Going Under the Hour
“I decided to have another crack at time trialling this year (my last time trial was in 1992!) and so entered a few early season time trials on my road bike with clip on bars.
I soon remembered how painful time trials are but i did enjoy the pure, simple effort of riding to your limit over a set distance and decided to jump in full bore again.
From April I built up the training and acquired the necessary time trial bike and kit in stages. Entering a series of 10 mile TTs on Rainford and a few open events got me down from my first time of 25 mins 10 seconds for 10 miles in April, to 22 mins 39 seconds by mid June, which surprised me! Both were on the same Rainford course.
The main goal for me was to go under the hour for a 25 mile TT, so I looked through the Cycling time trial website and entered the East Lancs Road Club 25 on the J2/9 course through Chelford. The ride took on a poignant significance for me when a family friend called Gracie, 6 years old, died on the Monday after a 3 year battle with cancer. I didn’t feel like doing the ride but then decided to dedicate ride to her, to honour her passing in my own small way.
I had to go under the hour and felt under pressure to do so.
Clubmate Danny Shackelton was also racing and we met briefly at the entrance to the race HQ as I set off to the start to warm up. Danny mentioned he had had too much beer the night before, but he still always rides like a demon.
Lining up next to Jodrell Bank, starting off as number 38 I made sure not to set of too quickly and settled into a good but hard pace around 25 to 26 mph average, and sought to ride to a planned target of 25.5 mph average, if I could sustain that pace!
On the second lap the pain began to grow as I upped the effort and fought with the wind and a tractor that blocked me for a good half mile, costing some time.
With 3 miles to go I went full bore and as I came to the finish I knew I was going to do it, crossing the line with cramping legs and a bursting chest in 58:55. Job done… and a great feeling.
Danny was 14th overall with 57:27 making him 9th vet, and I was 25th overall with 58:55 making me 17th vet, out of 107 starters. A good day in the centreville colours and more to come!!
My under the hour ride is dedicated to the memory of Gracie…xxx”
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