Until now all the racing I have done has been on purpose-built criterium tracks. Living in a city means crits are the reality of regular racing. The circuits tend to be about a mile in length and the racing lasts under an hour. There are lots of attacks off the front but very few of them ever work out – you have to be a good bike handler in order to take all the turns and maintain your position.
Crits are not exactly boring, per se, because how could riding in a bunch of 50 dudes trying desperately to maintain a steady 41kph and not crash ever be boring? Terrifying, yes; boring, no. What I would say is they can be a little samey.
It was with great enthusiasm then that a clubmate and I signed up for Tavistock Wheelers’ Brentor Road Race on Dartmoor over the Easter weekend. The race would be conducted on an eight-kilometre circuit on real roads and the triangular route was advertised as having one gradual downhill, one flat side and one slightly rising side. We would race for 8.8 laps, completing the 0.8 first, as we would not be starting from the actual finish line.