Tuesday, 2 September 2008

On Trial

Since having rediscovered the joys of cycling a couple of years ago, I have been keen to experience as many of its aspects as possible.

As this year progressed, and speed built, it was suggested that I might try a 10 mile Time Trial. I resisted up to the time of the Etape, preferring to concentrate on the ability just to keep going, and not wanting to post a time in excess of 30 minutes. For me, the ability to 'break evens' (20mph average) was key.

With the end of the 'Summer' approaching, a visitor to the 10th August Audax I was overseeing for a Tamworth CC colleague 'invited' me to try one of the Hinckley CRC "Tuesday 10's". Flat course, friendly welcome.

Both correct. I turned up (late as usual) on 26th August, to be 48th off of the maximum 50 riders.

The first unusual sensation is to balance on a bike at the start whilst the chap pushing off balances you. Weird. At the off, I was determined not to go off too fast (I've read that's a bad idea) but that's a little difficult when the road is gradually downhill.

The fellow 1 minute in front was long gone, but the procession of riders on the return part of the out-and-back course is a constant encouragement. Out of breath after the first mile, I dug in and kept the cadence going. The course is advertised as flat, but has lots of draggy bits that really give the legs a workout.

Round the roundabout on the A5 at the end of the out leg, I exited the roundabout as the rider 1 minute behind approached. Game on, head down, don't let him catch me. Focus for the next 4 miles was as much on the speedo as the road, as the expected noise of pedals and wheels from behind never materialised.

Passing the timing car, I yelled my number and warmed-down back to the car, being congratulated by the guy behind for being uncatchable despite his best efforts. Result!

Official timing gave me 27:30, well inside my 30:00 target, and only 48 seconds off my standard time for a 46 year-old. 21.81 mph and a good marker for next year, 38th of 50 starters.

If anyone out there is toying with the idea of a TT, go for it, its great fun.

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