A Wrong Turn and a 50.5 Mile TT

This weekend was two races. A 10 mile TT and on Sunday a 50 mile TT.

Last week, I had a great fun in the Yorkshire hills, seeking out any category 3 or 4 hills to race up and then enjoy scenery from the top. I was enjoying touring around the Yorkshire Dales so much, I didn’t feel like doing any of the usual resting and tapering you might do for a race. A 10 mile time trial didn’t seem as much fun as 110Km around Fleet Moss and Buttertubs. I’d almost forgotten I’d entered two races until Friday when I went out for an hour spin, hoping, by the next day, my legs would feel a little more rested for the weekend’s racing.

Anyway, Saturday was a 10 mile TT promoted by Kings Cliffe Flyers. It was a ‘sporting course’ around the quiet lanes of Kings Cliffe near Peterborough. It was quite a test with a few sharp left turns at the bottom of hills. I finished in 22.25? approx. I think that might have been 3rd place. I didn’t stay for results as I was driving south to Oxford and had the 50 mile TT in the back of my mind. But, it was good to a do a new course and meet some friendly people from the local club. Including a chap who said he read my blog.

The 50 mile TT on Sunday, was put on by London West, and was on my local course the H50/17 around Kingston Bagpuize. This meant I could have a comparative lie in and then ride out to the HQ. The start of the race was difficult and slow, the first 10 miles were  into the wind (and seemingly all uphill). The first 10 miles took nearly 24 minutes. This was going to be a slow 50. Anyway, on getting to the turn at 12.5 miles, things started to improve. For the rest of the race, I seemed to keep getting faster Рhelped by tailwind, a build up of traffic and perhaps my legs waking up. My 10 mile splits were interesting

10 miles – 23.51
20 miles – 21.40
30 miles – 22.16
40 miles – 22.30?
50 miles – 20.46

The last 10 mile split was averaging 30mph and included a u-turn over a dual carriageway central reservation and waiting for the traffic to clear because I took a wrong turn at last roundabout.

At the last roundabout, I made mistake of doing a U-Turn rather than going straight on. This was despite seeing the marshal signalling straight ahead and a sign to go straight on, but I thought it was a u-turn like the first lap. It took quite a while to realise I ought to stop going in the wrong direction and go back. When road was clear I went over Central Reservation. I don’t advise this is a new multisport of time trialling and cyclo cross skills. I think I added 0.5 mile on to the race, and lost a bit of time. It’s a funny thing how when you think you are certain of direction it’s hard to adapt.

I still managed to finish 3rd in 1.52.09. Though I was a bit annoyed because I might have set a seasons best for 50 miles. The funny thing is that a couple of years ago, I went wrong at the same roundabout in a 25 mile Time Trial. In that race, I went straight on – instead of turning. This time I turned instead of going straight on. Whatever they teach at Oxford University, it’s not how to read and go around about roundabouts.

The annoying thing is that usually, I’m pretty good at reading a map and memorising route. But, because this is my local road and local course, I assume I must know it. So I have a mental idea that proves incorrect. I finished 3rd, the race was won by G.Wallace, Team Midland Racing, in 1.49. so at least I know my roundabout confusion didn’t cost me first place, that would have been annoying!

It could have been worse though, I could have ridden over a packet of carpet tacks, dropped by some spectator wanting to help Joe Bloggs from Wobbly Wheelers to the first medal placing of London West Cycling District. But, although the world of time trialling can be quite cut throat, we don’t usually have spectators waving flares and dropping pins on the road…

Apart from minor wrong direction, I quite enjoyed the 50 mile time trial. I didn’t tire in race, and got nutrition and feeding correct. I had breakfast at 6.20 pm. I drank a bottle of Orbana energy drink before race, and during race had a bottle with High 5: 4:1 energy. It seemed to be just right. The bloke in front of me started race without any bottle at all. I don’t think that is a good idea.



2 Responses to A Wrong Turn and a 50.5 Mile TT

  1. Mark Scanlan July 17, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    If memory serves, are you not making a habit of this on the A420….Oxonian 25 event 2 or 3 seasons ago, didn’t you go straight on towards Tubney instead turning at A415 roundabout?

    Might I recommend a Garmin 800 with mapping? – only joshing, still a great ride this weekend despite the extra miles!

    • tejvan July 17, 2012 at 7:47 am #

      Yes, I went straight on without turning. This time I turned instead of going straight on. It might have been in back of mind. I think I’ll get a police escort for that roundabout next time.

      Thanks for timekeeping as ever, it was a good event, well marshalled despite the best efforts of riders.

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