Well it’s about time I got a post up! Racing, dissertation, life and exams have all been getting in the way, and whilst training has been ticking over reasonably well, the blog has been put on the back burner, so I thought I better get some posts and race reports up before it disappears!
BUCS 3-Up Championships
The first of the BUCS races the the 3-Up Time Trial over 50k. A bug in the week leading up to the race and travelling around the country had kept me off my bike with only a few easy mountain bikes with my brother to keep the legs ticking over. I did, however, manage to escape to the bike shop and get myself the last bit of kit I wanted for this year’s racing – my TT helmet:
With the race conveniently located close to my dads it meant I didn’t have a long journey cramped up in a car so arrived feeling fairly fresh. We got out for a few practise runs and to practise our changeovers given we had never ridden together in a group, and this was my first group TT (and time trial for that matter!).
We set off hard and I after 10 minutes of the heart rate skyrocketing, I was looking forward to it settling down, but it never seemed to! Although the heart rate returned to threshold after about 20 minutes once the legs had warmed up, we were still riding guns blazing throughout. Once on the 2 lap course we had plenty of people to catch and never got overtaken ourselves, which was nice. With not much experience in a team trial our changeovers started off frayed, and I certainly ended up getting spat out the back once I had done my turn on the front on more than occasion, but we only got better, and the last 15 minutes had some really good changeovers.
The last 5k was flat out, and we switched to shorter changeovers until the finish line was in sight and it was everyman for himself. We came in just over the 1 hour 15 mark to average just below 40kph, which was a surprise for me at least! Still a good result, and we just missed out on a top ten spot in the BUCS rankings.
BUCS 25 Mile TT
After the 3-Up there was a mention of the 25 event, which we had no one signed up to, but I put my name down as I was missing out the 10 due to work commitments. I got my entry in a week before the race and was soon getting ready. This race unfortunately did involve a long time travelling. Only one other person, Ed, could race and we were travelling from Manchester down to Cambridge, a rather long journey. This was made even longer by the fact that I was working the night before so had to drive the 70 miles to Manchester early in the morning to get a lift!
We arrived in good time and had plenty of time to warm up, discover the wind and check out all the nice bikes. The warm up confirmed we would be in for a tough day, as I soon find myself spinning along at 50 kph… The race itself was two laps of a triangle course, and we soon saw a few people making wheel changes if they could; it really was not a day for discs, especially for the lighter riders. I set off hard as we had the wind behind us and I was hoping to capitalise on this and was soon flying along for 7k at 60kph!
Once you turned the corner there was a slight drag uphill, and you effectively never left the lean into the corner due to the side winds! The speed was ok, but it was tough handling and the road surface wasn’t great. But this was nothing compared to the next turn, where all of a sudden you were hit with a massive wall of wind, and the speedo soon dropped closer to the 20kph than 30! Added to this was a couple of nasty hills to remove any rhythm and then it was time to start the 2nd lap. Once onto lap 2 I soon noticed a rather disturbing ‘numbing issue’ which took a lot of shifting around the saddle and standing up to relieve, but further confirmed my need to sort out my time trial position. I pushed best as I could and came in just over the 1 hour 5 mark. I came a lot further down the rankings than I had hoped, but there seemed to be a smaller field and those that did turn up were very good. But it was all good experience for the bigger, long course goal later on in the season.
I promise the next post will be up sooner than this one was! I have some catching up to do, so am hoping to be churning them out over the next week, including race reports, a book review(!) and some of my experiences running barefoot and in minimalist shoes.