My last TT on this course was way back in May and I did fully intend to get into some sort of training regime and make my road bike as much ‘aero’ as I possibly could and I did make a start with the acquisition of a set of Deda bars; that however was it, something in ‘real life’ got in the way.
Moving on a few months we are at the last opportunity of the year for a ride in this TT so I wanted to get this ride in and get it in I did. Arriving really early (6.15) for the 7pm start the car park was already a third full and coming up to 7pm it was now completely full with cars overspilling onto the roads. I was No 31 so a 7.32pm start for me. After a brief downpour came a warm up, then a trundle down to the start line and with a countdown I was pushed off. Giles was 1 minute in front and behind me was Martin(a). I knew I’d never catch Giles and hoped to keep Martin at bay however Martins a good strong rider (even though this was his first TT) so knew I had a real challenge on my hands.
The last time I rode the Kilton I went off too fast and this time I also went off fast but not quite as fast so once I got my ragged breathing under some sort of control somewhere near the Kilton Inn I was able to settle into a rhythm down on the TT bars and rode as hard as I could without blowing up - my legs dipping in and out of the ‘burn’. My HR was within the range I knew it should be so all is going well. A few small rises and dips on the way down, then on the roundabout reduced to a crawl necessary to avoid the front grill of a HGV and then the 2nd half and reverse of the route back up to the start line. A hill up to the motorway bridge where I was down to 17mph, the sun was getting low and bright, so glad I had my SMART ½ Watt rear light blinking away hopefully blindingly; a long shadow starts to overtake me, Martin I think but nope it’s No 33 complete with TT bike and pointy hat and so I ride on sometimes in the drops but more so on the TT bars which I now find quite comfortable apart from being perched on the very tip of my saddle (TT frame on it’s way). Rolling road now coming up to the Kilton again, a photographer or two at the Kilton so a quick blow to get rid of the snot for my photo and then it’s a slight downhill where I pick up speed and again another long shadow but still not Martin. The end is now in sight so a little spurt of speed up that last slight rise towards the line and bloody nora, now Martin decides to take me the bugger, on the piggin line sheesh.
So, great rides today, I achieved a personal best by just a tad under 2 minutes as well as PB's for Martin and many of the NCC racing today.
I think it’s clear what I need to work on over the winter (winter already?) now the seasons almost over. Legs, my legs are my weakness, and in the words of the great Roy Batty to his maker, ‘I want more LIFE fu***r’, I’d say ‘I want more strength please’….
8.75 miles, 25min 19 seconds, Av/Max Spd 20.6/29.5 mph, Av/Max HR 167/176