nofearParticipant15 August 2015 at 20:33Post count: 604
As you can tell from the length of today’s report, today’s ride restored my enthusiasm for this beautiful race of truth. Time trialling is getting more and more popular these days but today’s event was the first open 50 on Cheshire I can remember since I started in the late 1970’s, to have a full field of 120 riders with 10 reserves on the start sheet! I like 50’s as they are fast but also need speed endurance so you get a real sense of satisfaction if you judge the effort right and produce a ride.
WVCC had 5 entrants with Andy Newby, Alistair Stanway, Alan Shuttleworth, Caroline and me. Unfortunately Andy was a DNS but the remaining 4 riders all went home happy with their efforts in today’s test.
As is traditional in reverse order on time but not on personal performance I’ll start with Caroline. An incentive is what you need when you are trying to get fit and Caroline needed to finish a 50 to qualify for the club ladies BAR. She started the recent Cheshire RC 50 but packed after one lap with a dodgy back which is still troubling her, so today I upped her position on the Tri-bars and she decided to ride for the finish rather than battering herself early on and wrecking her back. She went through 10 miles in 29 minutes so inside evens and at 25 miles she was still over the 20 mph barrier with a 1:14:20. The wind was favourable for this course as it was largely a cross wind for the two longest stretches so the lack of a lengthy headwind helped her to protect her back. I gave her a shout as I passed her at 43 miles and she looked smooth and in control and she was relieved to cross the finishing line with a very creditable 2:38:50 averaging 18.89mph. Great ride Caroline and congratulations for retaining your club BAR for a record 6th year in a row.
Alan Shuttleworth selected one of his classic fixed bikes today, having ridden trike and geared bikes for quite a few recent events. Of course this had the effect of making him go faster on the more efficient machine (take note Lee as this also happened to you in the club 10 last week! 😉 ). Alan’s time of 2:23:51 (20.86 mph), was his best 50 time for several years and he was very happy with his excellent result.
My objective for today was to finish my extremely quiet Year with a respectable time at my favourite distance. My 2:09:55 a few weeks back was my worst for a quarter of a century by a long way, so today I went for the softly softly approach to avoid a major meltdown like last time. I pottered off the start line and settled down into a good tempo at a few notches below threshold, so a slight burn in the legs but never pushing it too hard. I rolled my 93″ fixed gear up the hills and maintained exactly the same effort as on the flats, so I could simply pick up speed naturally after the climb without ever going into oxygen debt or stressing my system too hard. As a result I felt brilliant today and at 25 miles I recorded 1:00:35. With 10 to go I allowed myself to fight the wind for the next 4 miles as I knew I had plenty in reserve and the last 5 miles was a cross tail wind most of the way. I was very happy when I crossed the line with a 2:02:11 (24.55 mph) and feeling good, so I had more or less ridden an even pace for the whole ride and knocked nearly 8 minutes off my terrible time a few weeks earlier. This was by far my best ride of the season and is a good point for me to restart training for 2016.
Ride of the day went to our club champion Alistair Stanway who is gaining in confidence from ride to ride and has really come on at this distance in 2015. He said that he paced it well and felt good all the way around and he was delighted to have smashed through the 25 mph, sub 2 hour, barrier for the first time ever on Cheshire with a brilliant 1:59:07 (25.19 MPH). This was good enough for an excellent 28th overall in a high quality full field of 120 riders. Next year Alistair will learn how to ride a fast 100 as he has the legs for it and the head for the pain, he just needs the confidence to maintain that pain for 4 hours or so, it’s that easy Al. 😯
A great day out and a fitting final 50 for 2015 with smiling faces all round. The winner was also another Cheshire PB for National 100 mile champion and a really decent bloke as well, Charlie Taylor of South Pennine RC who stopped the clock at an incredible 1:43:18 (29.04 mph)!!! 😮 How anybody can maintain an average speed of nearly 30 mph on our rough Cheshire roads and with all of those junctions is beyond me. There is a guy in our club who can do that so my challenge to Lee for 2016 is to show us how it is done…… on fixed of course. 😉
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