Even though I've still got a few cross races left, my mind has turned to the spring and summer months. The original intention was to mix up a few road races and time trials and to set out a few targets up until August. However after having a wonderful time in the mud this winter with cross races I'm having to reconsider everything and will have to take into consideration costs of entry into races, travel and equipment. I've also decided to get back into mountain biking seriously this summer, see if I can strengthen myself up for cross.
There is still no official word from work about what is happening about the youth service, although redundancy is still probable, just when we aren't quite sure. So when I will be made redundant is anyone's guess. It's worrying at the back of my mind, as there are precious few youth work jobs out there. Either I strike lucky or it will be a complete change in direction work wise.
So when I put down all the possible events in the north east of England, there's quite a few clashes and not too many road races. I posted this up on Facebook that caused a massive discussion on road racing and the lack of events. Cheekily I put it down to the growth of sportives, but in reality the causes and multiple and complex; increased traffic, lack of organisers, health and safety, Police reluctance and a whole range of events conspiring to push road racing to the fringe of our sport. Back in 1989 I raced up to 50 days a year, many of which were local, now I counted 11 events, some of which were on closed circuits. The sport has certainly changed, with more choice for a wider range of biking lifestyles, however for the traditional 'roadie', the good days I think have sadly gone.
So the question is, do I focus on road racing this summer? As I write I'm unsure. I had planned in a full road season, but with so few events locally it will go against me. I normally need a number of races under my belt to find some form and I don't think there is enough for that. I had hoped on doing some LVRC vets racing but they are all travelling, with the Nationals down in Midlands I believe? With mountain bike racing but at £25 a shot for entry I could do 3 time trials for that. I'll also need to spend some money on the mountain bike, an old knacker job, that's past it's best.
I also need to get the qualifying time trial rides in for the Northumberland & Durham Cycling Association competition. I finished 6th overall and 3rd in the vets competitions, and the club won the team award as well. I enjoy racing, I would race every day if I could. So there lies the dilemma, what to target and concentrate on?
Time trialling is cheap and accessible and I don't need to spend a great deal to compete. Although I have been gloating at a disc wheel for £650. I really don't know why I punish myself!
Road racing will be more expensive with travelling, there are a few local events and one promoted by my club, The Ballantyne Trophy I last rode as a junior in 1983, 31 years ago! That must be a priority!
So as I gather my thoughts it's going to be a mix and match summer season, few time trials, few road and a few mountain bike. As for main aims that will take some more working out. For the moment I'm happy with these thoughts.
And as for the disc wheel? Well if anyone wants one....