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2013 Icknield RC 100 - 100mi TT on the F1/100 course (A1)
Oof.. 4am alarm in order to get out there in time to start. Everyone I'd spoken to had said the F1/100 was going to be pretty fast so I'd decided to drive out and try for a sub-4hr time and then tack on some training afterwards to keep El Coacho happy. I'm glad I did because it was a nice course and I finally went under the 4hr mark, knocking another 5 minutes of my PB set the previous week. I was pretty close to setting a PB for 50 mile as well with a 1:57:15 split - that will have to wait.
With pre-race faffing I almost didn't make my start slot, having to go back to the HQ for another pin for my number (thanks to the woman who helped in there - your pinning was
lucky!). I ummed and arred about adding more air to my tyres and chose not to with another rider saying "it's all about the comfort". I would have to agree with him as I hauled butt over to the start line, arriving just as the starter called out 20 seconds to go for my number! Not quite the smooth warmup I had at the Hounslow. Out of the blocks I rolled, trying to calm my pace down, knowing pacing is crucial.
Once again the faithful Foreigner team were out cheering and replacing my bottles as needed. I'd made some small adjustments to my bike and position before this race and was trying very hard to maintain my aero position. It seemed to be working as I was on pace for a sub-4hr ride from the start. The same thing happened at Hounslow though so I knew not to get too excited as the final hour would be critical. My glasses took a little bit longer to be covered in sweat and salt - presumably due to the 3.5hr earlier start compared to Hounslow - still I found myself throwing them at Scherrit preferring to be able to actually see where I was going.
There were some bad patches during the race but nothing too critical. The key thing was, there was now about an hour to race and still a good chance for a sub-4hr time. Perhaps the difference this race was that I really wanted it - coming close to a goal is a great motivator to actually achieve it and to be honest I was getting tired of 100s and my poor team mates were getting tired of the early starts!
Looking at my power data for the final hour there's definitely a sharp ramp up in power. Over the course of the whole race it's lower than Hounslow but the final hour is much stronger. Maybe I could've given more, earlier but whatever, now it's time to put the hurt on. I remember #75 coming past me on the A421 'finishing circuit' so I knew there were faster riders than me but all I wanted was the sub-4hr. This time the finish line was etched into my brain the first time past it. Not long to go now.. what the? Temporary traffic lights in the distance! Argh, they were green and I KNEW they would change to red before I got there. Sure as, the lights changed to red. I was still rolling towards them but had slowed substantially. It was totally clear so I could've just busted through them but couldn't face being DQ'd for it. I was almost on the lights and they changed. GO GO GO! I accelerated away from them and was soon up to the Black Cat RAB where I got some cheers from the team again.
No let up now. I know I'm going to go under 4 hours but how much?
"Just get over this long rise and then there's a fast downhill. Tuck in and pedal fat boy"
"Rider ahead, lift it, catch them, pass them, go go go"
"RAB is clear, fast through it, short rise, where's the bloody finish?"
Team yelling at me as I try a bit harder, desperate to spot anything on the roadside that might be the line. There! Final effort and done.
I'm never quite sure what time I do as I stop my computer soon after the finish. Ditch my lid and ride easy back to the HQ.
Thanks to Tim Davies for letting through my late entry. Thanks to Scherrit for enthusiastically helping out once again and big thanks to my poor girlfriend who hates early starts and driving but did both to allow me to race and ride home.
Icknield 100 TT Forum Thread
Icknield 100 TT Results Thread
2013 Hounslow & District Wheelers 100 - 100mi TT on the A31
photo: chris lovibond
A whole 17 minutes knocked off my 100 mile TT PB and about bloody time too! Still not quite under 4 hours for this distance but given this ride I know it's doable.
I was the second last rider off, just before last year's winner Adam Topham (he did a 3:37 last year!) so I was expecting to be caught quickly and Tops didn't disappoint, riding past me yelling encouragement after only 10 minutes. Thanks for the yell, Tops. He was the eventual winner, riding a 3:41, on a borrowed bike after an accident on his own some weeks earlier!
