Tuesday, 27 August 2013

albaRosa Circuit Races, York

albaRosa Girls After Race 1

More bike racing at the York circuit, this time two races in one day, each 40 minutes plus five laps with an hour in between races. This turned out to be just enough time to do a cool down, change into dry clothes, eat some porridge and drink some hot chocolate, before it was back out into the rain for round two. 

Race 1 Chase Group

I came 3rd in both races to Brit Tate and Iona Sewell, GB Cycles and collected enough points to earn my Cat 2 licence. I was disappointed that I wasn’t in a position to challenge for a win, but earlier this year I wouldn’t have even considered entering a bike race, so to have now done seven races and not finished lower than 3rd, I think I have to be happy with that.

Race 2 Chase
There are great reports from the day here and here.
Thank you to everyone involved in organising the day and well done to all who competed, especially my albaRosa team mates!

Thanks to James and Jamie for the photos.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Mixed Berry Muffins

With plenty of frozen berries in the freezer and fancying a change from flap-jacks, I made a batch of Mixed Berry Muffins. The recipe was adapted from one in my ‘Cupcakes & Cookies’ book. The muffins were nice and soft and the bursts of juice and sugar from the blueberries and raspberries were delicious. An ideal mid morning or afternoon snack.

200g whole-wheat self-raising flour
135g white self-raising flour
110g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs beaten lightly
50ml Meridian Safflower Oil
250ml milk
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
100g frozen blueberries
100g frozen raspberries

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Fill a muffin/cupcake tin with 12 muffin cases. Mix together all the ingredients. Stir in the frozen berries. Spoon mixture into muffin cases and bake for 35mins. Allow to stand in tray for a few minutes before placing on wire cooling rack.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Another Tuesday, Another Bike Race

This week my legs felt OK on my warm up, but as soon as the race started they didn't feel great. Strangely this meant that I actually enjoyed the race more than the previous couple because it hurt more, so I felt like it was a good training session. Starting as a second group of six we worked quite well together to catch the first group of six who had set off 45 seconds earlier. After passing them, with only one girl jumping groups, the pace slowed and was fairly constant for the remainder of the race. I attacked once but didn’t get a huge gap and so didn’t commit 100%. Again it came down to a sprint finish in which I finished 3rd to Iona Sewell and Brit Tate both of GB Cycles. I really need to improve my sprint finishes! Well done to the other albaRosa girls, Danica and Alison-who had done a time trial earlier in the day! Now that is a good way to make it hurt.

Results here

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Dishforth Bike Race and Semerwater Swim

Semerwater, Raydale, North Yorkshire
Last weekend ended up being a weekend of racing for me. On Saturday I competed in a women’s 40min bike race at Dishforth, North Yorkshire and on Sunday I took part in a 1.5km open water swim at Semerwater, also in North Yorkshire.

The bike race was pretty uneventful. The course at Dishforth is flat, wide and without any tight bends. There were a couple of attacks, but no one got away. There were also a couple of primes on laps 2 and 3 but the prizes weren’t attractive enough to encourage everyone to go for them. There were 25 women in the race, the largest field I’ve raced against so far and the group stayed together for the whole 40mins/5 laps. So the race came down to a sprint finish on the final lap in which I finished 2nd to Iona Sewell of GB Cycles. Well done to the other albaRosa girls who competed: Vicky Clark who set the pace for most of the race; Lindsay for getting stuck in despite miscounting the laps; and Claire who enjoyed her first ever bike race. Personally, I felt a bit underwhelmed at the finish, neither disappointed nor satisfied. In hindsight I think I should have tried to attack a few times to make the race a bit more interesting. Next time…

On Sunday, I enjoyed the open water swim much more than the bike race. The course was either 1 lap (1.5km) or 2 laps (3km) of Semerwater. I signed up for the 1.5km option. There was a mass start of 75 swimmers, but with a very wide range of abilities there was no fighting at the start. I had a good start and got to the first buoy in 2nd place. I then passed the man who was leading quite early on and held the lead to the finish. There were a few ducks which crossed my path at one point but apart from that the only event of note was my disastrous exit from the water where I stood up, fell backwards and then resorted to crawling over the slippery rocks to get to the finish. Not the most elegant way to finish a race. I then watched my friends come in, in 3rd and 7th positions in their first ever open water swim! A leisurely lunch in Bainbridge followed by a hilly cycle back to Otley was a good way to fill the rest of the day.

Dishforth race report and results.

Semerwater race results.