Category Archives: time trialling

Race #14 – Bogey course

It was back to the back of the field again last night. The Eastbourne Rovers club ’10’ from Pevensey seems to be a bête noire course for me. For three weeks I went slower every week. Yestday I managed to go 17 seconds faster than last week (hurrah!) but it was a much better evening (boo!). The first two miles seem to go all right and then I fall to bits and never recover. Ah well…

It was the Rovers’ club championship and their fastest rider was Iain Brogden with a 21:33. He’s put in an amazingly consistent series of rides in these events. The fastest rider on the night was Nic Baldo of PBScience.com with a 20:46. I believe he’s a young French professional rider being coached by Eastbourne-based coaching company PBScience led up by Helen Carter. There’s an excellent blog on their Web site.

Race stats: Time: 27:52 (21.53mph). First 5 miles: 13:47, last 5 miles: 14:05. Top speed: 34.2mph. Slowest mile (4): 3:09 (19.05mph), fastest mile (2): 2:32 (23.68mph). Average HR: 167bpm, maximum HR: 174bpm. Average cadence: 72rpm. 33rd of 41 finishers. Winner: Nic Baldo (PBScience.com) 20:46

New Job

I went for a job interview yesterday. It seemed to go quite well and I’ve just heard that I got the job. I’m very pleased.

It’s a part-time role with lots of weekend working. Although it’s a permanent post, most of the hours are allocated to the months between Easter and September. I’m going to have to ration my racing and training around shifts, but c’est la vie. At least I should be able to ride to work some of the time – the ‘office’ is about 16 miles from home.

I’ll add more details as I get them, but here’s a picture of the new office to be going on with.

Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle. Image copyright http://www.free-images.org.uk

Tonight is another Eastbourne Rovers‘ Pevensey ’10’. It’s a nice day, so let’s hope I can get back into the short 27s.

No race this weekend – I’m not ready for a ’50’ yet and there was nothing else close.

Race #13 – Confused of Bexhill

Last night was the third Lewes Wanderers‘ club 10m TT at East Hoathly (G10/87). Conditions were cool and breezy – most of the headwind was on the homeward stretch.

As usual I arrived early and rode the course beforehand. This ‘deep’ warm up seems to really help when racing two days in a row.

Last week at this event I did a season’s best for ’10’ and was hoping that my form had returned. Since then I’ve turned in two poor performances and had begun to assume that I’d never do a decent ride again. This ride was a bit of a test!

This course’s fast start suits me and lets me ease into race mode without going too deep. It also encourages me to keep the cadence high. I was a bit slower off the mark than last week (dropping 5 seconds in the first mile) but by the turn I’d used the tailwind to be 15 seconds up on last week’s effort.

The journey back was tough as the headwind told. My form started to suffer and my head went down (metaphorically). I lost 16 seconds on last week’s ride in the first mile off the turn. Luckily the last couple of miles are pretty sheltered and I rolled it home for a 25:58, only 6 seconds slower than last week. I’m pleased with that.

I’m also confused. How come I got the ride out for that event and yet my effort levels were so low for the previous two races?

At the sharp end of the Nick Dwyer of the promoting club won with a 20:48 – some ride in that wind.

Race stats: Time: 25:58 (23.11mph). First 5 miles: 11:56, last 5 miles: 14:02. Top speed: 31.5mph. Slowest mile (6): 3:03 (19.67mph), fastest mile (5): 2:13 (27.07mph). Average HR: 164bpm, maximum HR: 171bpm. Average cadence: 73rpm. 24th of 40 finishers. Winner: Nick Dwyer (Lewes Wanderers) 20:48

Race #12 – A Mighty Wind

Back to Kent today to ride the Kent VTTA 30 mile TT on the Q30/2. I was interested to see how I would go after Thursday’s ride. Was that an aberration?

No, it wasn’t. Another slow ride today. The breeze didn’t help, but my cadence was low and my heart rate never really got going. I even did a mile at 16mph at one point.

I’m either tired, under-motivated or ill. There’s no evidence of the latter so I’ll go with a combination of 1 and 2 as a working hypothesis. If I mess up tomorrow’s evening ’10’ as well, that will count as a third strike and I will take a couple of days off the bike. It’ll allow me to get Wednesday’s job interview out of the way as well.

It was a tight race at the front end with Andrew Meliak just edging Mike Piper by 7 seconds.

Race stats: Time: 1:21:30 (22.09mph). First 15 miles: 38:32, last 5 miles: 42:32. Top speed: 33.7mph. Slowest mile (22): 3:36 (16.67mph), fastest mile (11): 2:09 (27.91mph). Average HR: 156bpm, maximum HR: 166bpm. Average cadence: 71rpm. 18th of 34 finishers. Winner: Andrew Meliak (Data Team Allstars) 1:08:33

Went to look at the site for the job interview this afternoon. Not like any office I’ve ever worked in before.