After last week's Norfolk 100 where I missed second place by 1 second to Westerley's Andy Halliday, this race was going to be an interesting grudge match. Andy was off just 2 minutes before me! I wasn't going to worry about it though as all I had to deal with was pacing and ensuring nothing hurt too much like last year's glute problem. I think it was 45 minutes in and I caught Andy. We high-fived which was a nice tough and then I carried on, keeping a sharp eye on my power meter to ensure I didn't blow up and crumble like I did in the Norfolk 100.
I was baulked a few times at the top roundabout - once by some bikers and another time by a stream of cars. Coming to a track-stand mid-race sucks! I tried not to let it phase me as every time I get angry my pacing goes out the window. I was on track for a sub-4hr ride each time I checked my computer so was happy with my pace but I wanted to lift it on the final headwind leg, knowing I'd be all out for the final tailwind leg. The roar from Scherrit and Mal from the other side of the road raised a smile on my dial which was a cool lift. But..
The 100 is still cursed. I knew this as I eeked out the last of my energy and rolled past the finish line. "Why?" You ask. Well, I'd already sat up when someone sitting behind their car said "finished"... only it wasn't the finish line. I had sprinted for the wrong 'guy behind a car' and it wasn't until I soft-pedalled past the chequered board I realised what I'd done. Angry? Much? I was so freakin' angry with myself!
Never stop until you see the REAL FINISH LINE!
Anyway after ranting about the brain fail on my part to my team I calmed down a bit and was pretty happy with my new PB. It was roughly where it should be, given my 25 and 50 mile times. Knowing how 'easy' most of this race felt to me, relative to the horrible Norfolk ride, at least, it seems pretty clear that on a good day I should be able to do a sub-4hr. So I think I might put the 100s away for a while and focus on 24hr training again.. oh wait.. I've entered the Icknield 100 next week. :)
Thanks again to Mal and Scherrit for the cheering and flawless handups.
North Norfolk Wheelers 100 (B100/9)
photo: Old Skool Tri? from TT forum
It might be a PB by a minute or so but the curse of the 100 mile is still strong. Last year I recall Adam Topham doing something like a 3:37 in the Hounslow 100 whereas this event's winning time was a 4:14:48 by Charlie Nurse. It's a tougher course for sure but not help by the raging wind and late torrential downpour that's for certain!
www.cyclingweekly.co.uk - Torrential rain affects North Norfolk Wheelers 100-mile time trial
www.bikely.com - B100/9
There were only 36 finishers from 80 entrants! I was off the aerobars and onto the start bars on one of the early descents with gusty cross-winds so strong I was actually wondering if my 808 might be pushed hard enough to rub the brakes and stop me. Seriously!
I missed Mal at the first bottle hand-up yelling "I'm doing sixty farkin' kay an hour" as I shot past her outstretched bottle delivery system (arm). She was a champion though and drove up the road so that we could try again - successfully this time.
The second 30mi/50k lap is where I fell apart. Mentally I kind of quit and got very angry with myself for not being able to go fast enough. I had some stomach issues and my glutes were starting to flare up in protest at the effort. I was handling the windy conditions better now but my pace had slowed considerably. I'd started too hard. Not good in a 100mi event.
The last lap was when the rain storm hit. I copped the bulk of it on the worst bit of road, the A148 into the crazy wind. It was very painful as it lashed my exposed arms and face. I actually thought it was hail it stung so much, although I couldn't actually see any of the ground to be able to tell if anything was bouncing or not. The road disappeared and it was impossible to tell the dirt from tarmac so I tried to ride as straight as possible and hoped for the heavens to quit it before I was washed away. It did ease up eventually and I ditched my glasses to be able to see and carried on through very soggy countryside. It was quite close to the finish when I actually realised I might still be able to get myself a PB and finally dug out some motivation to lift the pace. Thankfully my fast finish got me that PB although I lost 2nd place by 1 second to Westerley's Andy Halliday.
