Allan's 4 & 5 trip reports

Allan's 4 & 5 trip reports

Trip 4

My fourth trip involved a journey to the Fens – fabled for the continuous winds which can make time trialling rather hard.

Saturday afternoon featured the Shaftesbury CC 25 on the E2/25. My sole ride on this course last season produced a 1:01:15 in torrential rain.

This year I at least had a dry race, but it was WINDY! The main feature of the race was a block 20 mph westerly headwind all the way to the turn. The consequence of this was a long slow grovel for the first half of the ride, with some assistance on the return, but with the trees on the southwest side of the road providing some shelter and less assistance.

This gave me a turn time of a few seconds under 40 minutes. My heart rate had sat around 180 for the first 4 miles, but then dropped quickly to 140 and stayed there for the rest of the ride –not very good?

My legs had gone with the wind on the way out and I was unable to push the speed on the return, with my back (unusually) giving me some grief, and I found myself on the side bars rather than the TT extensions on the many drags on the return, taking some 31.5 minutes to return for a time of 1:11:33. There were a lot of tales regarding the degree of difficulty faced by the field on the way out, so at least it wasn’t just me!

Winner was Anthony Collier with 56:04 – pretty good for the conditions, especially as the event was limited to riders who hadn’t beaten 57 minutes.

Still I had another event the next morning and the wind was dropping – a little. Wind speed was down to a mere 13mph! It was still very noticeable.

This event was the Ely and District CC 10 on the B1/10R (near Ely).

After the 124 rider entry the previous day, this event only attracted 42 riders, including Nathan Gosling, Marina Bleasdale, Karina Bowie, and myself.

The course was a straight out and back on the A142, a single carriageway course on a tar and chipping surface in quite good condition. As with the previous day, the course consists of a number of longish drags, the first half mile being one of them.

At least my heart rate gave me about 170 beats on the first half of the ride, but dropping to circa 150 on the return – not unusual for me on a morning event.

I felt quite good on the ride, but wasn’t particularly fast, so clocked 28:35 for 29th place from 36 finishers. Winner was David McGaw in a time of 21:15 – just 4 seconds short of his course record.

Nathan clocked 23:37 for 8th place, whilst Karina had a couple of close passes with vehicles (always a potential hazard on single carriageway courses) and decided to live to ride another day. No criticism there as we all have to decide for ourselves whether condition are safe.

However, Marina’s time of 26:15 was more than adequate to win her the ladies’ section and give her 22nd place overall. Well done Marina.

It should also be noted that the cakes offered as refreshments were the best I’ve seen this season.

I’m off again next weekend to ride the Team Axiom 10 and 25 at Liss in North Hampshire – hopefully with a bit less wind?

Trip 5

Another weekend, another trip – how time flies!

Not so much driving this time as I chose to ride the Team Axiom Weekender around Liss and Liphook (North Hampshire to those with a limited knowledge of the UK).

This is a really nice weekend and not too far from home – also both races are based on the same roads.

A large part of the UK was wet on the Saturday, but not around Liss.

Perceived problem for the Saturday was the wind – forecast at circa 14 knots south west to provide a fast run to the turn and a slog back.

Well the wind was there, but a fair amount of traffic on the dual carriageway course (the A3) nullified that rather well. The 10 course runs between Liss and Liphook (and back).

The advantage of dual carriageway courses concerns air movement in the same direction as the rider, created by the traffic, the other side of the dual carriageway having little or no effect.

Anyway, I rode with my 50mm deep front rim, which proved a wise choice.

Nearly didn’t make the start as I was held up for the best part of TEN minutes at a level crossing on the way from the HQ to the start and only reached the start with a minute to spare.

With the traffic, there was no perceivable difference out or back, and I clocked 12:33 out and 12:46 back for a time of 25:19. This gave me 25:19 for 56th place from some 70 finishers (I don’t have full results to hand at present).

As one of the older riders in the field, which was a ‘standard’ open event, that comprises a ‘good’ result in my book.

Winner was Adam Atkinson with 20:03.

Sunday morning promised to be better with negligible wind on a course utilising the previous roads but extending down to Petersfield.

Not for me though!

Legs decided to scream at me after the previous day’s exertions and didn’t really want to play.

Consequence of that was my being caught by several riders, including one with a mile to go, promptly sitting up and freewheeling on a slight downhill!

I’m claiming the last mile as the best part of my ride as I went straight back past him on the 11 sprocket at 35mph to clock 1:8:48 for 89th place (I beat about 5 riders).

The rest of my ride was a bit rubbish, hence the time.

Winner, breaking the course record by 50 seconds with 48:43 was Rob Sharland.

I’ve confirmed a couple of things from this weekend:

  1. I’m still rubbish at going up the steeper drags (the 25 course has a few of these, whilst the 10 course is relatively benign).
  2. I can’t handle the changes of pace on the more severe undulations.
  3. I need to revise my pacing strategy with regard to cadence.
  4. I must try harder.

I now have three weekends with no travelling whilst I enjoy some time with my two Canadian grandchildren. This might help me to get my head around my poor form this season.