I have a track bike! Yep, yet another bike, but my lovely husband didn’t argue, as he agreed with me that it was an essential for my reinvention if I ever stood a chance of racing on the track. It was all made possible with the help of an army of people.
The lovely Jamie lent me his wife’s track bike, when the bike hire prices went up, and a helmet when I broke mine. That helped ensure that I didn’t quit because I couldn’t afford it any more.
A few weeks ago it was my birthday. My Dad gave me some money. Not much he said, but in fact £ double into $ and the very lovely Rob at my local bike shop Wensleys helped me plan an affordable way to get a track bike without braking the (already broken) bank. Those £ when converted into $ bought the frame, pretty much. Thanks Dad. Xx I gave the bike shop my carbon TT race wheels and they are re-building my back wheel as a fixed hub. I am not racing triathlon any more so the wheels get a reinvention too! Because I said I needed the bike, the shop lent me a back wheel while they build mine. Hence odd wheels.
I took it to the track today with utter excitement. Will all my hopes really be realised? I will say one thing. I felt way way better, more comfortable and faster on a bike that has the correct dimensions and a seat at the right height. I have no idea if I was faster or not, it was probably mental!
I rode around on the black line for a while, to see if the tires would behave. I was warned to get down off the track if they start to squeak. They didn’t, but they did slip when I hit the line. I asked someone who suggested I clean the tires with meths. The slightest bit of dust can cause issues. I gave the wheel a wipe, and set off once again. It seemed ok. The group were a little slow, I felt, but I wasn’t sure just yet, if the tire would grip high on the bank. I sat at the back, waited for the group to roll round and peel off till I got to second from front. The pace was frustrating, so I overtook the front rider and made a break. It’s not something I have ever done before, I just wanted to see what happened. I finally felt like I could use the power that I know I used to have, with the bike correctly set up. I expected someone (or all of them) to stay with me, I just kept going. I buried myself for as many laps as I could. I didn’t look round, I just kept going. When I felt I was starting to tire, I completed a lap then slowed, came down off the banking and glanced back to see how I was doing. I had pulled out half a lap. Pretty good, for my first outing on my brand new bike!
All I need now is a name for her.
Oh, and some union flag bar tape.