My Old Club
I have now left the cycle club, C.C. Nanteuil, because on top of the hike in license fee's. It just doesn't help those like me, who are getting on in years, to get race insurance. Also, the spinal troubles have at last caught up with me putting an end to my 'on road' activies.
I started 2016 knowing my racing / riding days were over for good. The 'powers that be' - the Doctors - have told me that because of the state of my spine and bone problems, they will have no option but to wash their hands of the probable outcome of me riding a bike again.
My New Club
My old club was C.C. Nanteuil which is run from a small village on the outskirts of St. Maixent l’Ecole, the Army Garrison Town from where most of France's Euros were distributed when the new currency was introduced. Eleanor of Aquitaine, once Queen of England and France, owned houses and spent a lot of time there.
The club put me into the Category 4 grouping which put me against younger riders and some very, very fit older racers including ex-pro’s, so it was an interesting season. With the help of the club, I should be able to push to a much higher level of road racing - well, at least that is the thought behind it!
Some members are very competitive, but I have always been competitive in all I do, so the only real difference is that most of these guys have been racing bikes since they were youngsters. By contrast, I am just starting my sixth year. But I may still have the edge because I know their strengths, having seen many perform over the past year or two, and I am confident that my competitive side will drive me to give them a run for their money next season.
The last five years have not been easy. But I have progressed with the right self-motivation and with the support of my mate Tony who helped sort out my riding position, setting up the bike to my peculiarities - nothing too drastic - but like a racing motorcycle, it’s the little adjustments that make a massive difference.
If you’re health is not 100% but you want to give cycle road racing a try, remember there is always someone far worse off than you, even if it sometimes feels the other way round after a few hundred kilometres!
Copyright © 2015 Maurice Carroll
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