After a seven month Time Trialling (TT) hiatus it was back to road yesterday with funny helmets and strange fetishist clothing. You would think I would have had plenty of time to be prepared for the Spring Bunny 25 mile TT, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Work, school holidays, work, a new bike and work had totally caught up with me and it was a minor miracle just to get to the start line.
My new Team JMC skinsuit with retrofitted SpeedPocket had only arrived on Saturday morning and by the afternoon I had my new steed in bits trying to adjust the spring tension on the effective but fiddly TRP brakes.
And then there was the comedy with marking and signing the course for host club (and my second claim) Deeside Thistle. First I couldn’t get access to the shed where all the signs were kept as the key was too stiff to turn the lock. After some WD40 and gentle persuasion (and some fruity language) the lock gave in to my persistence.
Then the car wouldn’t start. Engine failure. Nice. So I wandered up the road from the race HQ and put out the necessary signage only to sprain my ankle after jumping off a wall onto a non-existent grass verge next to the busy main road. Ouch. No really. That was a sore one. Ow, ow, owwww…
So I dragged my left leg back to car just as the snow started to pile down and insisted that the car to stop giving me funny messages and got on with slowly and painfully marking the course all the way to my home village, Torphins.
Not to be deterred, I was adamant to race and so Saturday evening relaxing with an elevated ankle and a few choice Belgian beers from my recent Tour of Flanders trip to put me back into the zone.
And so to race day. Cold. Snow and frost in the garden. Bloody freezing to be accurate. But at this time of year as soon as the sun starts to rise sharply in the sky, the temperatures follow suit and as last man off, by 9:30am the regret of not wearing gloves rapidly diminished once the HR and power meter numbers started to accelerate in a northerly direction.
Unlike the typical omnipresent wind on this course, which as per usual, was coming from the west. A number of riders said it was strong and annoying. I’m use to it as this is a road I normally ride to get home. In fact I like the wind as it gives me something to fight against. That and gravity. This is a notoriously slow course, undulating and windy. 200 metres of climbing apparently. For me though, perfect!
And so it proved, once again I finished in first place but much more importantly, it was my first TT race for Team JMC and only a minute off my PB on this course (I still don’t know if it’s course record). Plenty of room for improvements but content to actually finish with no dramas, no mechanicals and great support from the Torphins Typhoons, the Torphins villagers, the enthusiastic marshals and of course my family who only have to walk a few yards from the house, but stick around to shout everyone as they pass by on the outward leg only to return minutes later on the return leg (with my eldest snapping the riders as they past, such as the photo of me above).
Great to be back. Next, Scottish National Olympic TT this Sunday in Peebles. Eyes wide open and dialing in for another battle against the clock!