I need to start getting myself ready for the 2018 race season and I think I need to look at this in three ways:
1 – getting myself ready,
2 – getting the bike ready,
3 – getting the money ready.
Part 1 – Getting myself ready
I figured that to have a chance of competing at the front, I need to lose a bit of weight. I asked the top 4 riders what their weights were, and I am significantly heavier than all but one. Two-time defending champ Andy Blomfield weighs just 67kg; Duncan Baillie and Pete Pritchard both come in at 76kg; and last year’s runner-up Matt Lawson is the heaviest at 97kg. I weigh about the same as Matt, but I think if I can skinny down to 89kg it will give me a bit of a help getting the bike off the line. Just look at the video below to see the difference between me and Matt compared to the tiny racers.
I have a bit of a plan of how I am going to do this. I cycle to work every day, which helps keep the weight off, but I need to make more of an effort to get the weight shifted rather than just staying the same. So gym it is. I’ll do weight sessions three times a week, followed by some treadmill work. Two other days I’ll cycle and swim.
I’ve also signed up to some triathlons and figured this would help me stay motivated to shift the weight. There are 11 weeks until the first race at Brands Hatch on the 17th of March, so I need to lose just under 1kg a week, which is a fairly realistic target. I just need to stick to the routine.
Part 2 – Getting the bike ready
This should be fairly straight forward, I’ve already repaired the mechanical damage from the crash at Castle Combe.
I’ve also patched the the fairings up with filler, but haven’t yet sanded it back and drilled the right holes so they all fit together. Once that’s done it needs a wee coat of paint to make it look good for Brands Hatch. Hopefully it will look better than last year’s primer grey!
Although I am considering changing the paint from gold to a bright yellow. Any thoughts? I’d keep the black bits black and just change the gold. I do like the gold. It does stand out, but the paint is so soft it can get smudged easily. I need to give the bike a damn good clean too!
I don’t think I need to change the chain after only doing five rounds, and I’ll need to check to see what the oil looks like. I think just sorting the cosmetic things will be enough. I do need to get the new Dunlop Alpha-13 SP tyres fitted and to reposition the GoPro to stop scruninteering from shouting at me.
Part 3 – Getting the money ready
This one is a bit more complicated than before. I work in sales, and my commission scheme changed a lot last year, while my monthly direct debits seem to have creeped up a bit. This was one of the reasons I had to stop last year – the money just wasn’t there. I’ve completed a budget for the season, and it looks like this:-
Memberships = £140
Race Entry = £1,490
Race Fuel = £200
Travel Fuel = £1,000
Tyres = £756
Total = £3,586
I think I also need a new set of leathers. I was able to get the holes repaired in my current ones, but the leather that was used looks more like fashion leather than hard-wearing race leather. It’s making me a bit apprehensive of crashing again wearing that suit. It has done me well, as I think I’ve had it for about five years, and managed to crash in it five times with no real harm coming to me. I had thought about going to RST and getting a made-to-measure suit, as their biggest size is a teeny tiny bit too short for me, but they now make a bigger size of race suit, the 52, so I’ll need to find where I can try one on and see if the fit is better for me. We shall see what happens with that.
That is the plan going forward. Hopefully this year I can go to all eight rounds. My goals for the 2018 season are to get my first podium, and compete for race wins. Again I would like to finish in the top 5 by the end of the championship. I didn’t reach that last time due to crashing and not finishing the season, but I think that should be achievable.
I am going to try and produce these more each week. It would be great if you could subscribe to the blog if you like what you read. You can do that on the right hand side.