, never forget the toolbox again!
Onto the next couple of days and a new experience for me, my first 10 mile time trial on Sunday, so am looking forward to hopefully setting a good time on my first outing.