Is it down to the lake I fear?

another week, another club time trial. after last week’s minor molehill climb which i didn’t go to – on account of the rain and my diffidence at anything less than 3 minutes long – it was all back to the lake for another 8.3 mile blast around a lumpy old stretch of road. there’s a nice bit that runs past a pub patio, the locals come out and gawp, stand agog and point at the beskinsuited ninjas on the charge: ‘look moira, some chap just came past on some kind of iron horse, it’s the devil’s work i tell thee’.

 i felt like i had some unfinished business with this course having ridden a 19.02 and a 19.10. i wanted to get under 19 but it was windier than a flatulent greyhound out there. incidentally, my dad has a flatulent and blind greyhound called flynn, you wouldn’t think the skinny, slender frame could conceal such a foul concoction of noxious gas, but flynn truly unleashes the overwhelming stench of dead things. but anyway, i rode to work this morning, a quick blast on the TT weapon. i went past some people cycling to glastonbury with panniers full of ale and probably drugs and pot noodles, but they were friendly. one of them complemented me on the disc/stealth/aero helmet combo. i told her it was my hack bike for commuting. in truth, i felt like a bit of a douchebag riding to work on the alien techno slobber machine, but it was the only way to get some miles in before the 100 on sunday. (oh god, the 100, please no). i then rode after work to the lake, did a circuit, then lined up for the start.

  it was windy, but the kind of blustery wind that gets in the way but just has to be confronted. i decided to have an argument with the breeze and charge at it, nail the first section and hope for the best. this strategy led to me hitting 98% of my max heartrate within about 3 minutes. i ignored it. i was frustrated and determined to just ride it all out. i ragged it all the way round, assaulted the hills, churned the big gear, spat gobbets of stringy stuff out like a feral child. essentially, i went right on the rivet. it worked, i nailed an 18.59, a PB despite the churning breeze. there’s method in the madness. not much though, classic PLF. i can say with hand on heart that i will not be applying this strategy on Sunday. i will also be using a rear light, which i have attached through a bodged combination of zip ties and plastic bits. it’s quite DIY. Below is the garmin graph; I’ve put the zones on so you can see the kind of effort – total zone 5 all the way round, peaking at the end, average heartrate was 174bpm, 26.2mph with 270 feet of climbing. A couple of friends, mostly fixed wheel people, also dipped a toe into the murky pondwater of timetrialling. On a range of gear inches they all posted some pretty impressive times. Chapeau to the Hamilton Wheelers. in other news, the editor of the Swindon Advertiser published an article that redresses the balance of the earlier slightly unbalanced article. i questioned the implication of the first piece, and the inaccuracies and they got in touch.

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