Tandem 10mile TT – club record

PM. Cycle 26km. Andover Wheelers 10mile club TT. Tandem with Mark Jones. New club record!

10 miles: 18:33 (32.345 mph, 52.054 km/h) HR 169 (176)

Took the morning off work to finish rebuilding the tandem: sorting out the gears, working out how to re-fit the rear wheelcover without it snagging on the the cassette, and taping the bars. Finally finished it off at 11:30, had a quick shower and them chucked it in the back of the car and drove the half mile to work.

Mark met me outside work at 4:30 and we put his commuter bike in the back of the car too and drove down to Thruxton. We were first to arrive, but a gaggle of expectant riders soon showed up – it was looking like a classic evening – sunny, warm and not too much breeze. They were running a 25 and a 10, but we were only going for the 10 miler. We got our start number – off almost last of the field, and settled down for a bit of a wait.

After a 15-minute warm up (probably not enough), we were off, and quickly churning the 11 and 12 sprockets (Mark later said he thought us slightly over-geared, in the past he’s liked bigger gears so I’ve changed to suit, but he has altered his style slightly this year so maybe we’ll do better at my sort of cadence in future). It seemed to take us a while to build speed, but once we’d got it going we never slowed down much. Even in the slow bits I was seeing 48km/h on the speedo.

We nearly caught our minute man coming into the turn (10 minutes dead to the middle of the bridge), but got badly baulked at the first roundabout on the turn (valuable seconds lost!), and took the second, tighter one pretty easy before blasting back into the breeze and past him on the slip road back onto the DC. I found the return leg and the last drag very hard and thought my chest was going to explode. Then, as we powered down the finish slip road I was slightly worried about how we were going to stop from 54km/h before the junction at the end. We made a stop OK though and then the pair of us proceeded to cough up the insides of our lungs for a couple of minutes. Must’ve made a nice sight for the other riders waiting at the finish ;-)

The twiddle back to the car was very cool! A nice early birthday present for me, a club record that’s going to be VERY hard to beat.

[EDIT: Photo here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/39551142@N00/2697488567/]