AM. Trike 94km, inc. Tricycle Association 50-mile TT. course H50/17
50 miles: 2:05:22 (23.93mph/38.51km/h) __ HR156(169)
We rolled home after midnight, many beers consumed (although mostly only bottles of Hooky Bitter, a fairly light bitter). I lost count of how many rounds were bought. After a cup of tea and some toast I set my alarm for 6am and hoped I wouldn’t be too hungover.
I felt a bit rough getting up after 5 hours sleep, but I’d allowed myself enough time to get through a few cups of tea before setting off for the HQ and didn’t feel too bad once I was there. It was looking like a good morning. Storms had been forecast but they seem to have passed in the night – there were some big puddles around. This was a Tricycle Association event incorporated into the Oxonian CC 50 (and coincidentally the Oxford City Broadribb Cup), and for the trikes it was the year’s race for the Tricycle Trophy. Carl Saint had come down from Yorkshire to ride. He’s the fastest on a trike around at the moment, but I was hoping I could provide him with some decent opposition. We first met each other across a dining table in a hotel in Majorca when we were out there training, back in 2001, and both of us just starting out on our cycling “careers”. It seems strange that years later we are now racing each other for tricycle awards and records.
Riding to the start my gears were shifting much more easily, although they were a bit out of index in the bigger 19 and 21 sprockets. Not to worry, I would just have to get on with it. Off the start my legs were aching from yesterday’s 10, and I could probably have done with a bit more warm-up. I got caught by the guy a minute behind me after the first turn at 12 miles, but after that I bucked my ideas up and got my racing head on! I could see that, starting 8 minutes behind me, Carl had gained loads on on me on this first leg, maybe 3 or 4 minutes. He continued to gain on me, but not so much, after I recovered from my slow start.
The weather remained calm and I started to enjoy the effort of steering my trike at high speed. I had quite a tussle with the guy who’d overtaken me – I’d catch him on the flat straights, and then he’d pull me back where the trike was at a disadvantage – round the roundabouts and up the drags. He eventually got away from me with about 2 miles remaining when I got baulked at the final roundabout.
I was quite pleased with my effort, but Carl was in a different league and finished in 1:58:58, high up amongst the bikes. There was a good deal of trike talk back at the HQ and it was great to share experiences with Carl before climbing into my car and heading back home to put my feet up with a cup of tea and the Sunday papers.