The best thing was.. it was over! Cake and coffees and once my body had some warmth and feeling back in it we could head home. What a race!
Thanks Malcia :-*
Newbury RC - Pete Jarvis Memorial 25 - H25/1
Pretty happy with what turned out to be my second fastest 25 mile time ever, especially given the pretty crappy conditions. Yes, that's hail in the picture above. Windy as a windy thing too.
5th place out of ~64 entries is pretty good, given my preparation consisted of a massive hangover from Harvey's leaving do on Thursday. Urgh.
The finishing order matched the seeding with Nick English (#70) winning in 53:30, followed by Ian Greenstreet (#60) in 53:45, William Girvan (#50) in 55:36. Phil Brown, rider #40 and my minute man came in 5 seconds in front with 55:40. Power was almost the same as last year's best for that distance which is nice considering the TT bike has only been used once before during this season.
After an extended winter, with only one weekend spent on the TT bike, it's off to the Newbury Road Club's Pete Jarvis Memorial 25 today. It should provide a nasty shock to the system! It will also provide some idea of where I'm at compared to last year. The only bike changes from my 24-hour setup are the Specialized aero bottle, skinnier front tyre and a slight inward twist of the extensions. Oh and the 53T is back on.
CTT Champions Night 2013
youtube - Cycling Time Trials - Champions Night 2013
I make a few appearances, including winning the auction for a Stephen Roche
cycling holiday to Majorca after Eurosport's David Harmon bullied err encouraged the bidding.
Great night, most of which was spent with the other 24 hour medalists, Ultan and Basia and Ishmael, later joined by RAAM-racing mentalist Hoppo. As expected, the 24hr riders outlasted everyone else in the drinking endurance stakes as well.. *hiccup*.
Westerley Winter Warmer + Chiltern Classics
If the weather stays like this (dry and cool) these events will provide some great early season riding. Willesden's Reliability is on Sunday 17th February.
2012 West London Combine Hill Climb - Windsor Hill (HCC011)
Another year and another horrid, rasping, coughing fit whilst trying to ascend a short, sharp hill as fast as gravity will let me. 2:05
as it turns out.
I'm pretty happy with 2:05.71 (I think) which puts me in 3rd or 4th overall and 1st Willesden CC rider. It's only 4 seconds slower than last year on a bike that hasn't been used all year other than as a spare. Although faster at all TT distances this year I thought the midfoot cleat position might hamper me more on the 'all out' hill climb. Actually, I don't think it was the case at all. Motivation for this hill climb was low, having met all my goals and so I was a few kilos heavier this time around. Last year, can you believe, I actually stopped drinking for a while before this!
The coolest thing about hill climbs though is that people come to watch (you suffer) and cheer. I love that. So, thanks everyone who yelled or clapped and I will see you again next year, Windsor Hill. *shudders*
Frank Proud's Mersey Roads 24hr Report
Mersey Roads 24hr TT - Debriefing
First of all, have a read of the Ultan Coyle, the winner's, report here - a totally different approach than my own yielding similar (though better) results:
www.rapha.cc - twenty four hours later
Scherrit and I went over my power files from the Mersey Roads and they threw up some interesting observations.
My average and normalised power was down on the ESCA 2011 event by around 10W, but I cycled 30mi/50k further. Some of this can be put down to aerodynamic changes - using a deeper front wheel, using rear disc covers, wearing a skinsuit and of course the change to midfoot cleat setup which lowered me by ~20mm. I'm a little suspicious of the accuracy of the 2011 Powertap values as well, since that particular wheel ended up having its torque tube replaced after the season.
Pacing was better this year than in 2011 with Variability Index of 1.07 rather than 1.09. I put this down to the course being flatter, taking out the spikes and troughs for climbing and coasting and experience with the event allowing me to continue at a certain effort whilst feeling like rubbish on the bike.
