Triple Bongo

This weekend I’m riding the National Team Time Trial Championship with two clubmates. The race features two laps of a circuit near Abergavenny for a total of 35 miles. We’re hoping to do reasonably well, at least amongst the clubs. There are lots of sponsored teams; amalgamations of faster riders seeking free bongo kit in exchange for publicising a UPVC window company or caravan coach-builder.

We had a warm-up yesterday in the driving rain; a ride out to Axbridge and back to take in the Somerset Road Club midweek 10. The meet-up was at the Nova Scotia; I opted to use my Kask Bambino, despite the notorious fogging problems in dank weather. This was observed and commented on by Trotters and Spink. However, I have recently installed an old-school bodge on the newest of new-school bongo helmets and opted to take a chance.

Expensive and complex KaskBodge

After 15 miles of 3-up TT paced riding both Trotters and Spink had to stop on account of ‘not being able to see shit’. Their fool-proof giro selectors had fallen foul of the inclement weather, whereas the Bambino was entirely unfogged. I was Mr Smug of Smugville, Smugshire.

Trotters gets his race face together in a moment of quiet contemplation

We rode the TT at race pace through the wind and rain, coming through in twos on the outside and taking longer turns that you would in a through and off. It was good fun and made the experience less of an existential struggle compared to usual. As far as testing the water goes, we managed 20.38, which was a good start on a crappy old day. The ride back to Bristol wasn’t as much fun, a stout northerly made it a bit tricky.

Later on I uploaded by data to Strava, doing a bit of KOM bagging in the process. My evening was then ruined by a succession of updates to the virtual high score table as first Trotters, and then Spink, edged each of the segments with some canny KOMbags. I suspect this is what they were riding for all along; half-wheeling through each pre-recce’d segment, holding back then making up the ground to bag some virtual kudos.


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