As part of my preparation for my 12 hour time trial in September – and because I just couldn’t resist it (it was on a Saturday afternoon and an hour’s drive from home) – I entered the East Anglia Veterans 25 mile Time trial on 7th August. (Veterans are those older than 40!).
Because I had no recent time for this distance, I was the first rider to start, so I signed in, pinned on my number (6 – don’t ask, I don’t know either), warmed up and went off to the start. Was then counted down by the timekeeper and off I went – a few hundred yards of decent single carriageway road, onto a roundabout and then joined the dual carriageway A428 heading west for about 6 miles. Then turned round at a roundabout and doubled back to the first roundabout – then repeated the circuit again.
The road was fairly flat and I just went all out. I don’t normally ride on dual carriageways and it was slightly unnerving at times but I mostly held to the middle of my lane but weaving a little due to the cross winds – and the effort I was putting in. Most vehicles passed with a wide berth, but there’s always a few who think it’s clever to pass very closely. The flat course suited me well and I was amazed to see my speed was steadily around 22-23 mph – a bit higher at times and a bit slower towards the end. I had hoped I would do better than 1 hour 20 minutes, dreamt I might perhaps make 1 hour 15 minutes but was amazed when I saw that I clocked 1 hour 10 and 23 seconds – that’s over 21mph.
That’s on a par with my times 50 years ago (as far as I can remember) and when I apply my veteran’s age handicap of just under 9 minutes, it makes it my best ever 25mile TT – at over 70!
I normally keep a close eye on my heart rate (which is a better guide of effort than speed alone) but I found myself riding at my max heart rate of just under 160bpm – I knew I couldn’t sustain that for very long, and, sure enough, I couldn’t quite hold the pace to the very end.
I did get overtaken by about 4-5 riders – but I had expected to get overtaken by lots – bear in mind that the top riders would have been doing over 35mph – but they didn’t start until long after I did (due to be 150 or so riders).
Still slightly amazed – and absolutely delighted!
Noticed someone taking photos – will add if possible.
12 hour plans in doubt!
The Kent CA 12 hour time trial has been cancelled due to lack of entries. There is a Welsh 12 hour on the same day, but it’s a hillier course and more challenging in other ways… Still trying to work out if I can do it!