You’d have to be a bit of a wally to set your alarm for 3.40am to go and ride a 100 mile time trial, which is what Sam did this morning. You’d have to be an absolute whopper to ride a 10 mile time trial the day before and then do it too…enter me!
I had a chat with Matt Nowell about riding both a month or so ago, as both were Manchester & District Ladies championships and his advice was “go for it on the 10, ride home for an hour to recover, then treat the Sunday like the worst training session ever” – so I entered them and that was that. There is a 100TT that I will be tapering for later this season.
Some of you may remember that in July 2019, Sam, Titch, AliStan and I rode the D100/2A 100TT, which was a first 100 for everyone except Alistair, and we all got through the day with the expert help of Dave & Caroline Fearon and Jim Williams. Sam rode the course in 04:09:15 and I rode 04:27:53. We’re both going better now so our jobs today were to PB, for me to get the Manchester ladies title and for Sam to break 4hrs.
We rode today self-supported as due to covid fuel tables were banned, which meant some new kit for me in the form of a double bottle holder for behind my saddle and a top tube gel bag, then a bladder down the chest front for the Samuel. We filled our diverse selection of hydration systems with Maurten as you can get 80g of carbs in 500ml, however as we discovered the stuff tastes like thickened, sweet water we mixed it 75%, added orange hydration tabs and added gels – much more palatable!
Today’s course was the D100/6A, on roads very similar to 2 years ago shuttling south from Market Drayton in a tailwind to Telford, then back up in a headwind, hitting the roundabouts at each end three times. I’m a fan of this sort of course, you can learn which bits are harder than others and also tick the laps off as you go. It also meant that as Samuel was off 8mins before me at 06:10, we could give each other a thumbs up every time we passed each other. I quite looked forward to our little interactions, as 4hrs on your own on a bike is a long time, and it was also funny seeing how much further Sam had got from the turn roundabouts each time…he was going well!
I caught several of those who’d set off ahead of me fairly quickly, including a couple of the ladies which was a relief. At 7miles in Ben Norbury of Congleton CC came past me, then a while later David Parkin of Chorley CC who was going well as rider 25, however most depressing was that 65 miles in, rider 40, Victor Chetta of Pirate Juice flew past – he’d put 22 minutes into me in that distance, christ!
Aside from that the ride was pretty uneventful in the best way. The whole event was very well marshalled, including at the many roundabouts, and we’re very thankful for that as setting your alarm for 4/5am to stand at the side of the road for 6hours is an ask and a half.
I was slightly off my best today, which is no surprise as I’m toward the end of a training block and rode a 10 yesterday. Sam was on excellent form and never looked anything but strong and smooth. It’s funny seeing the change in some riders as the event goes on – more off their skis, having standing up breaks, sitting differently on the bike every time you see them, but not he. I passed the finish car at 10:03 am to suffer the final 10miles to the last roundabout before looping back to pass it, and I knew if I saw Sam quickly after that he’d done what he wanted to…and he had!! No official times yet but about 03:56 for the strong man…yes!!! 13 minutes quicker than 2 years ago.
I pressed on for the last 10 miles feeling surprisingly strong, which I think was because I’d just become numb to my bike. Nothing really hurt except my quads and hip flexors, so I powered out and managed to cross the line with an 04:13, a nearly 15minute improvement on 2 years ago…also yes!
Then, as soon as I crossed the line the wheels fell off!! It was like every bit of my body gave up at the same time. I had to pull over onto a cycle path, which was a mistake as I could barely get off my bike, then I stood there like a lemon before some kind marshalls helped me limp across the roundabout to slog back to HQ…getting back on my bike was harder than getting off it! Arrived back at the HQ completely empty to a happy Sam who looked no better than I felt. We had a nice chat with some other riders then lugged ourselves home via the Hollies farm shop.
Solid day out and two happy riders, but when is it bed time!!??
I’ll update this post with the official results once we know. I’m hopeful I did well today as I passed most women and Lizi Duncombe, who took bronze in the national 100TT and I think would have been hard to beat, didn’t ride. We will see!