For the past three months I have been suffering from quite a mild virus. Unfortunately though, it has been enough to almost completely stop my training and racing.
Judging from the symptoms, we came to the conclusion that it was glandular fever and that it was seeping the energy from me whenever I got on the bike. As a result, I have only participated in two races since the beginning of the season which is killing me. I have annoyingly had to bypass the opportunity to race in some really good races which could have given potential success. One of these was the British Eagles where one of my fellow team mates did an amazing job and came 2nd which was a great result for Edinburgh Road Club. As for my training, I am still going out cycling, however, I need to keep the effort levels low and work my way up to fitness slowly so as not to end up going backwards. Hopefully my virus is on the way out and I will be able to get back to fitness and racing in the next month or two. Alex Kinsley
One of the races I hope to be fit again for is the Scottish Junior Road Race which is on 1st June. Another race that I would like to be fit for is the Junior Tour of Ireland which is in the middle of July and looks like an amazing experience since it's a proper tour. It starts and finishes in a different place every day racing over 6 days.
My experience of sharing the road with cars in most circumstances has been pretty good. In the two collisions I have experienced with cars, the drivers have been sorry and helped out as best they could. Some of the problems I have had is the occasional driver who, for no particular reason, will drive past extremely closely and far too quickly. This is where I hope that the Road Share campaign for presumed liability will have an impact in terms of changing driver behaviour. If the drivers know that they are responsible for any incident with a bike or pedestrian, unless they can prove otherwise, the driver will be more careful and want to give more space. This would hopefully prevent the number of collisions that occur between bicycles and cars when a car gets too close.
It was really good to go along to this year's Pedal on Parliament and see the many cyclists all doing their part to help make roads safer. Over 4000 people turned up and I even saw a guy riding around on a penny farthing which is a pretty rare sight. I hope that everything that Cycle Law Scotland and others are doing will make a difference to cycling in Scotland. It would make me a whole lot happier to feel that bit safer on the roads. There were quite a few there from the Edinburgh Road Club including Ross Crook, Colin Russel, Lewis Polden and many others. There were even some Glasgow club riders who had made the effort to show their dedication to the cause and ridden over for the day.
My target for the next few months will be to get myself back to full fitness. There is nothing more annoying than going too hard too early and ending up back to square one. I will have to be patient. It will be a steady rise but I will hopefully be back to peak fitness by the time the Junior Tour of Wales comes around in August. It is one of the biggest races in the Junior series and would be a good race to do well in. The overall goal for the year was to achieve my Cat 1 licence but with the virus the new one is just to hold on to my Cat 2 licence! I hope to get a few successes in this year but mainly to be able to go into next year fighting fit and ready to race as a senior. It will be a big jump and all the experience I have gathered will most definitely come in useful.