Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Kilton 10 TT

The Kilton 10 is not actually a full 10 miles but at 8.75 it's close enough for me. Today I was a bit apprehensive as this was my very first 'proper' time trial. I had to think things through before setting off for the event deciding what to take with me - do I take a water bottle? how about my seat saddle full of spare inner tubes levers and a heavyish multi-tool? nah leave that in the car, but what if I get a puncture? it could be a long 4-5 mile walk back to the car, ok compromise and take 1 inner tube and levers and stick em in my back pocket. Water bottle also stays in the car.

So I set off early to get to the Kilton Inn on the A50 for 6:45 pm ready for a 7:15 pm start; found it quite easily and arrived approx 6:30. No man in the car park to take our money - he arrived 15 minutes later. Stood in the queue and got my number, number 24, so that made it a 7:39 start for me, 3 minutes after Giles, 1 minute after Sarah, and 1 minute in front of Dave. The warm up comprised of blasting up and down side roads for 15 minutes before meandering down to the lay-by that marked the start 1/2 mile down the road as we approached our starting times.

The Time Trial
Off goes Giles as you can see in the above photo, a minute later another rider, then a further minute it's Sarah's turn and then it's me and here comes another new experience, clipping in with both feet whilst trusting a man to hold the bike upright. A weird feeling as he holds the bike at a slight angle towards himself and now comes the countdown; 30 seconds, 15 seconds, both feet are now clipped in, 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 - GO and with a bit of a shove I'm off...

A steady strong start not an all out effort sees me at around 20 mph a few hundred feet down the road, a slight rise coming alongside the Kilton Inn and I'm still maintaining speed then comes a rolling section where I lose some speed. I can see Sarah ahead, She's approx a minute in front, I'm thinking I can close the distance on the approaching downhill, then a while later I hear a cheery voice say something that I didn't quite grasp as Dave comes along side and overtakes me - I was expecting that but I thought he would take me earlier than he did, so I can't be doing that bad I'm thinking.

Here comes the down hill and Sarah's gone, she hit the hill and flew and so do I - it's not a steep downhill I'd say it's around 3 to 4% at the most but it's enough to give you a boost and it's here I hit my fastest of 29 mph - I'm feeling good; on the opposite side going back up is Giles. The road levels out now on the approach to the roundabout that marks the half way point, I pass Sarah going the other way and I'm soon at the roundabout but have to slow down for a HGV, I lose my speed and my momentum into the roundabout so have to work it again coming back up the other side up the hill, I'm finding it really tough now going up this hill trying to build some speed, my throat is dry and parched and I'm gasping for air as I manage to reach a miserly 13-14 mph up this drag of a hill. I'm tiring quickly now and longing for a downhill but on the return leg it's mostly rolling or slight inclines and to make matters worse I get a cramp in my right calf so have to ease off the gas slightly. I'm still on the hill riding up and over the M56 fly-over and thankfully the road levels off as does my cramp, it's bearable now and gingerly I up my speed, the cramp is still there but no-where near as bad as it was on the hill. I can see Sarah's red light now in the distance, I hear a rumble getting quickly louder behind me as rider No 28 comes alongside and overtakes; those deep carbon wheels sound really nice, must get myself some of these one day :)

Past high Legh garden centre and here comes the Kilton Inn and I'm up to 20 - 23 mph on a slight incline, I'm gasping for air, my throat and lungs are scorched, my legs are burning, my bum is killing me being in the drops for much of the ride but it's nearly over, just half a mile to go, I try and up my speed for the finish line but fail to do so trundling in over the line at around 20 mph shouting my number to the man with the clipboard as I pass. I'm shattered, my legs are complaining as is my ar$e and my throat!! It's now time to turn around, give my race number back and then head up to the Kilton Inn.

So how did I do?

35 Giles Perkins N Cheshire Clarion 00:26:12 20.04
36 Sally Cowan Seamons CC 00:26:20 19.94 Lady
37 Judith Wall Manchester Tri Club 00:26:30 19.81 Lady
38 Tom Dyer Seamons CC 00:26:45 19.63 Junior
39 Carolyn Waywell DB Max Tri 00:26:51 19.55 Lady
40 Sarah Smith N Cheshire Clarion 00:27:02 19.42 Lady
41 Mark Rowe N Cheshire Clarion 00:27:16 19.25
42 Hannah White Seamons CC 00:28:06 18.68 Lady
43 Sandie Leach Seamons CC 00:28:16 18.57 Lady
44 Jim McGill N Cheshire Clarion 00:29:25 17.85

(Giles was below par today - severe cramp)

I had 2 goals I wanted to achieve.
  1. A sub 30 minute time.
  2. A 20 mph average
One out of two..... I didn't set my targets high seeing as this was my first 'proper' TT. Previously I have however completed one personal 10mile TT with a time of 39 minutes but that was within a month of me taking up cycling just over 2 years ago so if I hadn't have significantly bettered that time I should be stripped of all my cycling gear and be forced to take up a new hobby of a permanent couch potato soap opera watching idiot... what you say? do it anyway!!!

What now?
I will be back in two weeks time but in the meantime I'm going to invest in some tri-bars to get a more aero position; have a play with my positioning on the bike; perhaps buy another seat post with no set back to bring my hips more over the cranks (I've been reading the TT forums) and mount a spare saddle on it so I can swap it out with my normal seat come TT day. Train, train, train...

Next goal?
Achieve a 20 mph average...

My Stats
8.75 miles, 27 min 16 seconds, Av Speed 19.2 mph, Av/Max HR 169/171.
Weather, very cold, slight breeze.

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