cycling due to the Coronavirus pandemic, have meant that I haven’t travelled to
Sydney to compete in Waratah events. With the latest regional restrictions, a
racing bubble has been formed with the clubs at Port Macquarie, Macksville,
Coffs Harbour and Grafton. At present, living in Emerald Beach, I am allowed to
race with local clubs and have been regularly racing with the Macksville and
Coffs Harbour clubs, in older style handicap races. There is no hiding in
the bunch on the heavy country roads. Very enjoyable racing.
Each year the
Macksville Club holds the Brian Cockbain Memorial Ride Around the River, a
Sportive with various lengths up to 85km, that winds through the Nambucca River
valley. Unfortunately due to the latest restrictions this event had to be
cancelled. Last weekend though, I competed in a Macksville Club race, the
Brian Cockbain Memorial Time Trial. Brian was a member of the Macksville Cycle
Club and a tireless worker promoting and serving the sporting codes in the
Nambucca Valley. He passed away aged 51 years, during a club race. This race in
his honour is a Handicap TT, over a 17km out and back course. Competitors start
at 1 minute intervals, then at the end your overall time is recorded and your
time allowance, based on previous performances, is deducted, giving your corrected
time. The person with the lowest time in each category is the winner.
1.5km is a flat run along the river, then changes to undulating climbs up to
the turnaround mark. I started at a very fast pace for me. On approaching the
hills I thought I had gone out too hard, though once I started to climb I felt
great, with a good cadence and rhythm. Soon I was at the turn around and on the
way home. The finish line appeared and I was still riding strongly. I had
covered the 17km course in 27 minutes and, with my handicap, recorded a time of
24 minutes, a good fast ride on my new set of TWE wheels (thanks Greg!). A time
that would stand for the rest of the day and win the medal for the Men’s
category. A great honour to win such a prestigious event in our district.
Hope you are
all well. Every Sunday night I look up the Waratah race results to see how you
are all performing. I miss the Waratahs Sunday racing, having a chat,
coffee and watching the A and B grade races.