>Race #11 – Hubris

>Ah well. I fell into the trap of imagining that progress is inevitable. Based on recent, half-decent rides I’d expected to beat 27:00 in last night’s Eastbourne Rovers ’10’ on the Pevensey course. Instead I went out and did my slowest time for over two years – 28:09.

It was a breezy evening, but even with a tailwind to the turn I was only 21 seconds up on last week’s 27:02 effort. After the turn my ride fell to bits and I lost buckets of time every mile. Worst of all was the last mile where I went 29 second slower than last week – 3:06 for the mile on a dead flat piece of road. The strange thing is I was trying. My form wasn’t too bad and I my breathing was better than last week. I was a little under-motivated, maybe, but I thought I was accelerating towards the flag. As I say – strange.

Race stats: Time: 28:09 (21.31mph). First 5 miles: 13:25, last 5 miles: 14:44. Top speed: 33.9mph. Slowest miles (4 & 10): 3:06 (19.35mph), fastest mile (5): 2:32 (23.68mph). Average HR: 161bpm, maximum HR: 169bpm. Average cadence: 71rpm. 17th of 22 finishers. Winner: Iain Brogden (Eastbourne Rovers) 21:43

The bike will need some attention before Sunday’s 30m TT in Kent. I seemed to hit a series of potholes and quite a lot moved under the repeated impacts.

Some better news on the job front: I have an interview next Wednesday. It’s only £4k a year, but it’s a start.

>Race #10 – Progress

>Last night I rode the Lewes Wanderers‘ club 10m TT at East Hoathly (G10/87). It was a warmer night than last week’s event, but it did rain for the last few miles.

I got there early and rode the whole course as part of the warm up again. At that time it seemed there would be a slight tailwind finish. A drink, a pee and a few laps of the village and I was ready to go.

The first mile was 6 seconds faster than last week’s ride but by the turn I was only 12 seconds up on that standard. It was faster coming home despite the rain. I finished with a 25:52 – a season’s best.

I’m pleased with the ride. It’s especially nice to be able to turn in an improved performance after a hard few days of racing and training. It suggests that the resilience is building.

Race stats: Time: 25:52 (23.20mph). First 5 miles: 12:10, last 5 miles: 13:42. Top speed: 30.9mph. Slowest mile (10): 2:55 (20.57mph), fastest mile (1): 2:13 (27.07mph). Average HR: 163bpm, maximum HR: 168bpm. Average cadence: 73rpm. 24th of 43 finishers. Winner: Peter Morris (Lewes Wanderers) 21:42

The target for Thursday’s ’10’ will be to beat 27:00. It sounds easy after last night’s race, but I’ll be using less aero kit and the course doesn’t seem to suit me as well.

Race #9 – Small steps

>The Wigmore CC 25m TT was my first race ever in Kent. It’s a nice course with a good road surface and a ski-jump start. It’s all single carriageway, but wide and with good visibility. It was a warm, sticky morning. There was a strong breeze but long, tree-lined stretches neutralised it for much of the race. The £600 prize list attracted a good field of 105 riders.

The early start and long drive to the event meant a good warm up was needed. Never mind. The new tri-bars were a bit of an adventure at first but once the race started I really liked them. I may be marginally lower which might be a factor in the hamstring and back pain I had after the race. The position felt good though, so I will stick with it. The best bit was that they didn’t move.

My former team mate at Willesden CC, fast man Peter Dixon, was off eight minutes behind me. I made it a target to hold him off to the final roundabout (17 miles). In fact he only caught me in the last mile having gone slightly off course at the first roundabout. He clocked a very good 57:14 and looked powerful as he sped past. It was good to catch up with him. He looks set for another fast season.

My new team mate Peter Tadros (In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp) continued his great form with a 3 second beating of the course record to win the event in 51:52. Twenty nine of the field were under the hour.

I came 56th of the 82 finishers. I would have needed to do a long 1:01:+ to make my perpetual target of top half of the field. I think that would have been possible last season. However, starting from here, 1:05:33 is another small step forward. There’s a photo of me here that shows that I’m still carrying too much luggage around the midriff and that I’m collapsing forward too much.

Race stats: Time: 1:5:33 (22.88mph). First 12.5 miles: 32:00, last 12.5 miles: 33:33. Top speed: 38.7mph. Slowest mile (14): 3:14 (18.56mph), fastest mile (1): 1:56 (31.03mph). Average HR: 163bpm, maximum HR: 170bpm. Average cadence: 74rpm. 56th of 82 finishers. Winner: Peter Tadros (In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp) 51:52

>Race #8 – Hard

>Last night was what is turning into my regular Thursday night 10m TT from Pevensey organised by Eastbourne Rovers. I rode over in plenty of time and got a decent warm up before my 7:34pm start. The evening was the best part of the day – warm and still.

I tried to start fast and was enjoying myself for the first 3 miles. At that point the course switches briefly to vertical mode. I’ve yet to master this climb. However I ride it I shred my lungs for the next seven miles. The pain is compounded by the potholes on the approach to, and escape from, the turn roundabout at Little Common. This week both tri-bars moved under the repeated impacts – it’s like wrestling a giant beetle.

The hardest part of the course was the last two miles. This is strange as the road is pan flat and there was no wind. The road surface is ‘dead’ though and it’s a fight to maintain the speed. My revs dropped away, which is something I can work on.

Compared to last week’s ride I was faster on 9 out the 10 miles, even without the beetroot. I recorded a time of 27:01.

Race stats: Time: 27:01 (22.21mph). First 5 miles: 13:46, last 5 miles: 13:15. Top speed: 36.4mph. Slowest mile (4): 3:07 (19.25mph), fastest mile (2): 2:32 (23.68mph). Average HR: 167bpm, maximum HR: 176bpm. Average cadence: 72rpm. 22nd of 31 finishers. Winner: Iain Brogden (Eastbourne Rovers) 21:40

The ride left me feeling drained – the effort was good, so that’s as it should be. Today’s training ride was supposed to be a hilly 50 miles but, given the shredded lungs, I decided to choose a flatter route and take it easy. Despite this, with about 15 miles still to go to get home I ‘enjoyed’ the mum and dad of all collapses. I was averaging 11 miles an hour on the flat for the last couple of miles. I guess that means that I did try hard last night!

A day off tomorrow to recover and then the Wigmore CC ’25’ on Sunday. A 4:20am alarm call for that one.

>Race #7 – better

>Yesterday evening I headed to East Hoathly to ride the Lewes Wanderers‘ club 10m TT on the G10/87. I’d ridden the course mid-April and had done 26:34 – still my season’s fastest.

The wind had abated a little from Monday’s window-smashing speeds, but it was still breezy. A ride round the course at about 6pm suggested a cross wind both ways but slightly easier going out. The course has a ‘V’ profile with a net descent of about 100 feet to the turn. I’d made a few tweaks to my position that seemed to work okay. The legs still felt dead from Sunday’s effort though.

I signed on as number 39 which meant a 7:53pm start – nearly sunset. As the sun dropped so did the temperature. Apparently it was only 6°C by the time we got going. I tried to start hard to take advantage of the downhill sections. For some reason I was changing down earlier than normal on harder sections. This risks scrubbing off speed, but it does maintain the revs better.

I got to the turn in fairly good order and then battled (as expected) all the way home. The worst part was riding into the setting sun. I couldn’t see a thing in front of me – I just hoped following vehicles would pick me out.

The last two miles were, as expected, very tough. I was pleased to keep the effort levels high, but annoyed to slip outside evens for the last mile again.

I was pleased that I rode hard and thought a good time was a possibility. In the end I did a 26:36 – 2 seconds of my course and season’s best. A little disappointing, but the ride was a decent one.

The event was won by Irish international (and beater of Chris Hoy in the sprint) Felix English with 21:03. His report is here.

Race stats: Time: 26:36 (22.56mph). First 5 miles: 12:22, last 5 miles: 14:14. Top speed: 30.3mph. Slowest mile (10): 3:05 (19.46mph), fastest mile (1): 2:19 (25.90mph). Average HR: 167bpm, maximum HR: 171bpm. Average cadence: 74rpm. 27th of 50 finishers. Winner: Felix English 21:03

>Be positive

>Thursday night’s ride was a little disappointing but I think I kept a sense of perspective.

Today, however, I may have let the negativity bug get to me for a while. I’m over it now.

The event was the Sussex Cyclists’ Association 25m TT Championships on the G25/93 at Steyning. I’d not ridden the course before, but it’s a fair test with some gentle drags to get over. There was quite a breeze blowing but there didn’t seem to be any full-on headwind stretches.

The bike went okay (though that right hand tri-bar still moves). I, however, went less well. I finished with a time of 1:07:431. The event was won by Peter Tadros (In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp) in a time of 52:16.

Reflecting on it, there is still plenty more work to do and hence ground to make up. I’m effectively six weeks back into any sort of training and I’m still building base fitness. The race performances seem to be going backwards, but it’s much too early to establish any patterns. I’d thought of adding some interval work into the programme, but I probably don’t have the base fitness to make it tell yet. I’ll ride a couple of club 10m TTs this week to get in more time on the time trial bike.

Note the average cadence of 73rpm. I need to increase that.

Race stats: Time: 1:7:43 (22.15mph). First 12.5 miles: 34:16, last 5 miles: 33:20. Top speed: 33.8mph. Slowest mile (13): 3:04 (19.57mph), fastest mile (16): 2:15 (26.67mph). Average HR: 159bpm, maximum HR: 166bpm. Average cadence: 73rpm. 57th of 72 finishers. Winner: Peter tadros (In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp) 52:16

No joy on the job search front.

1 1:07:43 is the 82nd fastest ’25’ I have ridden (out of 120). It’s the 19th fastest I’ve ridden in May (out of 25). Not that I’m obsessive…