Despite the first signs of autumn colour, this weekend was, a ‘float weekend’ – A day when weather conditions are perfect for cycling (no wind, right temperature 15-20 degrees) leading to fast times and personal bests all round.
My race on the Bentley course was interrupted by roadworks so the course was changed to a hilly version. The 25 mile race was a real test with a couple of long climbs around the village of Four Marks. My speed was varying between 13mph on the climbs and 43 mph on the descents. The average ended up being just under 27mph with a time of 55.22. When I left the clubhouse, I was the fastest out of 120. Which sounds a little bit more impressive than it actually was. Some of the really fast guys had gone over to South Wales for a 25 mile race which starts at the top of the hill and finishes at the bottom. Now, with a course description like that – a race down a long hill, we might actually get a few more people wanting to do a time trial.
But, to be fair, there is 23 miles of flat in between. Nevertheless with a height drop it does make the course faster than others. There were several rides under 50 minutes. Tom Yeatman set a new junior record of 50.04. And David McCann set a new competition record of 45.54. Breaking Chris Boardman’s 16 year old record. Chris Boardman’s record was set on the A34, which is now one of the busiest dual carriageways in the country. Michael Hutchinson had come very close on different occasions and just missed out again with a 46.04. He must be one of the few people to be really disappointed with a time of 46 minutes for 25 miles.
The time trial season is coming to a close and I am switching my focus to hill climbs. Two times a week I am doing hill intervals. Generally, this involves racing up hills as fast as I can 3 or 4 times. There is probably a more scientific way of training, but, if you’re going to do hard intervals you might as well have the satisfaction of getting to the top of a hill.
Cycling Photos from Autumn
The road to Burnsall
- Normal cycling for a change – autumn means steady training