Sunday, 28 April 2013

Colchester Rovers 50

Bike: Cervelo 
Distance: 50 miles (50.4 miles) 
Time: 2 hours 29 minutes 19 seconds 
Average speed: 20.091 mph (20.252mph)

Position 47th out of 55 (!)

First time trial in nearly two years ... and with very little in the way of training.

I'd entered something like 4-5 events already this year, and missed each one owing either to bad weather or manflu. When the alarm beeped at 5am this morning, I almost went back to sleep. A fifty is perhaps not the best way to ease oneself back into the sport... but my brain told me it was now or never, and within half an hour I was pedalling the sixteen miles to the HQ at Great Bromley. It was bright, but cold and misty out, while absolutely no traffic on the A137 made for a pleasant change (I am now living in Ipswich, which is going to make it a lot easier to get to races - plus it will give me some new ideas for training routes). I decided to treat this as a hard training ride, and paced myself for 2:30:00, in order to see if I could break 20mph. I probably could have pushed a bit harder, but in all honesty most of this race was about re-learning how to ride (and 'enjoy') a time trial. There was some decent banter at the start: the pusher-off wondering why, as a Willesden rider, my bike lacked all the Audax accoutrements and whether or not I was going to stop off to pick up some Clacton rock.

The course is fairly interesting - at least for the first lap - although today seemed to have a slight headwind in every direction. I was caught and overtaken many times, but didn't mind much as I concentrated on my own pace. I perhaps slacked off a bit towards the end when I realised I wouldn't have to push very hard for the remaining miles to achieve my 2:30:00 goal, but it was all good training, and I was happy with my time even though I was helping to prop up the results table. Overall, what with getting to the race and back, I cycled over 80 miles on the Cervelo today. I did a 2:16 last time I rode this event (two years ago), so I have a bit of a way to go to regain former fitness, let alone push on. Still, it was nice to ride the event and even better to enjoy the atmosphere of a time trial again, not least the cake at the end!

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