Early season sprightliness on the A361 (FDW 10)

The first race of the season is probably the worst one of the lot. It’s the moment when all the pre-season fannying around is dispelled in a few short minutes and you find out in simple terms whether you’re going well or riding like a sack of potatoes. As such, there’s a hefty degree of race anxiety, even though no-one wants to turn up in peak form for the Frome and District Wheelers 10 mile time trial in early February. The best you can hope for is a sense of things being not as quick as you might have hoped, but not as slow as you perhaps feared. And so it goes.

Trotters warms up by getting into position for the ‘crane kick’ from the karate kid part 1

The weather was kind, if a tiny bit chilly. It didn’t cause any problems though and my armwarmer/kneewarmer/defeet glove combo was perfect. I was very cautious on all the roundabouts, scrubbing off all my speed and cornering gingerly, to say the least. There was some sort of time equation in my head; 10 seconds gained on the course could easily become 6 months lost after a heavy crash.

Ed and Rob were also riding in the red and gold, both on fixed. Rob opted for a healthy 97″ and Trotterz went big with a hundred and something, dialling in a long 23. I managed to ride 22 dead, 1 second slower than last year. I’ll settle for that. I was also up on a few other people which was comforting and took home £15 for 3rd place. Ben Anstie and Tejvan Pettinger were both a cut above, with Ben edging it by 3 seconds in 21.26. There were some other impressive rides, James Coleman blasted round on a road bike, making the most of his Ludgershall legs, Steve Potts put in a quick time, Richard Spink managed to complete the course in short order, even with one of his ski poles swinging all over the place.

I shall move on to the next event with a degree of confidence and the knowledge that I’ve put in a race effort – always the hardest thing to replicate in training. Apart from all of that, it was great to catch up with various people I only ever see at races, especially Tejvan who I somehow managed to miss last year. The social side of time trialling is perhaps overlooked. Today’s event had all the hallmarks of club life; a village hall, sturdy mugs of tea and hearty cake, lots of gentle banter between racing cyclists and a presentation of used banknotes in brown envelopes.

thanks to the host club

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