I did the Paris-Bordeaux track competition at Reading on Sunday.
It was a bright and sunny but very windy day.
My sole competition in the women’s events was Lydia Boylan, racing for
Look Mum No Hands (the Mothers). As she had had me over at Herne Hill
a couple of weeks back I was very keen to redress the balance (beat
her to a pulp).
There were a couple of senior scratch races I did quite well in, but
the main event – the qualifier for the Derny Race, both Lydia and I
nearly missed. We were racing against the under-16s, and it just
didn’t compute to join the line-up of children. Anyway, fortunately
for us we were allowed to finish our cake and sneak in after a couple
of laps and we were amongst the 8 qualifiers.
I thought I had the Derny race in the bag. I don’t think Lydia had
done it before and the nippers were on tiny little gears. George
Gilbert paced me pretty smartly to the front. Our dastardly plan was
to stay there til the end of the race, some 22 laps later. The first
half of the race went to plan, however the second half did not. I
sensed all was not right when five, FIVE, five of the little critters
sped past me, legs whirring like fans in a power surge. Occasionally,
I would manage to tear my anxious eyes from George’s bumper, and look
for signs of the nippers blowing up. No such luck – they were
streaking away from me with every laboured breath.
I must say, when we were lined up at the podium, that some of these
‘under-16s’ were not that little. Three of the boys must have been
clocking on for 6′ and the Team Terminator one had whopping muscles,
well he would, wouldn’t he? Are they specially bred? AND I had ridden
at speed in to a tree on Wednesday.
Sean Bannister gave us all lots of dosh, my lungs turned inside out
and waved to the crowds and A-leaguer, Matt Gittings (AW Cycles)
embarrassed everybody, lapping the field and doing circus tricks.