Today was a good day. Not only did the yella thing make a very welcome appearance in the sky, but my first attempt at a 2-up TT went remarkably well. The event was the Fullarton Wheelers’ annual late-winter open TT event – the Icebreaker TT. My partner was clubmate Paula, also a 2-Up novice. We had intended to get out for a couple of practice sessions but this quickly became impossible when first Paula hurt her back and then I got stricken by a lurgi. So we rather went into today’s race untried, untested and, to put it bluntly, somewhat bricking it to use the technical term. We are of similar ability, with Paula probably being a little bit faster, mostly on account of being a BIG bit slimmer 😉 She is also an extremely good runner, is very fit and is very experienced in pacing herself. Although I can, it seems, go on for quite a distance, I still tend to tire too rapidly when trying to do short distances at speed. Today’s course was as flat as you will get on a public road so there was no issue with hills. The worst case scenario would have been a strong headwind as I am absolutely pants in that particular weather condition. But as it was, one major advantage of being an untried partnership was that we got to go off second at just after 9am – a good hour before the headwind got up to anything more than a mild annoyance. We didn’t really notice it until we noticed its absence (if that makes sense) when we turned at the half way point. We did the 10miles in 34minutes 12 seconds – 18 seconds quicker than I’d predicted – although our time did earn us the Lanterne Rouge. (Hey, it’s a prize! Don’t knock it!) I am reasonably happy with the performance. Having done several training sessions on the VR turbo over the route, I had decided on a strategy of trying to keep a decent cadence at a gear level I knew I could keep constant over the distance, with this averaging out at about 17.5mph. it would have been nice to get nearer the 30minutes but that would have meant pushing myself quite a bit more.
So what has it told me? It has told me first that I have made some progress in that I haven’t really averaged 17.5mph on a flat course previously. it also told me that, based on the simple fact that I felt good after the event, I probably have a fair bit more to give. This is backed up with my experience at the Scott Contessa Road Race Academy and in a couple of rides recently. The game plan therefore is to work towards doing a 10-mile TT in 30 minutes in 2013. The means to the end is to try to ride as often as I can with riders who are a bit better than I am. That way I can push myself to travelling faster. I will also do turbo sessions in which I will try to boost better power for the same level of cadence as I can do now. I have the club’s TT series starting in March and I will ride as many as I can although the April one. The target date I have for my 30minute triumph is Tuesday August 13th – the Chapeltoun 10mile TT. A more undulating course than today’s, it has the advantage of being more sheltered. I also know it reasonably well. It’s a good challenge to have and one I shall certainly relish.
On my bike then.