>Now do it again, but better

>At last! After 29 years and 342 days I managed to ride a 25 mile TT under the hour again. I came close last year with a 1:00:00, but on Sunday I did a 59:50 – a very important few seconds there. I’m very happy with the ride. I just wish I could work out how I did it.

One difference was that I chose to ride a ’10’ the day before – I’ve been avoiding two race weekends for a while now. On Saturday I rode the Charlotteville CC ’10’ on the H10/8 (Bentley) course. It was a warm but breezy day with a significant headwind on the way to the turn. Given the condition I decided that a short-to-middling 24 would be okay. I ended up with a 24:36 which felt like a good ride and left me gasping and with hurting legs.

Race stats: Time: 24:36 (24.39mph). First 5 miles: 13:48, second 5 miles: 10:48. Top speed: 36.8mph. Slowest mile (2): 3:07 (19.25mph), fastest miles (9 and 10): 1:51 (32.43mph). Average HR: 167bpm, maximum HR: 171bpm. 44th of 92 finishers. Ave. cadence: 76rpm. Winner: Stephen Whitewick (Utag Yamaha.com) 20:25

Sunday morning and it was a late-ish start time for the West London CA ’25’ on the H25/2 (Marlow) ski-slop course. Even with high gears I struggle to take advantage of the 1.5 mile downhill start. Post race analysis shows that after 5 miles my time was only 20 seconds inside 25mph. The next five miles is probably the hardest on the course and the legs – sore from yesterday – struggled as I dropped 52 seconds to the 25mph mark (so 32 seconds down in total). I made up a bit on the downhill to the turn and reached half way in 30:28. I’ve never gone faster that a 1:01:21 on this course, so that looked about right.

The drag from the turn back through Knowl Hill is slight, but I couldn’t really cane it. I hit five miles to go about 33 seconds outside a 25mph average and promptly put in a 2:40 mile on the slope away from the Maidenhead Thicket roundabout. Four miles to go and 49 seconds outside ‘hour’ schedule.

Luckily for me the last four are predominately downhill and what slight breeze there was was behind. I crossed the line and checked my wristwatch. It suggested I might be ‘under’, but I hadn’t checked it was calibrated with the start timekeeper’s watch.

A couple of miles warming down and then back to the HQ. My time was already up. I was delighted (I’m still delighted). It’s smaller beer nowadays, but I remember when beating the hour was a key achievement and not many did it.

Race stats: Time: 59:50 (25.07mph). First 12.5 miles: 30:28, last 12.5 miles: 29:22. Top speed: 38.6mph. Slowest mile (9): 3:00 (20.00mph), fastest mile (2): 1:48 (33.33mph). Average HR: 159bpm, maximum HR: 166bpm. Average cadence: 75rpm. 38th of 82 finishers. Winner: Adam Topham (High Wycombe CC) 51:26

I don’t understand how I was almost 2 minutes faster than last week. It was a more relaxed ride perhaps. Maybe the ’10’ the day before helped. I think the climb to the start guarantees a better warm up than I usually get. Apart from that, I’m mystified.

Monday was spent looking at houses for sale in Bexhill and Eastbourne. A couple of hours of gently walking round the streets trashed my legs more effectively than two hard races in two days!