We noticed that my initial power goals were much too high given what I finished with even though it felt like I was on target with my pacing. I really have no idea how often I'm checking the power meter during a race though so I'm wary of lowering my target power in case overall goes down. I think I'm checking power frequently at the beginning but seem to move onto riding by feel during the later stages. This is unproven though - I just can't remember.
Although I felt good for the first 12 hours of the event, the power data shows that I was in steady decline. Perhaps the all-gel fueling wasn't as good as I thought? Perhaps I should've started slower and held a higher constant power/pace. Interestingly though, the bits of the race this year when I felt really bad were still reasonably quick (losing perhaps 5k over all) whereas when it all went pear-shaped in last year's event, my speed really tanked for long periods of time (like 26kph for 2 hours!) and cost me an estimated 15-20k over the race.
This year I was stopped for around 35 minutes whereas last year I was stopped for around an hour - that would equate to around a 15-16 kilometre improvement.
One other difference I made note of was the technicality of the Mersey Roads finishing circuit compared to the circuit used in the East Sussex race. The Mersey circuit was mostly small, skinny roads with quite a few twists and turns. This might explain the lower amount of pedaling during the final hours and the slower speed compared to ESCA 24. I need to double check if I was actually slower at the finish..
With a further reduction in stoppages and working on the mood swings and tiredness in the early hours as well as further work on fueling I think it would be possible for me to crack the 500 mile mark. Am I stupid enough to try it again though?
2012 Mersey Roads National 24-Hour Timetrial Championships
2nd place overall, 480.723mi, 773.649km
Not being able to sit down without gritting teeth and grimacing and not being able to walk properly are not-so-subtle reminders of a very successful second attempt at the longest time trial on the calendar. 24 hours, twice around the clock, on a bike is bloody hard work. I think that's why there's only typically a single event of this duration per year (apparently there used to be four!) and they don't tend to receive more than 100 entries.
This second attempt at the Willesden CC 24hr club record started about 2 minutes after finishing the ESCA 24hr in 2011
when I'd decided I had to have another crack at it after coming so close the first time. Training started with longish miles over a mild winter and then long miles on the TT bike over a cold, err, spring?
The Mersey Roads course was up north around Whitchurch near Chester and was quite a lot simpler than the ESCA 24 hour course with less than 85mi/130k of unique road in use. We bought a car so that I could drive to races (trains and hiring was painful and impractical so I finally caved and bought a used hatchback) and used this to drive up and recce the course a month before the race.
We stayed with the lovely Dave and Leslie in a great B&B in Whitchurch called Sedgeford House
. This was right near the course and allowed me to pre-ride everything a few times over in one weekend. All up about 15 hours of wet and windy riding that weekend that included killing another Powertap hub and my Profile Designs bottle cage falling off my saddle. I didn't like it anyway.
Most of the other training rides leading up to the race were wet and/or cold. One was supposed to be 11 hours riding around Richmond Park but that was cut down to 5 hours at night when I got sick of dodging wildlife and being cold and damp. Weak I know but it was a week before the race and I'd rather skip it than dig myself into a hole.
I'd made a few changes to my setup since the Sussex race including having Scherrit at the Bike Whisperer
set me up with custom drilled shoes for a midfoot cleat position. This has proved very effective for injury prevention and meant I didn't visit a physio or need a massage for my dodgy Achilles and calf during all my training this year - great relief! It should also be slightly more aero. Another change was running wheel covers on the rear wheel and wearing a skinsuit (my existing Willesden CC skinsuit as I never got around to testing the £200 Castelli San Remo speedsuit I bought!). Lights were upgraded this year as I treated myself to the massive and bright Exposure Six Pack LED front light and some small Backupz LED lights. Tom also hooked me up with his MaaX-D again for backup purposes. Cheers! This year I would also run my deeper 808 front wheel instead of the 404 and use latex tubes to decrease rolling resistance in the 25mm Michelin Pro Optimum clinchers.
