Yesterday was my first race post Nationals, so I was looking forward to see how my training has been coming along.  It was a beautiful drive to just the other side of Geelong to a little place called Paraparap.  I had never heard of the area so plugged in the cross roads and was on my way.  It was a great drive and I was looking forward to having a great race.

The race was a 25km Time Trial on an out and back course.  I had arrived early (which those who know me realise isn’t unusual, I’m always early!) and this gave me time to drive the course to see what the terrain and road surface was like.  It suited me pretty well I decided, as I drove over the course.  But while driving and looking at the bushland around me realised that it was going to be a very windy ride.

I found the Geelong Vets Cycling Club sheds and set up my area with my Trike roller and as I was about to head over to register realised that I had forgotten my wallet.  I had nothing with me, no money, no drivers licence, no Cycling Licence.  This last one was the one I was worried about because if you don’t have your licence with you they usually don’t let you race.  I approached the guy in the shed and explained my situation at which time he said “Don’t you worry about that, we are pretty laid back here in the country”.  So thank goodness I was going to be allowed to race!

I was going off 6th, 3 spots behind my friend Hannah MacDougall (another Para Cyclist).  I was really surprised that they weren’t sending me off first being on a trike.  So I made it my goal to try and stay in front of all the women who were leaving after me as long as I could.  At 1:37pm I was sent on my way and the first 3km was up hill and straight into a head wind!  I just kept the mantra “I love wind” running through my head and once I turned out of the wind I thought it would be better.  How wrong was I, the cross wind was with us for the 10km out and back and I have to admit that the mantra stopped working!  It was a tough slog controlling the trike on the road as it was fairly bumpy, the camber wasn’t great and with the cross wind I wasn’t able to stay in the aero bars the entire way because I had to try and control the front end of the trike.

The last of the women who had started finally passed me with about 4km to go, so I was happy with how I had held on.  The last 3km was a downhill  finish with a tailwind and it was great, I felt like I was flying.

In the end I was very happy with my overall average speed, especially with the wind as it was and very happy with my time.  I feel like I am on track for the World Cup and World Championships at the end of August.  I still have a few more races over the next couple of months which will help me get to where I want to be come the end of August.

Thanks to the Geelong Vets who put on the race and thanks to all the other riders who gave me so much support, it was great to be out there racing.

Carol and Hannah

Carol and Hannah after the race, Hannah taking a well earned rest