Hurt box cycling – Jonathan Dredge
I am an avid cyclist and a 3rd year PhD doctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham and University of Melbourne. This blog follows races and training starting with the 2012/2013 season.
2010 – Beginnings
I have been road riding since the summer of 2010 when I joined London Dynamo Cycling Club and began racing as a fourth cat. I obtained by 3rd cat license at the end of 2010.
2011 – 3rd cat and chasing 2nd cat
I began the 2011 season hopeful of getting my 2nd cat license. The jump in pace from 4th cat to 3rd cat was a difficult adjustment but I slowly moved up through the ranks as the season progressed, but I never made it to 2nd cat (2011 results). I learnt a lot from this season upon reflection. Firstly that I was taking my pursuit of 2nd cat way too seriously, and as a consequence was not really enjoying the competitive aspect of cycling anymore. Secondly, that I had underestimated the amount of training required to get to a competitive level and that I had very little knowledge of sports training methods (as I have never previously participated in competitive sports).
2011 – Melbourne, Australia
At the end of September 2011 I moved to Australia to study at the University of Melbourne. Once the weather starting clearing up and I had settled in to my Melbourne life I began cycling again having taken a few months of the bike during the move. I starting riding with a good group of guys from Melbourne University Cycling Club (after riding the first couple of ‘group’ rides alone as I didn’t realize that riding in the rain was not a done thing in Melbourne – that’s not really a luxury that I have in the UK). I began racing criteriums in C/D grade in November and then raced throughout the Australian summer. I progressed well through the crit season and was welcomed onto Team Canard- Axis, an Australian racing team based in Melbourne. This helped my riding massively as I was training and racing frequently with a group of strong riders and friends. Getting training rides in was easy when the sun was shining and when the cake/coffee stops were aplenty.
2012 – Team Canard-Axis (Melbourne)
I continued racing crits with the team through the summer into 2012, getting consistent placings in B grade towards the end of the season at Glenvale (write up), Coburg and C grade SKCC. Over the winter I traveled a bit, including back to the UK where I raced at Stourport 3rd Cat (result) and achieved 1st place. Back in Australia I took part in some road races (a completely different animal that I need to focus my training around and dramatically improve my tactics). Then began racing A/B grade again for the spring summer crits. This is tough racing but managed to mix it up in A grade breakaways at Coburg (series flyer), 2nd B grade at SKCC (results) and attacking racing at Hawthorn (write up). In November 2012 I moved back to the UK feeling strong from the couple of months of crit riding, ready to rest and then starting preparing for the 2012/2013 UK season.