Oh my legs!! And other parts of my anatomy!! I can barely stand, let alone walk up the stairs to my room. But, as I lie here, a mass of knotted muscle, I can't help but smile at what I have achieved today. And, I mustn't forget that MiniRRD was there too, struggling with the ups and downs, but mostly the ups, that today brought. In fact, the downs were what we were both looking forward to, more than anything.
Brands Hatch Race Track is a killer. I can say this with authority. It is 2.3 miles of pain and effort. How can most of it seem to be going up? It felt like I was riding in a picture by M C. Escher. You know, the one where the steps just keep going up and up, and yet still join in a circle.
Let me just take you through the first little bit of the circuit, just so you get a feel for what MiniRRD and I experienced today.
Come out of the pit lane and speed up, before a gentle incline slows you down as you go through the timing arch. Turn sharply right and shoot down a VERY exhilarating hill (I reached a top speed of 39.6mph on this one), which finishes with such a steep climb that all your lovely momentum disappears in an instant, and you are back in the lowest gear and crawling up, in a fair amount of pain may I add. Round the corner and a cheeky drop for a second or two before ... yes, you guessed it, a climb. This time it's not at all steep; just a gentle climb that slowly but surely saps your strength, until you are gasping for breath, and barely able to turn the pedals (well, that's how I felt). And so on.
But, and here's the bit that makes it all worthwhile, if you look at the title of this post you will see that I went round a total of 10 times! Yes, I managed to conquer this gruesome course 10 times today. And MiniRRD? Well, he had to beat me, but only by one.
My main claim to fame for today? My fastest time of 14 minutes was slower than anyone else's time on the track. I did manage to pass one rider over the whole day. My pleasure was short lived; just after I passed him, he wobbled and fell off!!
I'm off to have a hot bath, and a loooong sleep. Oh no, wait. I'm at work first thing in the morning.