Hounslow and District Wheelers 25 mile TT Drift Road
Not quite in the same league as Stephen Campbell’s results, but just for the record.
Martin Winter and I headed out to Drift Roadon Sunday for the Hounslow and District Wheelers 25m TT on the HCC001 course. Probably our last TT of the year.
Saturday had been beautiful, but intent on saving the legs we both resisted riding. The forecast was biblical, but at 8am all looked OK.
We both rolled out at about 9.00 for a warm up lap, and things started to look more interesting.
Martin was on his trusty Bianchi. No clips-ons, no deep section wheels, but with a steely determination to do it like Merckx.
I, on the other hand, was taking advantage of every piece of kit that I could borrow from Mike Joseph in an attempt to get under that elusive hour. (Much appreciated Mike).
Zipp 1080 wheels, aero helmet, skin suit, Weetabix for breakfast.
The warm up lap changed all that as I felt decidedly sketchy in the cross wind and the rain started to fall. Braking at 35mph with 140 psi in the tyres is not fun, and at the moment I am attempting something new for me…staying on the bike.
Anyway, off went the wheels, and back on went the trusty normal ones. Kept the helmet on as was becoming quite attached to it now….it was iced on.
10:08 – Off we went. Martin 6 mins ahead of me at 10:14.
First lap and a half weren’t too bad. Strong headwind up the first drag. Those of you who did the Interclub will remember it well.
But the rain kept building as did the wind. Although made for a very fast last back section of the course. Couldn’t see the speedo for water drops and misty lenses, so just concentrated on staying smooth and keeping the power on. It felt ok, and passed several riders all looking like the film Belleville Rendeyvous.
Martin had done a 1:13: 22 at the Interclub, I think. I’d done a 1:03:50, so could we improve?
On the last lap, approaching the final left hand bend I went to grip my back brake, but the fingers wouldn’t respond. Frozen solid and I overshot and had to turn back feeling really stupid in front of the dripping, shiveringMarshalls. Then a frantic last effort to get back to the finish line as fast as I could.
Still had no idea of the time, but back in the car park I saw Martin and we reckoned we’d both got PBs on that course. He had about 1:07:30 I think, so a major 6 minute improvement.
I think I did 1:03:30, so 20 secs better, and maybe worth a couple of minutes on a drier less windy day, so well chuffed.
Trevor was too cold and it was too wet to write up the results on the board, so we had a restorative coffee in the golf clubhouse before heading home.
What might have been!
No more TTs for me this year as the CX season beckons on Sunday at Hillingdon.
I’ve enjoyed doing the 5 or 6 I’ve managed this year. Well worth it, and the more you do the more interesting and addictive it becomes.
I seriously think I might go out secretly if the weather looks good and do my own private TT just to see, but maybe I’m becoming too compulsive.
Next year the hour awaits me yet again. 1:00:39 my best so far at Marlow, but I can see its possible. Shut up legs!