PM. Trike 98km inc. BDCA 50-mile time trial
50 miles – 1:59:27 (25.1 mph) HR164(173). New PB, new club record
Spent the morning doing a few odd jobs, checking over the trike, adjusting the position back to a full-on time trial low position from where it’d been while I was riding the 24-hour, and making sure my new trispokes fitted OK and I could get the computer magnet to work OK. After lunch, I headed off to Etwall for the BDCA 50.
When I got to the HQ, not a lot was happening, which was a bad sign – the first riders should already be on the road! They’d already altered the course to two laps of the A25/11, rather than the one-lap A50/6 due to roadworks, but apparently there were some cones out on the road. The organiser went out to find out what was going on, and it was a temporary bridge inspection, so he got back to the HQ and announced a 1-hour delay to the start, phew. Unlike the ECCA 100 that had been plagued by fog and cancelled, there’s a bit more leeway with timing events on this stretch of road, so we were good to go.
After much sitting around, drinking energy drinks etc. I got on my trike for a decent warm-up. Once off the start, I was quickly into my stride. The first stretch to the far turn seemed to be over in a flash, and the return even quicker. These trispokes were giving me loads more speed than the old spoked wheels I’d been using. I was worried that maybe I was pushing too hard, but sod it, it was a good day – nice and warm with little wind.
Pushing into the second lap I could feel my calves tighten up so I took it a little easier into the wind on this section, and sure enough, at about a mile to go before the final turn I got a massive attack of cramp in my left calf. It took a bit of freewheeling and stretching to loosen it off, and I was losing time all the while. I got around the last turn, only 11½ miles to go back, and then had to ride frustratingly steadily back to the timekeeper in order to keep my cramp in check. I still had many, many occasions when it would suddenly bite, in one calf or the other, mostly when I was trying just a little too hard up a draggy section. I was very painful and I was crying out in pain as much as frustration every time it happened. I even got a little cramp in one quad. I realised I was getting close to going under 2 hours, so I managed I little careful sprint for the line, and was very pleased to cross the finish with half a minute to spare.
It was a bit frustrating that I hadn’t been able to push a bit harder on the last stretch, and I’d only just missed beating Carl Saint’s fastest trike 50 of the year of 1:58. I got cramp a couple more times, just for good measure, while I was getting changed back at the car. There were some very happy faces in the HQ afterwards and I later learnt that Julia Shaw had set a new women’s national competition record of 1:46. Astonishing!
I’ve not had cramp like that in a 50 before, only in a 100, so I will have to be more careful, making sure I drink plenty of tonic water and keep up my banana intake for the next few weeks.