Stock-Take

Where is it?
Where’s what?
My Glove.
What glove sure ye’ve a heap of them?
The glove I’ve been looking for this past hour and a half. I’ve found one in with all the socks and god only knows where the other one is.
Is it any wonder ye can’t find it, sure there isn’t a room or radiator in the house that hasn’t got some of your shorts, gloves, arm thingys……
Arm Warmers? Yeah. Have you seen them too? Ah Jaysus, this is brutal I was only wearing them yesterday morning and now they’ve vanished too.
Have you checked this basket?
I’ve checked all the baskets. I’ve poured them all out three or four times at this stage.
Ye mustn’t have looked hard enough. Is this the glove?
Yeah, where did you find that….hang on. Is that the first one I found. Where’s the first one gone??

The joys of the first race of the season. It feels like an age since I last sat in on a Saturday night, pinned on my numbers, had a bath, shaved my legs and tucked in for an early night. There’s not a lot of men that can say that without their wives getting worried now is there? What was supposed to be an evening designed to get the batteries recharged turned into a 4 hour epic search for gear involving every room (and child) in the house. The end result looked like Wiggle had puked on the sitting room floor. An entire stock-take and categorisation on all gear available for the season. It took a good 4 hours in total but sure it’s done now and it daren’t happen again next week or there’ll be murder.

numbers pinned
Numbers Pinned

 

Anyway, up early and away the next morning. Bike and gear packed into the car along with the Wife and Kids. As it was Mothers Day it wouldn’t be fair to leave them at home and what better way to spend it than catching a glimpse of their father whizzing past for 5 seconds every 30 minutes.
Sign on was at 9pm. Better get in early, what with the numbers capped at 110 this year and with there being little or no racing up until now. Everyone will surely be here. 43 signed on, shows how much I know. Clearly some people love their mothers more than bikes.
Its great to see a few familiar faces around and it doesn’t take long for the same old sh!te-talk to start again. “Have ye been doing much?” – “Not enough!” – “Yer looking fit and sharp” – “ Looking thin and sick more like” – “This course should suit you” – “Is it all downhill”.

On the start line I feel sick to my stomach. I’ve no idea why. 1st race nerves maybe but they dissipate as soon as we clip in and head out the road. The race starts with a quick descent and I’m watching all around me. You’re back in a bunch now and moving way quicker than you’ve ever done over the past few months and there’s riders moving all around you. The entire bunch crawls around the first corner like we are all learning to walk again. Definitely too much brake being pulled by all parties but who wants to go down at the first corner in the first race.

It takes a good 40 minutes before my legs start to realise this isn’t the normal Sunday spin and they aren’t working to pre-determined time intervals. There won’t be a 10 minute recovery today, there won’t be a coffee midway, they need to wake up.

boyne gp

I feel like I’m dragging the strength out of my legs for the first 2 laps. I take one corner but haven’t changed gear so when I come out the other side I’m slogging it like a dog and grinding to keep the wheel. I try to change but its too late and my rear derailleur clacks and pops like I’ve being shot at.
At one point I’m attempting to move up the hard-shoulder but I’m giving myself a face full of wind until an overly generous rider tells me to hop in line and take shelter. I try to squeeze through the group and there’s one or two bumps where I misjudge space available. It takes a while but the little things are starting to come back to me.

Fortunately enough they come back in time for me to marginally avoid a crash in the final kms. The split in the bunch caused by the crash means there’s actually a chance here of getting points on day one. On the run in though I completely misjudge the distance to the finish and my legs stop for that coffee they were expecting 40 minutes ago. I roll in about 14th or 15th happy enough with my days work. Some things will come with more time but for now I’ll put this down as an early season stock-take.

4 thoughts on “Stock-Take

  1. Enjoyed that! It brought me straight back to every St. PATRICK’S DAY race in Carrick-on-suir during the 70s, when that was always our first race of the new season. If I remember, it used to be “The Kiely Cup” around Glenbower circuit, more than likely B. Power (RIP) was gone “off the front” almost straight away. Great memories though.

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