>West London CA 30m TT

>You don’t get many thirties. It’s a standard distance (it has competition records and all), but there’s no national championship and it’s not part of any season-long competition. In fact, today’s event was only the third ’30’ I’ve ridden in my hundred year long career. Despite (or because of) this, I’m claiming my first all time personal best since 1983 – hurray!

The West London CA event was on the Bentley course (H30/8). My legs were kn*ck*red from a hard training run on Thursday and several days of DIY (crouching down all day wrecks the thigh muscles). The weather was bad as well. So I had all my excuses in place. Excellent.

On a positive note, my new saddle arrived on the morning of the event and I managed to get it fitted in time for the race. That old Fizik Arione was an unkind seat on a TT bike.

The event itself went all right. The rain stopped just before the start. The tailwind to Chawton turned into a headwind middle and finish stretch. I went through the first 10 miles in 24:34 (7.5 miles of tailwind) and through 25 miles in 1:2:38 (15 miles of tailwind). I blew a bit in the last five and finished with 1:16:11 – a 7 minute improvement on my 1978 figures (admittedly ridden in a hailstorm and a gale). 1:16:11 is the equivalent of a 1:3:29 for ’25’, which given my lack of preparation and pervasive, DIY induced negativity, feels like a small victory.

Race stats: 30 miles in 1:16:11 (23.63mph), 15th out of 28 finishers. Slowest mile (18): 3:00 (20mph). Fastest miles (3 and 19): 2:13 (27.07mph). Top speed: 35.5mph. First 15 miles: 37:57. Last 15 miles: 38:11. Maximum heart rate: 164bpm. Average heart rate: 154bpm. Winner: Jerone Walters (Sigma Sport): 1:5:31.