Point-to-point racing is the real deal. In many ways it’s as close as most of us two-wheeled hacks will ever get to riding in a ‘proper’ road race like the pros. But having done it a few times now – and not being supported like riders in professional and semi-pro teams – it does raise a small but important dilemma. How do you get to the start? Or, should you choose to drive to the start line, how do get your car back when the race is over?
If you’re lucky, you may have an understanding and supportive partner who’s more than happy to ferry you for whichever leg of the journey suits you best. Aka point-to-point nirvana.
Alternatively, you may be able to find a riding mate to park at one end, while you park at the other. Only trouble with this arrangement is it requires both of you to drive to the race itself – a somewhat wasteful duplication of resources, particularly if it’s some distance away from home as most of the point-to-point races I’ve done over the years have been.
Many of the larger events also run a shuttle bus service nowadays. However whether it’s wise to have your carbon pride and joy bundled into a dodgy trailer with 100 other bikes to smash about as the bus driver hurtles at 140km/h in an attempt to set land-speed records or Strava KOMs is surely a subject for some debate. To overcome this very issue at the 110km B2B sportif in NSW a few years back, we decided to simply bundle our bikes into the bus itself for the post-race trip back to Blayney. The driver didn’t quite know what to do as about 20 of us filed past with decidedly-grubby bikes in tow. We got away with it that year as the bus was half empty. But I suspect that loophole may now be closed by organisers.
This leaves the final option which is simply to inhale a cup of cement and ride to the start line for the ultimate warm-up. Granted, in some instances this can work. But if you’re about to smash the crap out of yourself for 100km+ in Open grade company along undulating country roads – and don’t ride on the UCI World Tour – it’s questionable whether this makes a lot of sense. By the time the whips are cracking in the race, your legs will have long since cracked resembling little more than a molten mush of woe, having already carried you considerably further than your fresh-as-a-daisy rivals who, somewhat ironically, tried exactly the same thing last year and vowed ‘never again’.
Of course, you can always ride back to the start after the race I guess…