Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Wolf at the Door

Incredibly, despite a very dire forecast for the past several days, it didn't pour today. In fact, it was quite noice and sunny. It just goes to show that They can be wrong.

Today's contre-le-monte fixture was the Swindon hilly, on the same course as the Chippenham hilly a couple of months ago. But because it wasn't particularly windy, the times were a lot quicker. QED. One must move with the times so one was very satisfied with a 53'52, especially as one had won the one in March with a 55'22.

Erm, best get back to the real-time first person...

I was the only one under 54 minutes today, with Chris Madge putting in a solid ride for second in 54'29 and Mark Wareham third in 54'50. Mr Poupart wasn't there as he was doing the Beacon Little Mountain TT (which I may well do next year), where he finished second.

That's a roundabout way of saying that I won! And scored another team prize, this time with Andy Cook (58'31) and Simon Snowden (59'57). Jolly good!

I compared my splits to the first race, where we had a decent tailwind to start with and an indecent headwind to finish. I conceded about a minute to myself (is that second person?) in the first 10km, then managed to peg that back to 40 seconds by halfway. But coming back I picked up two and a half minutes, only losing a little bit of that in the last bit. Interestingly, I did both the two climbs at exactly the same speed as I'd done in March, as they were more or less wind-neutral.

The power meter was not reading very well today. I finished with an average of 290 watts (cf 303 in March), which was bollocksed because I didn't set the offset before I started. I checked it at the finish and it was reading 20-25 watts too low. Thus a 310-315W average would have been more like it, although I have a suspicion even that's low. I should finally be able to compare it with PowerTap data next weekend.

I've even managed to put on a bit of weight, so maybe the Morrison's checkout girl was right about Lily O'Brien's sticky toffee chocolate. Curses. I may have to cut back to half a kilo a week. Still, it's good for going down hills.

Upcoming fixtures: The Bath CC 10 this Saturday and the Cheltenham hilly on Monday bank holiday.

I wasn't going to enter the Bath 10 because it's too close to the Cheltenham one, which is worth hardriders points. But it's on a 'fast' course so a chance to beat my best time of 21'24. That's an utterly pointless exercise, by the way, because I have no wish to ride the national '10', and even if I did, my current best time would be good enough to get a start anyway. And there will be other events on this course this year, so why??

I still don't know.

I think I'll ride it at tempo pace and see if I can get under 21 minutes. The ultimate goal is a sub-20 minute 10, but that can wait.

Cheltenham, on the other hand, looks tough. Two laps totalling 37.6km and 600m of climbing/descending. Not quite as tough as The Dursley, but still a very honest course. And given that I seem to be climbing well at the mo', I should do OK.

A note on the Dursleys: JK Rowling's first years were spent in Yate and Winterbourne, which are about 20km south of Dursley. Inspiration? Maybe I should call my main character "Swindon".

And for those who haven't nodded off yet, today's song was indeed A Wolf at the Door by Radiohead. Five points for guessing that correctly.

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