I P-J – A Year in Racing.

Hello, my name is Imani Pereira-James, I have been at Glasgow Riderz for 5 and a bit years. I started racing about 2 year after I joined so I have been racing for 3 years, but this year I decided to start racing in England in the National Series and other races because I thought I should give it a go. Although I’m only 10, most of the other girls are 12 so that makes things a lot harder, but I know why I am in this category as I was born on the 15 of December 2004.


HETTON, NORTHUMBRIA

This was my first race in England and I enjoyed it a lot. I went with a girl called Morven from EKRC and we had lots of terrible singing on the way but we enjoyed it a lot. So let’s get to the point. I finished 5th overall which was pretty good. I was really happy as it was my first time at a National Youth C race and I didn’t know much about how to stay in the bunch and how it can help, but after I got the idea it helped stay part of the race.


ISLE OF MAN INTERNATIONAL YOUTH TOUR

I think the Isle of Man youth tour was the best national race I had been to. I went with Morven again, but the best thing was that we got to miss a day of school and go on a big ferry. The first day it was the time trial and I was 5th, I was really happy with that as I was only 2 seconds off the leader. Although it was nice and sunny on the first day it was a different story on the next day, it was pouring with rain, windy and cold but I guess that was good for me because I got in the top 3. It was such a good day but sadly Morven and I were standing in the rain for ages after the race and I got the cold. I had a terrible nights sleep and felt rubbish in the morning and came 5th the next day and 4th overall. The lesson I learned is that you need to sleep properly and stay healthy to race well, although this time it wasn’t my fault!


NORTH WEST YOUTH TOUR

The North West youth tour was really fun like all the others races that I had been to. The North West youth tour lasted 3 days and had 4 races. It was hard but I could cope with it, There were quite a few Glasgow Riderz there which made it really good fun. The first race I came 5th on the hill climb but I think I could have done better as I was in the wrong gear. On the next three races I finished in the main bunch with the 6 other faster, older girls and I came in 7th overall in the GC rankings. I was quite happy with that A bit of advice is to not stay in a caravan with 8 other people and a crazy dog and make sure you use the right gears (but that wasn’t my fault, that was Greig’s who told me to stay in the little ring when I should have been in the big ring in the TT).


HILLINGDON, LONDON

This was a long way from home but it was fine because I just slept in the car so we were there in a flash, but maybe not so much for Greig who was driving. I stayed in the bunch for half the race but the other half I got dropped because the boys were in the same race and they were really hard to stick with (especially at a Prime Sprint lap). But at the end of that race I ended up 4th after a sprint for 3rd but the girl that was in my little bunch was a sprinter so it was a hard sprint. They also got all the times wrong on this race, and the girl who finished 5th behind me was placed last, because we didnt have timing chips and they hadnt counted the lapped riders correctly. We hung out with Jenny, Rhona and Amber from Stirling, who are all really good Youth As and we had dinner in a brilliant Brewers Fare (I had steak).

SCARBOROUGH GRAND PRIX

I loved this race. I went with Anna Shackley and we had big fun. It had a steep hill in it which was short but 20%. I raced really well and finished 2nd. The winner was Isabella, the British Champion, and I managed to beat the girls that were 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the British Champs. Now Isabella is the only girl in Britain I haven’t beaten. It is a shame that she moves to U14 next year and I still am in U12 as it is good to race against her. I learned a big lesson in Scarborough, do not leave your Garmin on the bumper of your car, as you WILL lose it. It was also really great that Anna was second in her race too, so we had KFC on the way home and met our friend Lusia from Johnstone Jets. Although I won later at Tickhill Grand Prix, I think this was my best result this year


MID-SHROPSHIRE GRAND PRIX

This was the first race I won in England. I made an attack with about 5 laps to go, and won the race by about 30 seconds. This wasn’t a National Series Race, so some of the fastest girls weren’t there, but it was till good to win. Lessons learnt- I am sometimes strong enough to make a break and keep a gap on the chasing bunch.

TICKHILL GRAND PRIX

This was super-cool. They had TV cameras around the course and massive TV screens like movie screens so that you could watch yourself while you raced. I got a terrible start as a boy fell in front of me, and was dead last at the end of the first straight. I managed to work my way back, though, and got into the main bunch of lead girls. I thought there was only 2 laps to go and made a break, but there was four laps to go, so I was really hurting and going as fast as I could. I managed to stay out in front, and won the race by about 30 seconds. I got a cool bronze statue for winning, £40 and some vouchers for somewhere that I dont know what it is. What a cool day, though


BRITISH OMNIUM CHAMPIONSHIPS, WOLVERHAMPTON

This was a track Omnium, which is 5 races in one day. I qualified by winning the Scottish Omnium Series which was Omniums at Dundee, Meadowbank and Sir Chris Hoy Velodromes. In the Individual Time Trial, I finished 5th equal, but only one second off the lead. It was then a Devil race and I finished 2nd in my heat (they split it into two heats) and I moved to 4th equal. The next race was the Scratch race and it was a disaster for me. It was about 2pm and I hadn’t eaten any food since breakfast. I was doing ok with just 500 meters to go, actually in the lead, but I completely ran out of energy and lots of girls passed me, so I finished 13th, and moved down to 8th overall. Next race was a Keiran and again this was split into two heats. I was second in my heat and moved up to 7th overall. Because of the overall standings, I now knew the best I could finish was 5th, but to do that, I had to win the points race. I attacked many times, but the bunch kept catching me and I ended up finishing 4th or 5th, and that made me 6th overall. The big lesson I learned from this is that to race effectively, you need to eat and drink properly. I was lucky that Graeme and Andy managed to get me some help from the Braveheart Fund who paid my entry fee, although the money went to Greig and not me and he has probably spent it.

YEAR’S END

So that is my story of my first years racing in England. It is only 3 years since my first race at Glasgow Riderz where I finished last, but I loved that race so much, I just wanted to race more. It is so good to see all of the young Glasgow Riderz starting to race now, like Joe Barnes and Fraser Anderson. I hope I can encourage them, the way people like Lewis, Calum, Innes, Ellie, Jack, Anna and Abby helped and encouraged me. Anyway I hope you enjoyed my blog and it makes you want to race bikes too.


Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply