Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Smooth(ie) Operator

There were no after effects after a tentative 2 mile outing yesterday and I added 4 miles today at noon in the warm sun. It was all good. It's the first bit of running I've done for 10 days and is a welcome alternative to the bike. Just round the block, you understand. Somedays, it's a bit of a bind to clack around the house in my shoes and plates rounding up my gear and various accessories.  I like the idea of alternating between running and cycling.
Anyway, summers here at last. Anybody else wondering where all our swallows have gone...? 
Galvanised by my new fad, a morning smoothie, I made my cycling time trial debut last weekend on the Sedgefield course in Durham. The course is an out and back dual carriageway affair. I have driven past it for years on my way to and from Teesside and it has never struck me as being that flat....and it was no different on a bike. In a modest field, I was Number 7 and was off just after 2pm. Number 4 was a woman riding for Swift.  Number 5 was a big bloke with all the kit riding for the police cycling club. However, at the start he got into all sorts of dramas as his chain came off 30 seconds before the off and he eventually pulled away half a minute late. This must have disturbed Number 6 who had barely time to get himself settled before he was dispatched. I watched this unfold in front of me, unruffled.
I was keen to do a sub-26. The conditions were reasonable but there seemed a wind creeping around. I couldnt quite establish in my warm-up what direction it was blowing. Regardless, I was counted down and was sent on my way and shortly after getting onto the dual carriageway I saw Number 4 pulling off the course. She looked like she'd had a mechanical.
Within 3 miles I caught Number 5. I then swallowed up Number 6. Passing riders ahead of you is always good for morale. However, having completed 5 races this year, I am under no illusions about my own ability - you just pass the slower riders and crack on. After 8 miles I heard the whirr of a disc wheel and number 8 came past. I was steaming up again in my own shades, but the drip-drip-drip of sweat from my cap never materialised. Was I not trying hard enough?
The return leg of the race involved a slow uphill drag and that, combined with a cool headwind and heavy sky made it a proper battle in the last 2 miles. Remarking to myself on a little taste of sick in the final mile, I tried in vain to stay in touch with Number 8 and finished in 25:22.
In a field of 47 and with 40 odd faster riders in front, I left before the presentation. I did have time for a chat with Number 4. She used to run 35 minute 10k's. I also took advantage of the tea and cake facilities at Cedarfield Hall, the race HQ.
I havent seen the results yet.
On my return Aunt Aggie demanded all the details and after digesting the data, has made it clear in no uncertain terms that I need to get hold of a disc wheel and skinsuit so that I can creep up on riders and whirr whirr them into submission. Maybe she's right.  Maybe she's nuts.
June sees me at Thirsk and Newton Mearns, continuing my quest to shave seconds off a two wheeled crusade that means nothing much to anyone in particular.  The good news is that I have pushed the smoothie boundaries from one to two a day and I'm now fully enjoying the fruits of my labours (get it...fruits, smoothies, yeh...maybe I'll just get my coat).

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