Day off work today to shave, get hair cut, prep bikes (I'd bought new Speedplay pedals and converted the S-Works to midfoot) lock myself out of the house and generally panic before Mal, Scherrit and I leave for Whitchurch in Corinne's stocked-up Bongo van. I think it was about 3.5 hour drive up to the Sedgeford House B&B. We unloaded and went out for a great Italian dinner at Etzio
Slept in and had a late breakfast of eggs and beans on toast with peppermint tea - since I've been caffeine and booze free for a few weeks. Scherrit, the trackie, managed to forget the track pump but luckily Dave had one in the garage which he let us borrow. So I had air in my latex tubes for the race which I'm sure helped! The crew bought some water and supplies from Tesco and then we drove up to the HQ. Had a chat with Matt, chuckled at the Rapha photo shoot, wished I had a faster looking bike and signed on.
Rolled to the start line after about 500m of 'warm up' and chatted to the crew before moving over to the holder. I don't recall much other than thinking "Quentin is filming this so don't fall over when the holder lets go" and "lean me to the left" and then it was 3..2..1.. GO!
The 24 hour is all about the long game. Don't do any damage to yourself in the first 12-18 hours. I focused on controlling my power output knowing riders behind me would go out too fast and pass me quite quickly. It's a tough exercise in self-control when you've rested up for the race. I forgot to start my Garmin 800 so at the A41 turn, 15 minutes in, I hit Start. I was using a special mix of SIS Go for the whole event and SIS L-Carnitine "burner" gels for the first three hours as per the recommendation of Tim Lawson, Science in Sport founder (thanks for assistance Tim!). This got me to into the out-and-back Prees Circuit of the A41.
After these Prees laps there were four laps on the more technical, smaller roads of the Quina Brook circuit which had changed since I test rode it - there were 'No Entry' boards across almost the whole road! It was pretty sketchy going through at speed and only having a narrow gravelly gap on a blind corner to get the bike through. On perhaps the 3rd lap Scherrit called out "lights" but I saw Mal with a bottle and rode through yelling for a towel to lay down and stretch on. I decided to carry on and get another lap in as it wasn't too dark or anything. What I did do was phone the team before I got to them - something we'd decided on after last year's race was that a normal phone is a good idea. I called and asked for arm warmers and a towel so I could stretch. I also asked if there was somewhere I could take a leak. I stopped when I got to them and rushed into what appeared to me to be a Burger King but I found out after the race was a fish and chip restaurant. Cleaned myself up a little bit and went back out to a bike with lights. Put arm warmers on and did some stretching to ease the slight ache in my lower back. One more 35 minute lap of Quina and I called again and this time asked for a number to be pinned onto my CS Grupetto winter vest which I picked up from the team. Lights were on now and it was chilly.
Around 10pm I was moved back to the 60k/40mi long Prees out-and-back again. Two circuits done and the race's half way point was crossed. 12 hours and I'd done just over 400k or 250mi in Ye Olde World measurements (2000 furlongs FYI). Tiredness was a becoming a factor now so in went two caffeine gels. Stopped for a wee and applied the endurance time triallist's best friend Sudocreme (or the chamois cream of your choice). Another couple of laps and I stopped for another wee and I'd called ahead and asked for coffee which was lukewarm and knocked back quickly. Snickers bars were offered but declined (for once in my life). This coffee was the first "normal" food or drink consumed in the race. After a half lap I stopped at the car and had another coffee (thanks to the neighbouring team for the hot water, sorry I was a bit short when you offered tea) and spying some of Leslie's cake scoffed some of that. Again, on Tim's advice I was on SIS bars during the night. The guys told me this was my last Prees lap which cheered me up no end - I was mentally falling apart riding this over and over. Searching for extra motivation I resorted to playing music from the phone that I cranked up and jammed towards me ears or sat in my bento box. At the transfer though the marshal told me to go again. I rode up to him: "WHAT?! Are you sure?!". The crew saw me turn around for another lap and drove past me shortly after. "Do I really have to do this bloody loop again?!" I moaned. They weren't sure but had asked a time keeper who said I'd be turned around early and wouldn't do the whole circuit again except when they mentioned my number he'd said "oh, he's fast, he's one of the top guys, he will probably have to do a whole lap but check at the roundabouts". I had to do the whole lap. Kill me.
