28 April 2008

UCI Race

The past months maybe year I am less interested in racing bicycles myself and more interested in adventure and social riding. I religiously attend the Wednesday rides of our club and make noise to the younger guys on how to race but I don't care anymore how I am doing.

The Tanzanian Bicycling Association has chosen to join UCI so we have some standing so they need a bunch of timed races so they can decided whether Tanzania deserves something or not.

26 April is a Holiday and the first race was Arusha on that day. I almost opted out of the race but signed up and was glad I did. It was 150km , to Moshi town and back. I haven't ridden that far on road bike for awhile but knew the peleton affect would make it much easier.

The first 1/4 race was fun. A few times I had to press hard on the pedals to hold on when someone decided to take off or we came to a longer hill. In the middle or back of the pack it was bliss being sucked along. the 2nd quarter I started to feel the pace but managed to just hang on on the hills. One time they took off again after cresting a hill and luckily the peleton was big enough that we pulled them in. Bad for the best riders in our club as they were trying to shake people off.

We turned around and my average speed was 38kmph. We had probably lost 1000feet elevation but it was into a slight wind. The pace was crazy after making the U turn but I held on. I was pretty proud of myself. Mike and Andrew had been dropped way before. There were over 20 people now in the front pack.

As we roller coasted out of Moshi I started to wear down and as the wind was pushing us it seemed they kept the pace up higher. I think our team was working harder now. The first half all our good riders just kept in the pack.

I got dropped on a slight uphill with another half dozen. there was now the front pack of a dozen or so and then the rest of us spread out. I was not looking forward to 65km riding without a break but kept pushing the pedals.

Luckily Mike turned around and helped me half way back. We got caught by one guy who helped some but then left us on a long uphill. Then Mike pooped out and I rode in alone. Hill after hill. I managed to average 31kph. the last 30 km were a struggle and the hills in the last 15 km were slow. I got cramps twice and had to get off the bike. That never happens. wonder what was going on in my body.

At the finish i felt okay but within 5 minutes I threw up , then felt okay. Once home I had diarrhoea the rest of the afternoon. I must of really wore down my body.

Saidi from our club got first followed closely by a guy from Mwanza on a single speed Phoenix bike! three of the guys from mwanza finished in the top 10. Amazing. I need to find what the average speed was.

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