Liz Randall's Cycling Blog - a life behind bars

"With ordinary talents and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable"

Friday, 17 August 2007

100 days to go! to the UCI its a World Best Time, to me its a Masters World Record

This week after seeing the Graeme O'bree film I've had a stomach dropping realisation of what I'm trying to do and as a result have been wondering WHY I'm doing this to myself!! Rest days allow far too much reflection time!

I'm trialling double discs, but think I'll probably stick with 4 spoke with a Shamal on the spare bike. Thanks to Brad Robbins for glueing the tyre on the 4 spoke..quote.."it'll self destruct before that tyre rolls off"! Brad has agreed to help with mechanical aspects on the night and I have David James track side as my bully boy. David already has great experience of hurling insults at me as I try not to die in the pursuit. I've also got quite a few people coming track side to lend vocal support....... I've bought 2 new chains of superior quality..Izumi V and Vertex HKK. they'll be fixed to be the right length for the gearing I'm using (probably 51/15, maybe 50/15) and will be at a length that gets the wheel as close to the seat stay as possible.

Brad told me there was a UCI ruling about how close to the seat tube the wheel can be, but my chain stay isn't that short as to be anywhere near failing on that rule. The rule I will need to be careful of is the nose of the saddle being 5 cm behind the bottom bracket...mine is 2.5cm and I'm claiming the short arses' morphological get out rule. The worlds is a month prior, so if it passes there I'll be fine.

After a week of either being off the bike totally or on light work with very little by way of big efforts, I'm now back into effort mode but up until yesterday with little enthusiasm. Then all of a sudden everything clicked again! Weird. Why? why down and then why suddenly up?

I can come up with a list of reasons why down: less than perfect health, tired, overworked, missing Alex's support at home, not competing in either the Deutschlandsberg in the Masters Cycling Week , or the UCI World Masters Road Championships both in Austria, as I have for the past 5 years..but why suddenly up? search me!

The UCI is getting under my skin about womens grading at the track worlds..I'm getting a fair amount of emails from irate competitors regarding this. The UCI insist on all the age groups, including the oldest having a certain amount of competitors before it can run as a class. I mean, how encouraging is that for the older women in the World Track Champs where the oldest class is 50+. Its not.

What happens is that older women are disinclined to travel since they are wildly disadvantaged by having to ride against MUCH younger women. Of course the boys club that is the UCI will then point to the attendance numbers and say...told you it wasn't worth having an older women's class.

There are many options for putting this right and one that has been put to me is the event invitation, rather than offer a 50+ class, offer all the classes up to say 60-64 with the proviso that classes will be joined if there aren't enough competitors. If classes have to be joined say for arguments sake as 50+, have medals for each class within the joined group. So you end up with a 3 person podium for the 50+ group..and gold medals/jerseys for the winner in each older age group. The "terminal"(!) age groups need encouragment and admiration for still being very competitive....not discouraged and sidelined. Grrrh!

I have contacts in USA, UK, SA, NZ and Germany and am thinking I might get a petition going..or an email blitz, or something...anything! too late for this year of course......

Today is the day one of my coach's other athletes makes his attempt on the world hour record...Go Kevin, Go!

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