A ten mile time trial is something that I had been wanting to attempt for some time, and the past few weeks I can safely say I am really glad that I did. So many people had said to me about just giving it a go, and the fact that it’s only ten miles and just yourself against the clock. It appealed to me that the fact that although there is an element of competition, you’re essentially competing against yourself. This therefore means that anyone who can ride ten miles and has a road worthy bike can take part in a time trial.
That said, I can’t say that I didn’t feel nervous turning up to an open club 10 TT for the first time! My cycling club is the Leicester Forest, and the course is the A10/11 which is at Six Hill, Leicestershire on the A46. I knew there would be some impressive bikes there, riders looking the part and I wondered if I would be going at a snail’s pace and being over taken by everyone. Then there was what if I got lost on the course, or burnt out completely after two miles. In my head I honestly didn’t know what I could manage across ten miles.
For that very reason of feeling a little nervous, I roped in three other cycling buddies – Greer, Fiona and Annie with the ‘safety in numbers’ mentality. In reality, it really was not as scary as I had imagined, and the other girls agree with me too.
We got there in plenty of time allowing us a little time to sign up, get all of the bikes sorted and then of course warm up. It wasn’t quite that straight forward, or didn’t feel it as there was possibly a little flapping in getting ready. Annie realising that she hadn’t checked her tyre pressure and showing clear signs of nerves. Conversation was also an evident no go whilst preparing, which is understandable really! However the atmosphere was brilliant. It was great to see so many female riders at the event which was something I really wasn’t expecting to see. On the first week a total of ten female riders in a field of 49, everyone was commenting on how good it was to see. Not just that, everyone was so friendly and so quick to offer any advice and tips.
Riders were setting off and numbers were gradually counting upwards, getting closer to number 33 and I knew the time was coming! Bike held up and clipped in ready and off I went. The plan was to try and average 18mph and then see how I felt half way. Whether this was a good technique or not I don’t know, but I just wanted to try and find out what I could do and what I was capable of ready for next time. I soon settled into a good rhythm, and felt comfortable. Possibly too comfortable really, I was really enjoying the ride but wanted to pace myself and really didn’t want to burn out! Before I knew it I was on the last stretch and able to put the gas on heading to the finish, although there was a bit of an uphill drag. Turning the corner to the finish was just the best feeling, knowing that I had finished. When returning to HQ I saw a smiling Annie as I had cracked 30 minutes. I really couldn’t believe I had done that, and also that I felt alright and not like I had killed myself in the process. The other girls were pleased with their times too and it was just a really great evening. I drove Greer home afterwards and we were both just buzzing a little from the evenings events, both so pleased that we decided to take part and also to do this as a group of four girls who had all never done a time trial before.
Four weeks of TTs down now, and my best time is now 27.07. Again I totally surprised myself with this and I had no idea that I was capable of doing that, but it totally does not stop there! There is a better time in there somewhere for sure, and for the next week I shall be digging deep. Any time starting with a 26 I would be very pleased with.
I remember last year out on a summer evening tootle on my hybrid bike and being taken over by a load of super speedy cyclists on a time trial. If you would have told me that I would have been taking part in such an event less than a year ago I would never have believed it, but I’m just so glad that I gave it a go. For anyone wanting to have a go and wondering if they should, really – just go for it! Test yourself and see what you can do. You don’t have to be a super speed machine, just able to cycle ten miles and then whatever you do you can go back and beat the time at the next event. I can’t wait to go back and give it another go now!
Think I might get a little hooked on this TT business!