Finally I was allowed to move onto the Quina Brook circuit again. This time someone had moved one of the "No Entry" signs so riders could take the inside line on the corner which was nice. I was to do four laps of this. My team got some misinformation and moved off to the Finishing Circuit while I rode the final loop of Quina. It didn't bother me too much as I was panicking about not breaking the record after such an extended bad spell in the early hours. Calculations in my feeble brain were run over and over to see if I could possibly make the 460 miles / 740 kilometres in the time remaining. I couldn't think straight but worked out it was doable if I could hold over 20mph/30kph. Unfortunately I wasn't sure if this speed was possible now.
Around 10.30am Sunday it was time to head north of Whitchurch again on the A41 bound for the Finishing Circuit. Calculate, pedal, calculate, pedal. "Is this going to be possible?" "Please let me break the record, I don't want to ride one of these again!" "I don't care if I beat it by an inch, I'm not going to do all this training again, no way, please can I have the record?!"
On the Finishing Circuit now and pushing hard. Almost sure I can get this record now. I'm delayed by a truck or tractor or something. The roads are winding and skinny in most places. Mal says I flew around the corner at Bruera like a mad parrot, she barely had time to get ready. I was taking on gels again now as well as the bars but getting really bad acid reflux or heartburn or something - to the extent that I was vomiting into my mouth after taking food in. I'm sure you wanted to know that. So I called ahead and begged for flat Coke and some Rennies (antacid tablets that I'd figured would come in handy after last years gut problems). Got these in and felt better. YES! 740k done. I'd got the Willesden CC club record! Now it was self-destruction time. My left shin muscle (whatever that bit is called down near my ankle) was trashed but now it's time for ruination. No point saving anything. Ride ride ride. More pain equals bigger margin. Earlier in the night another support member had mentioned I was close to rider 54 who was close to a podium position. I thought he was just doing his bit to spur me on. At the time I didn't think anything of it other than trying to catch a rider with number 54 on their backs. It didn't happen and still I went on, almost into the hedges at the side of the road when a large truck didn't leave me any room. Another lap and another can of Pepsi. The cheers during the day from Prees roundabout were great but the wave of cheering and cowbells, people calling my name at the HQ on the Finishing Circuit were awesome - my wattage would double every time I rode through there.
Now I was watching the clock. The deal is, ride past your finish time (2:18pm) and stop at the next checkpoint and your distance will be worked out based on average speed between last two checkpoints. I love this bit - riding to a time rather than a finish line. Tried to get out everything in the tank out but I'm sure I had a lot left - probably due to the inordinate amount of time spent feeling like rubbish in the early hours. I'd gone past 2:18 and now it was time to stop.. Bruera sign.. checkpoint! It happened to be the one my team was parked at. Skill. It was over. I'd got the club record.
The team, along with fellow B&B resident, Charles' son Jacob? (sorry mate, I've forgotten) headed back to the HQ to the roars of Mark Cavendish winning the final stage of the Tour de France and Bradley Wiggins winning Belgium's, sorry Britain's first Tour.
The presentation finally kicked off and 3rd place went to Ishmael Burdeau (GS Gazzette) with 472 miles. "Strange" I thought to myself. "I'm sure Scherrit and I worked out my mileage from my kilometres to be something like 475-480. Maybe it was 465 or something". The presenter started again.
"We don't actually know anything about this rider. We're not sure if he's even ridden a 24hr before. From Willesden CC.."
My ears pricked up.
".. with 480 miles, in second place"
"Woah, are you talking about.."
I'd just won a medal at a National Championships!
Ultan Coyle won his 3rd attempt at this event with 488 miles.
