Well for those that didn't make it down to the Interclub 25 mile TT, you missed out on a great day, though at the same time I can understand what might have held you back.
Getting up in the morning - after hearing that Sunday was going to be the best day of the weekend - I was not especially pleased to be greeted with heavy grey skies.
I think really though this was the first time I'd done a 25 mile
time trial, and I was not even sure I'd be able to handle pushing
things that hard for that long. I've only done a small
handful of 10 mile time trials, and felt like dying at the end of
those - so I couldn't even get my head
around how a 25 mile version of this was going to be.
I'd done my mental preparation, I knew where the course was, I took the sat nav along to make sure I'd find the start. Finding the HQ was especially easy, great facilities there, and arrived in plenty of time. After catching up with my clubmates that I'm just seeing too infrequently since becoming a dad this year, I suited up, and headed for the start line. Only to find that I actually had no idea where the start was.
Just as I headed to the start of the course, I started feeling the rain fall. I knew though that the rain wasn't going to bother me once I got started, it was going to be my lungs and legs that would be all I could think about. Thankfully though it was still quite warm despite a little bit of a shower. And each time I felt like complaining, I remembered that Ann and Mike were sitting in the cold with the camera taking pics of us - so really we had nothing to complain about.
So, I rolled up to the timekeeper (making sure not to u turn within sight of him!) with about a minute to spare...and before long I was setup and ready to go. A few seconds later, the countdown from 5, and I'd been let go.
There was a roundabout right in front of us at the start, and I watched as the marshall waved me to slow down - a car was coming through. A great start I thought - but really I wasn't too bothered, I was wondering if I'd earned myself a DQ for not stopping for him - but I'd press on anyway.
Mat had kindly
shared with me that there were a few hills right at the start, nothing major, but
enough to slow down, and sure enough, that was exactly what happened,
and I watched the average speed drop very quickly to a very
I knew it'd be hard work for the first 20 mins or so. And hard work it was. So the first 20 mins came, and went, and then another 10 mins, and then another and another, and before long the speedo was telling me that we were getting close to the 25 mile mark. I was genuinely surprised that the time had gone so quickly. I tell you what though, about 50 minutes in I could not find anyway of getting comfortable on my seat!
I had passed a couple of people, but I was only just going faster than them, so as I went past, I was always surprised that 20 seconds later they didn't shoot past me - to teach me a well deserved lesson about humility! Strangely though it didn't happen - and I can only imagine they took pity on me and decided to let me have my day in the sun - so to speak!
For anyone that hasn't done one, surprisingly, and paradoxically, it's really not any more difficult than doing a 10 mile tt. And I've certainly been more wiped out after a "casual" Tuesday night Twickenham Club training ride!
There were a lot of people at the start that
weren't sporting the TCC gear, but I was pleased to find these
interclubbers especially friendly. There was lots of
encouragement from the
competing clubs - and really quite a positive atmosphere!
thing though is that it was everyone there. There was
everyone there from
national champions to first timers. And at the end of the
race, everyone was so friendly and congratulatory. Everyone
adversity, risen to the challenge, and dealt with their own
demons, it was really
a very positive atmosphere.
So for anyone that hasn't tried out one of these events - it really was quite something.
A really enjoyable thing to be part of.