You hear a lot of excuses in bicycle racing as to why it didn’t go to plan, with people often ruing luck. In my limited experience of road racing so far I can only see it comes down to one, or a combination of two things; the head and the legs. Which leaves variations of two reasons; ‘I didn’t have the legs’, ‘I wasn’t smart enough today’, it would be refreshing to hear those muttered a bit more. I’m still working on both, today it was the legs that proved the problem…..
I haven’t made it to many time trials this year, mainly due to having a go at circuit and crit racing.
Today I headed up to the U7B with Dan, for his first 10 mile TT and my second ride on the course this year.
I had no energy and really struggled to get going, I only really got on top of the gear for the last two miles where the course flattens out and with a slight tailwind managed to put extra 0.7mph onto my average speed.
Dan picked up a puncture warming up, then the valve came off his spare tube. I found this out as I rolled in after racing, we ran to the car with my spare tube got it fitted and he was off to the start.
Although Dan missed his start time by a couple of minutes, he went off as last rider and posted a 24.06, pretty good for first try with a double puncture on the warm up!
Cycling Clubs, really serious cyclists doing really serious things, probably not having any fun.
That’s what a lot of people seem to think. In reality joining a cycling club is one of the best things you can do.
Most clubs have weekly club runs throughout the year, with time trials, road races and other events regularly being held.
Join A Cycling Club Today!
Saturday saw the Bristol South Open 10. There was a large amount of BSCC riders on the start sheet, I’m sure this was due to the amazing cake at the HQ.
I was first rider off, I later found out it’s tradition for the hosting club to do this, incase a Marshall is missing, you have to get off and direct!
After shouting, THIS IS F&@KING RIDICULOUS, I finally found the HQ, I’d been there before, but this time I used Apple Maps.
My aim was to go under 23 minutes, I’d only done this once before on a total float day and got a 22.13.
During the first two miles I wanted to give up time trialling, I hadn’t ridden my TT bike for 3.5 weeks and riding so hard was, so hard! It was only once I reached the last two miles that I realised I was on for a decent time. I crossed the line with a 22.20, I was pretty pleased with this. Not quite a pb, but close! I also had a congratulations on my time from Gerry, the winner of the V60 category, this was pretty cool!
Bristol South took the team prize for the day, with the combined time of PJ, Dan and me, being the fastest of three riders from the same club!
This week the Bristol South Classic League heads to Chew Valley Lake. If Bird Watching and Time Trialling are your two favourite things then its not to be missed.
After a successful few weeks at Aust on the 5.2 mile course, where pb’s were flying around, there will hopefully be some more fast times around the lake.
Tim and myself both set new pb’s at Aust, with Tim not being slowed by using his road bike, maybe that helped with his recent circuit racing exploits!
I finally went under 12 minutes with an 11.46 on the final evening!
This weekend was the first Bristol South CC open event of the year. A 25 mile time trial held on the U17.
With sunshine and warm temperatures, this was a huge contrast from just over a month ago for the Severn RC 25, where it was snowing.
I was aiming for as close to an hour as I could get. I rode a 1.03.43 in Febuary, so had some work to do, but was aiming to at least better that time. With temperatures above zero I was in with a chance.
After a painful ride with some adjustment needed to my saddle angle, I’d managed a 1.01.06 I was really pleased with this. With PJs super fast time and Dan Kempe a few seconds behind me, we had got the team prize for Bristol South! I was 11th of 54, nearly a top ten in an open! Dan B was riding his first ever TT and put in strong time on a spinny 90 gear inch.
This was my second 10 of the year. I was aiming for a low 23.
After expecting it to be very wet, the rain stopped for the racing. I went off slightly too hard, then settled into a rhythm as best I could. There was a very strong cross wind, which had a headwind bias on the return, but didn’t feel like much of a push on the way out!
I’ve realised after riding the Severn RC 25 that a 10 mile TT is not actually that far, I know this is fairly obvious! So kept on pushing without trying to save anything for later.
I was really pleased with my 23.09.
The best part of the day was that my grandparents came to watch. Having held club records and 3rd place in a national 50 TT between them, I’ve a lot of catching up to do!
This Sunday at around 9am I arrived at a village hall in Falfield, it was snowing, moments later PJ arrived, he had ridden up!
We were here for the Severn RC 25 mile time trial.
I was struggling to decide what to wear, aero but vaguely warm. I went for base layer shorts and vest, arm warmers, jersey, thermal socks, shoe covers, leg warmers and winter gloves with a skin suit on top. It seemed to be about right apart from my feet and one of my fingers going numb.
I’d not ridden the course before, comprising of the out and back U7B 10, with an added two loops of a circuit bringing it up to the 25.
It was hard, the cold meant it took me about 3 miles to realise there was a strong headwind, this only turned into a tailwind for the last 5 miles, a welcome relief but a little too late to make a massive difference to my average speed.
I came away with a 1.03.43 not too bad for my second 25 mile TT and something to aim to improve on.
It was good to catch up with Ed Pitt and speak to Mike Clark, both riding well in the tough conditions.
After the ride we were rewarded with great cakes and a very warm village hall with an impressive collection of industrial looking heaters.
Today was the Frome and District Wheelers 10, and for many, the first TT of the year.
I headed down with Adam and Tim who were my support crew for the morning which was good!
There was a thick fog on the journey down, but this cleared for the race and the sun came out to play.
It was hard riding hard, I haven’t ridden a TT since July or August last year. But it was good to get the first race done. I rode a 23.57 putting me 20th of 60 riders. PJ rode like a champ as usual and took 3rd place, read his review here. Rob went for cream teas and missed his start time, but still got a ride and posted a really impressive 25.09 which he will most probably smash at his next TT.
Next weekend is the Severn Road Club 25.
With Time Trial season fast approaching, I’ve been busy building a bike ready for this year. I’ve not quite finished collecting all the bits together, but it’s finally looking like a bike.
As with last year I’ll be riding fixed wheel. Part of the delay in sorting a bike was down to the decision of if I should move to a geared bike. I decided to stick with one gear as I really enjoy riding fixed and think I need to get used to utilising the gears on my road bike, before trying gears for time trialling.
My first TT this year is in Frome, with the Frome and District Wheelers holding a 10 mile event, I’ve ridden this course before so have a time to try and beat.
Here is progress so far, I have an adjustable stem on order to try and find the optimum aero position.