They asked if I would come back and try to win it and I said hell no.. but you never know.. only 0.55kph down on Ultan.. ;-)
www.rttc.org.uk - 2012 24hr race report
cyclingtimetrials.org.uk - 2012 24hr results
www.cyclingweekly.co.uk - coyle wins national 24 hour time trial
Massive thanks to the organisers, helpers and marshals, the people who knew my name and cheered for me, the Hemel crew, supporters, people who offered me tea, CharlieK, Leslie and Dave and especially my crazy crew Scherrit and Malwina.
2012 WCA Welsh 100 Champs - 100mi TT on the A40 (R100/1)
Mal and I drove to Wales on Saturday morning and stayed overnight at Penygawse Tea Rooms
. The guy that runs it trains baristas and the tea and coffee from the downstairs cafe were free for guests and lovely - win! I rode some of the A40 course and then cleaned up and we explored the small town of Llandovery in the afternoon. Scherrit was in Wales watching the Masters track championships in Newport and, being awesome, volunteered his Sunday to drive up to us and help Mal with support. The three of us had dinner at the Castle Hotel before an getting early night. Well, it would have been an early night if I didn't get up to watch the Tour de France Prologue replay late that night.
Unlike the rained-off Cambridge 100, the WCA 100 started at a more reasonable 8am, with my start time around 9.30am. This gave the three of us time to have breakfast at Penygawse. I elected against a Full English (sorry, Full Welsh?) and stuck with coffee and jam toast. It was painful to watch the others eat such nice looking fry-ups. We drove to the HQ (once I took the correct turn off!) and signed on. The rear wheel was being its usual temperamental self but we sorted it and I rode a couple of miles south to the start. No time for a quick leak, I was almost ready to start. Held, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go!
I'm out of the saddle but not really putting in much power (self control baby, self control!) when it all goes a bit grind grind wurr wurr slow stop.. WTF?!?! I jump off the bike and notice the frickin' wheel has pulled over again and rubbed on the chainstay. Straighten it all up, lock down the Zipp skewer and roll off again cursing, trying to tell if the thing is actually rolling properly. It is, so I wave off the offer of help from Scherrit after the short southerly turn-around section. Can't I have a 100 that goes smoothly? Is it too much to ask?!
Now I'm all locked into proper long distance TT mode. I'm eating (or should it be drinking?) a gel every half an hour along with taking on a little bit of SIS Go. It's not very warm so I'm not drinking much and eating the gel every 30 min gives me something else to do/focus on. The course is pretty good fun as it's winding, damp and a bit lumpy so it's not flat, busy drag strip. I'm busting for a leak so on one of the descents look around, notice it's clear and go for it. I'm sure you don't hear about this much but if you have to go you have to go and stopping would lose a minute so it's not an option in a timed event. Of course, as soon as I'm done I'm passed by another rider.. haha whoops.
At the top turn-around and SLAM - the wind from the South-West is horrendous. It's time to get low on the bars and just keep tapping it out, knowing I've got a LONG way to go before I get to turn around for a tailwind. To be fair the rolling nature of the course as well as some of the tree-lined sections means you can get a bit of respite from the wind in places. On one particular descent I benefited(?) from a lot of respite, getting stuck behind a massive tractor until it did me a favour and pulled into a layby (thanks!) so I could get by and carry on.
I knew I was going to get a tailwind for the last few miles so I was upping my power output now to get the windy section done as quickly as possible. I'd get within 50m of a rider and then the road would angle up and he would pull out 200m on me. This repeated for some time, around the bottom right-hander. Eventually, we turned around at the bottom of the course and it was a different story. I spoke to him after the race and I think he said he finally blew up. On the other hand I knew there wasn't much to go and still had heaps left in the tank. Time to go for it. I reeled in most of the riders that had passed me earlier on (I wasn't keeping too much of an eye on riders as I tend to ride my own race but some numbers, kit or bikes you can remember). I was out of water as I'd elected not to pick up from Mal earlier on and she handed me up a smaller bottle instead of a large one but I had some SIS gels which are much more liquid than Powergels so that helped. Burying myself now with only a few short miles to go I hit the 161k mark... no bloody finish line! I'm almost sprinting now and have 163k showing on my computer. What the hell?! I shut it down and grovel on for another couple of kilometres before finally spotting the finish line and up the pace again. Idiot! I was working off the 404 Powertap which was calibrated for my hill climb wheels not my massive 27mm 24hr tyres! It wasn't until after the finish line that I noticed the Garmin said 161k! Haha Done. 4:19:something.
