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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 !


Anonymous said...

What was the course? I wouldn't mind testing myself at some point.

Simon Roberts

Barry Scott said...

Hi mate - Bexley 10 so very near us