After last weekends 100 mile TT, it was back down to more familiar territory this weekend – a 10 and a 25. This week saw little training. A nice easy week, motivated by a combination of
- Tiredness after national 100
- Tour de France in the third week on TV
- After two big national events, it feels like a good time to take a breather before the next big push for the end of October.
First up was a local 10 mile time trial organised by Oxonains CC on the Kingston Bagpuize H10/17R. This is close enough to cycle out to event and it was a good days cycling.
It was warm, but not uncomfortable hot. So it was a reasonably good day for racing – the only problem with the wind in the wrong direction. Out to the turn is about 5.6 miles. I managed this at 44 km/h. Before hitting the Tubney roundabout and flying back at over 54 km/h. I was quite pleased with my time of 20.23. I might have dipped under 20, if conditions had been perfect. (though when are conditions ever perfect and the wind in the right direction?)
The highlight of the race, was the most welcome addition of two spectators. My friend Andy had said he might come and watch. But, I think the idea of someone spectating at a time trial didn’t really register. Grovelling into the wind, I heard a shout and cheer. But, was more confused than appreciative. On the last 1 mile back to the roundabout I was flying with the tailwind and a had a better sighting of these two super-enthusiastic supporters by the road. It wasn’t exactly Alpe d’Huez, but it was rather an honour to have ‘spectator corner’ on the old A420. A few other riders commented on the novelty of being cheered on by two spectators. One rider said she thought of packing at the first roundabout, but the big smile of the spectator made her go on and finish. Andy and Ketsy were model spectators. No bizarre costume, no attempt to run along by side of road waving a flag in my face, just a big friendly smile and cheer. It’s not so difficult this spectating lark after all (see: spectators at the tour de France.) My time of 20.23 was good enough for first place and the Oxonian 10 mile TT trophy which I seem to remember is incredibly large.
They say a 10 mile is always a good precursor for a 25 mile. So I was looking forward to the Hounslow & District 25 the next morning on the H25/8 Bentley course. Sometimes it’s harder to get going in the mornings, but a tailwind got you up to speed on the first hill of the day and I managed to hold reasonable speed on the way back into the headwind. I think I managed a negative split (a posh way of saying faster second half) I came home in a time of 51.49.
A first glance of the result board, put me in 1st place, and as a result I got interviewed by the Hounslow & District CC publicity man. The nice chap asked for a few words on the race. So I struggled to think of anything meaningful and realised how difficult post race interviews can be. It’s hard not just to state the obvious. ‘yes, well er, it was a good race’But, after stumbling for words, we did get on to a good chat about the heady days of Hounslow CC in the 1970s. On the plus side, there were no grillings about my average power output readings pre 2011. . Anyway it turned out that my stunning words of wisdom may not hit the pages of the Hounslow Gazette after all. Seb Ader’s time was corrected after a transmission error and he ran into first place with a 51.36, putting me in second.
Such is life. one minute you’re catapulted to stardom and fame - heading for the back page of the Hounslow Gazzette, the next minute you’re just the nearly man. Well, I was very happy to drown my sorrows with a nice cup of tea and piece of flapjack. Anyway after riding through the cheering crowds on Saturday, any more fame and it might start go to my head.
Importantly, the form feels reasonably good and it was nice to get back to a few 55 km/h blasts for short 10s. 1st and second place for the weekend, not bad.