>A weekend of two halves

>Profile of H25/801 course with heart rate
Two indifferent rides this weekend but at least on Sunday it felt like I was racing.

Saturday‘s event was the North Hampshire RC 25m TT on the Farnham course. I’ve got used to this course now and was looking forward to it – a warm and still day being a rarity this season.

Somehow however, despite travelling regularly to Farnham, I managed to get lost on the way to the start (M3, M4… they all look alike to me). The car then ran low on fuel which meant an unscheduled stop for diesel. My hour of contingency time was lost and I had 25 minutes to get my number, wash my hands and ride the 4 miles to the start.

There was another spanner in the works: the start sheet had arrived with the news that roadworks meant a course change to the mysterious H25/801. I knew the amended course as far as the Chawton roundabout, but the course went off the edge of my map to romantic sounding places like Four Marks, Soke, North street, Ropley Dean and Bishops Sutton. What would these roads be like? As it turns out they would be like hilly roads. The original H25/8 course normally clocks in with about 750 feet of climbing on my Garmin. The 801 variant scored a spectacular 1243 feet and I think that might be an underestimate.

The above graph shows the course profile, including warm up and warm down, and my heart rate (click on the image to enlarge). You can see the climbs and descents either side of the turn.

The climb from Chawton to Four Marks is steady but long. I went okay for about 80% of it, but had to change to the inner ring towards the top – the first time I’ve used the little chainwheel in a TT since coming back. The climbs back from the turn are steeper – little ring the whole way. I was in bottom gear (39×18) at times. Unfortunately I couldn’t change up to the big ring on the flat between the two climbs. You can see a dip in my heart rate on the graph where I quit for a few moments.

The descent back to Chawton was good fun (I knew it was coming this time and wasn’t baulked by traffic). I was in bits by the time the finish came the other way. All that effort for a time of 1:09:02. Not good.

Race stats: 25 miles in 1:09:02 (21.73mph). ? out of ? finishers. Slowest mile (10): 4:10!!! (14.40mph). Fastest mile (20): 1:45 (34.29mph). Top speed: 39.2mph. First 12.5 miles: 34:01 next 12.5 miles: 35:01. Max heart rate: 172bpm, average HR: 162bpm. Winner: Tejvan Pettinger (Sri Chimnoy RT) 55:25

Sunday‘s race was a West London Combine 10m TT run by the South Bucks RC at Great Missenden (the HCC180 course). Despite yesterday’s hammering I was looking forward to the race – my first ’10’ for a while. There was a headwind to the turn but I plugged away and came away with a course best of 26:14. I had hoped for a long 25, but it was a decent enough ride.

Race stats: 10 miles in 26:14 (22.87mph). ? out of ? finishers. Slowest mile (2): 3:01 (19.89mph). Fastest mile (9): 2:10 (27.69mph). Top speed: 28.9mph. First 5 miles: 13:42 next 5 miles: 12:32. Max heart rate: 164bpm, average HR: 158bpm. Winner: Geoff Powell (High Wycombe CC) 22:52