Anyway it was over and I rolled back to the HQ. Cleaned myself up, had some food and a chat with some of the other riders and then headed back to the tea rooms for a meal and coffee before leaving Wales. Mal was driving and she can only use A roads so it was going to take us about 5 hours to get home. If I had've stayed I might've received my 'Greatest Improvement' plaque! I emailed Robin, the organiser to thank him for letting me enter the event quite late and he said I'd won it. :)
Big hugs to Mal, big thanks to Scherrit and Robin Field the organiser and also huge nod to the helpers and everyone who assisted or rode the event. I had a great weekend.
WCA 100 Pre-Event
WCA 100 Post-Event
2012 Hounslow & District Wheelers 100 - 100mi TT on the A31
The '100' is cursed. After the SCCU 100 in 2010
where I rode in trainers after forgetting my cycling shoes I didn't think it could go much worse. Cue phone call at 6am: "the car won't start". *le sigh* Here we go again.
Thankfully Scherrit grabbed us a minicab pretty quick and we were on track to make the start in time. It was going to be tight so I was already changed when the cab arrived. Signed on at the HQ, filled pocket with gels while Scherrit and Mal prepped the bike and put numbers on. Rode to the start line with some guy who was on a 4 hour Sunday outing. Didn't really warm up.
The first 1.5 hours went well. Pacing was pretty good save for a bit of toing and froing with another rider I decided to eventually try and drop.
Between 1.5 and 2 hours it all went pear shaped. Total glute failure. At the time I thought it might have been that I was riding too hard but it was most likely the 20mm bar height drop I'd finally got around to doing. On the road bike, going to midfoot meant dropping the saddle and bar height 20mm. We'd done the same to the TT bike save for the bar height drop. Not noticing any issues doing openers I'd left it. Big mistake. I couldn't actually use the aerobars and even pedaling whilst on the start bars was excruciating. Instead of doing the sensible thing, stopping and trying to stretch out my glutes I rode a whole lap at about 20kph, pacing less than my 24hr TT average! I asked Mal for some ibuprofen which had helped during the 12hr with the same issue but we didn't even have tools due to the rushed start so that was a no go.
By the time I'd got back to my team I was pissed off to say the least and the closest I've been to giving up in a race. I sat on the side of road and did some glute stretches, restarting a bit later to see if it had made a difference. Actually, it had and I was able to get back on the aerobars and even generate some power. 30 minutes later though the problem was back so I stopped with my team again and did some proper glute stretches - you know the really dignified ones with your arse in the air and your legs crossed like some kind of tantric yoga wizard. This lot did the trick and I was able to finish the race without stopping again, even making the same power as the first hour.
I don't know my official time yet but I guess around 4:30. I was aiming for 4:10-4:15 and was on track for that at the half-way mark, actually PBing the 50mi distance in the same ride but after the total collapse in the middle it was nice enough to salvage a fairly lame 100mi PB.
Cycled the numbers back to the HQ and we had lunch at the Hen and Chicken Inn while waiting for a minicab back home.
Massive thanks once again to Scherrit and Malwina for giving up their Sunday to coax a whinging git back onto the road. You guys rock! :)
I set some PBs. Don't ever adjust things before a race. Own a car (no Fords :P).
www.timetriallingforum.co.uk - Hounslow 100
UPDATE: Results are available
50: 2:06:51 (PB)
100: 4:28:07 (PB)
Everything can be fixed with gaffa tape..
The visor on the Kask K31
never properly fitted my beautiful face. In taking a leaf out of Rupert Murdoch's Cycling Team
book this year is all about the aggregation of marginal gains
. In this case it involves gaffa tape to the rescue! Not the best looking solution but it beats buying a new helmet.