Almost exactly two years ago i took to the startline for my third ever time trial, the Rudy project event run by Bath CC. There were cakes for prizes and the field was stacked with scary men and women sitting astride a range of scary bicycles and riding them at obscene speeds. I came 16th in the seniors on my Condor Acciao with TT extensions. I had a set of veloce wheels and averaged 21mph. i was optimistic that i could improve, firstly by spending a shedload of hard-earned cash on aero-erotica, and secondly by doing some proper training. those first few races were quite telling, the best placing i achieved that year was in the Dursley ‘mega’ hilly, a tidy 7th.
i rode the Bath event again today, and so did Alec. The course record prior to today’s event was a 57.48. I went off early and got back to the HQ after 57 minutes and 55 seconds of suffering, average around 24.8mph. I was pleased to get within 7 seconds of the CR, but fully expected both Alec and Rob to smash it to pieces on a balmy day matched perfectly to the sport of cycling. They didn’t disappoint, Alec turned in a 56.22 and Rob a 56.51. It was a quick day. I also improved on last year’s time by a full 4 minutes. I was particularly pleased to beat Ben Anstie who is a very accomplished rider and someone who i’ve never got anywhere remotely near in the past. He is a nice chap and it was his birthday, so i felt a bit bad. and he’s been ill. But what the hell, cycling is a brutal sport for hardmen, he knows the drill. If you’re worried about losing on your birthday then don’t have a birthday.
The gains have come about in 24 short months. after making huge strides last year i genuinely didn’t expect to be making similar, if not more pronounced, improvements this year. i think it’s an accumulation of various things, rather than the proverbial magic bullet. maybe i’ll list them in a future post.
The cakes were extra-special. Alec bagged the chocolate one which we were all eyeing up. Rob took an apricot number and i went for a cranberry sponge cake. It is very tasty. my eye was first taken by a smutty looking piece of ‘scottish parkin’, but i didn’t know what parkin was and suspected that the scottish element might be lard, or irn bru, maybe some tennants super, so i erred on the side of caution. Penny Gardiner bagged it for being first lady and apparently it was very tasty. Giles Oakley rode well to take 10th place and i’m sure he’s had a small slice or too.
I’m now taking a bit of a break (apart from a midweek circuit thing) and will be missing the next WTTA event. I have a prior event lined up this Saturday, sign-on is at 3pm. It’s perhaps best suited to a tandem, starting the journey with a partner for support, rather than the solo steed. I’m really excited.
Here are some photos from today: