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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

My ride with the pointy hats

Last wednesday I did my first 10M TT
It was with the Bexley club

I really did it so I could see what sort of shape I was in (and so I could set my power zones for future intervals), so I took my TT bike and training wheels with a powertap on the back

Normally I am the kid with all the gear, but when I arrived I looked like the total beginner I am
There were 90mm front wheels, discs, skin suits, aero helmets - the lot

The course is 10.3 miles and the first 4 miles to the round about are up a hill and then you have a 6 mile flat/descent where I was told you can spin out at 45 mph
I realized my 50/34 12/27 may be ill suited to this !

Including the cycle to the start and a quick recce of the route I did 25 miles, so was feeling nice and warmed up when I got called up. It was a gorgeous summer's evening. What more could you ask for

They count you down from 30 seconds to go, and someone holds your bike for you so that you can clip in with both pedals for maximum attack
I was just praying I did not fall off my bike at the start line !

The classic mistake in a TT is to go off too hard and I was determined not to do so, but I also knew the first 2 miles had lots of 4-5% drags
I looked down and I was doing 450 watts up the first hill. CALM DOWN

Literally within 2 minutes I saw my minute man and soon passed him - feeling on top of the world
I then realized he was 65 and on a road bike so felt slightly humbled

After the first couple of minutes excitement I calmed down and really got into a zone - settling on 350 watts for the first 4 miles
I felt I was flying and just before the turn around I passed my 2 minute man
I began to have visions of handshakes at the finish line as I broke the course record on my first attempt !

Alas I am a better climber than a descender, and ended up coasting quite a bit on the descent as 1) I ran out of gears and 2) I dont like going on aerobars down a hill at 40 mphs when a lorry is trying to pass you on the outside !

I heard that you push yourself so hard you want to throw up at the line
Alas for me my HR was 12 beats lower at the finish than at the turnaround, so I need to dig far deeper in the future !
Second half of the TT was only 285 watts so I need to push much more (53/11??)

I ended up doing a 23.35 for mid table obscurity well down on the winner who posted a 21.50

But I truly loved it and feel I can easily shave a minute off the time simply by knowing the course and choosing better gearing (and yes I will bring the full carbon armada of deep wheels and my disc !)

I cycled home at 8.15 with the evening sun still in my eyes
Often as 'sportives riders' or 'triathletes' we limit ourselves to our chosen events
But cycling is so broad, and so inclusive there is masses to try
TTs, track riding, winter cross racing, Hogg Hill crits

Its also nice to pin a number on your back and actually 'race' and feel that sense of excitement at a start line

More please !

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Parlee Video Tour

Courtesy of a shop in Chicago, Get a Grip, please see the Parlee video Tour
Many of you who have Parlee's will know of me talking about "speaking to Tom'
Here is the legend in the flesh !

Monday, 21 June 2010

We have a winner !

Huge congratulations to my man Brett who won his Age Group (35-39 - which is uber competitive) at the UK 70.3 Triathlon today and is now going to the World Championships in Clearwater, Florida. I know how much effort he puts into his cycling (and now running and swimming) so I am thrilled for him

Monday, 14 June 2010

Rapha's Gentlemens Time Trial

On Sunday, Team Bespoke did the Rapha Gentleman's Time Trial (London to Brighton and back). You are meant to have a team of 6... but we ended up with a team of three (myself, Brett and Jean). Including the ride to the start (and plenty of getting lost when we were on route) that was a 165 miles today - 8.30hrs of vastly differing emotions. But great fun now its all over !!

It started as it would end - we were set off at 10.10
At 10.13 Brett and Jean were still waiting and I was stuck in the queue for the toilet !!

Brett has sent a link to the route we took

You will see what a bunch of numpties we were 1) crossing M23 twice (!) to do a big dog leg and then the total shambles coming into Horsham. But the first hour coming home from Brighton was epic fun, and the last 25 miles when we were smashing home with a tail wind will also stay with me for a long time

All time low was being lost outside Horsham and ending up taking an extra hour to find the checkpoint. When you have no food or water and you have already done 115 miles, the toys start to get thrown out of the pram, Jean was looking for the nearest train station and I was all set to join him. But then I thought what about the blog !

Just after Gatwick we stopped at a Petrol station and I bought the team a truly disgusting bag of stale donuts. But it was food from heaven. And with blood sugars restored the teams moral soared

The finish at the Rapha cafe was also great. I was desperate for some real food and maybe even a recovery drink. Instead as we were cheered in the door by the other teams (and yes that means we did not win!) I was given two glasses of champagne.
Not quite what Joe Friel recommends - but my legs did not hurt as much afterwards!!!

I came home at 9pm with sunburnt arms and aching legs but mainly with a massive smile on my face. Doing things like this makes you feel alive, and grateful to have a passion for such a wonderful sport like cycling

Big thanks to my team mates Brett and Jean for the ride, and an even bigger one to all at Rapha for organizing such a wonderful event. I really hope for an invite to the next one !