November saw me enter my first MTB race!
Heres what i wrote on my scooter racing blog-;
The Thetford Whyte Winter Series is a set of 4 Races held between November and February and attracts a full capacity of 500 riders to each race. Classes are split by age group with distance options from 2 laps to 4 hours (!) So somehow on the first weekend of November I found myself deep in the Thetford Forest lining up with 500 other loons to race bicycles around a cross country course about 6.5 miles long.
It was very much a baptism of fire and not even having been to a mountain bike race before! I had only been training a few weeks really at this point and had no idea what to expect really!...... My engine tuner Chalky White is a keen and regular cyclist and I had his advice ringing in my ears...... " Don't go off too fast and burn yourself out " .....
I found that on the downhill singletrack swoops I could make up a lot of time.... but then immediately lose it when we hit the open fire track roads and uphill stretches. I just didnt have the strength in my legs to keep up the same pace on those bits. I ended the 2 lap race in 19th place out of 34 starters so overall I wasn't unhappy!
This gave me a good start to the month and I really enjoyed the challenge of starting a completely new sport aged 48!
My tracked cycle miles was a bit less than the previous month - winter and dark nights were kicking in, but at the end of the month I went back up to Sherwood Pines and actually did 2 laps around the Red Route ( separated by a rest stop ) with a few members of Witham Wheelers cycle club. It was difficult to compare my time with previous as the down side of riding in a group is that they keep stopping and playing catch up! So although the recorded time was a couple of minutes over an hour... there was a bit of stopping and starting involved! i was pretty shot after a second lap though...... probably the hardest day I had done so far at that point!
I still wasn't really doing many rides over 10 miles but was still continuing to feel stronger and fitter, and continued to notice improvements in recovery time, and a bit more weight lost!