2019 was my 6th visit to Manchester’s “Home of British Cycling” velodrome to compete in a Worlds Masters Track Championships. My 10th Worlds event, hoping that I could take all my new found strength from my new coach Robert Ferguson plus all the incentive from having a really good 2019 local track season to produce some results. This is just a summary of what occurred with more detail to come. (Sad to say it’s taken a year to finally get the story out)
Like all things in life there are ups and downs, some more significant than others. Knowing that I am extremely lucky to be in a position to even do what I do and make the trips to participate in events like this can put the sad parts of this trip in perspective. I got the chance to spend 10 plus days traveling and staying in a fun place and do what I never imagined I would do, certainly not 10 separate times.
The peak of the event was winning a 3rd place medal and standing on the podium at an event that is kind of like the Olympics for the older set, anyone not a professional bike racer and over the age of 35 years. (Classes determined by 5 year age groups and gender to try and level the competition fields) Other memorable mentions are making some new international friends (My German friends that I shared a cube at the velodrome with for a week), getting to meet my Scottish coach in person (Robert and his son drove down from Glasgow to watch one of my races and allowed some time to spend together and get to know one another on a more personal level) Just the chance to ride and race on one of my favorite velodromes, the track that I have the second most kilometers accumulated, second only to my home track. A chance to re-engage with a number of “friends” I have made from all over the world that I only see once a year at these events. Finally feeling like I really am able to race with the best of my age group in the world, something I have told myself for years, just needed some results to make it true. (Actually, I did get a second place medal in the Skratch Race in 2014 so I’ve be lucky enough to get on the podium twice)
The lows of the trip, getting taken advantage of by the Hertz rental car agent by putting me into a vehicle that was about 4 times the cost of the one I reserved originally, having the airlines misplace all my luggage, clothes, bike and bike gear for multiple days requiring me to chase back and forth to the airport numerous times eventually getting my bike 24 hours later than my arrival and all my other luggage about 2 and a half days after my arrival, finding my AirBnB lodging was a bit to be desired, especially the parking arrangements that lead to the worst of the lows, a crash in the rental car while trying to negotiate out of that crappy parking spot onto a busy road the day before I left. (Luckily the vehicle was still drivable and I was able to get back to the airport and make my escape from the UK and Hertz for at least a short time)
I’ll have more to share as I digest all my old notes from last year and see what looks to be interesting share-ables.
Retired in 2018 from running an auto service business allowed me to concentrate and deliver at least one medal at the 2019 Worlds Master Track Championships in Manchester UK
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