Early Season Time Trial Double-Header Horror

an unwieldy title, maybe, but it sort of sums it up. most people don’t double up over the course of a weekend, at least, not in race terms. i opted to do the somerset road club 10 yesterday and the chippenham wheelers hardrider this morning. I wasn’t going to the SRC event, but laboured under the misapprehension that some friends would also be riding, namely Kieran Ellis and Ed Trotman, two mightily quick fixie-fiends looking to dip a toe into the murky pondwater of timetrialling. suffice to say, they found a series of excuses to get out of this one. nevermind, they will be back, or at least, they will appear at some point in the club colours, and i suspect they both have the necessary wherewithal and disregard for pain to ride pretty damn fast.

the somerset 10 last year was my first open time trial ever, so it was with slight nostalgia and a sense of timeliness that i made my way down to the windswept somerset levels to have another go. i made significant inroads on last year’s time, over a minute quicker, and my first top ten finish, 8th in fact. the peerless stuart dodd took the win, he’s the masters national champion and absurdly quick. i got some plaudits though from him when i turned up at HQ on my bike (not in car) with an additional set of race wheels strapped to my back. ‘that’s class’, he said. cue other stories from the regulars in the car park about a chap who used to ride a motorbike and sidecar to races with the bike in the sidecar. how we chortled.

today was the hardrider, and the first one of the year. the field was pretty stellar, and some guy called Doug Dewey pretty much obliterated the field with a staggeringly quick time of 53 minutes over a 24.3 mile course with 800ft of climbing. i managed 1.00.57, which i was pleased with, considering the depth of the field and strength of the riders. i think it was probably good enough for 13th place. i nearly took a wrong turn, saved only by a marshall yelling at me. i felt like i was going well, so can only be pleased. i also think i may be riding into a bit of form, there are now events every weekend for the next month or so, which certainly should do it. on arrival back at the HQ my eyes felt really itchy, as though they had sunk back inside my skull. i think this is a result of dehydration. it wasn’t that nice a feeling.

this video taken from frome ten shows just how unglamorous and hardcore this sport is, as well as how close together my arms are, and how bright my jersey/oversock/glove combo is. it also shows the huge range in riding styles and position, in a sport where position is very important.

i saw the international space station pass over on Friday night. the weatherman on points west always lets the viewer know when and from where it will be appearing. it’s really bright and serenely arcs across the night sky. the oddest thing is that there are people up there, working in weightlessness.

here is a short video that i took.

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