North Hampshire RC 50-mile TT

AM. Cycle 96km, inc. North Hampshire RC 50-mile TT, hard

w/u 7½km
50 miles 1:54:17 (26.251mph/42.246km/h) __ HR154(163)
w/d 7½km

After more heavy overnight rain we had a breezy, gusty morning. Decent enough day though, just a little hard on the southern section of the course, from Holybourne to Chawton. The road surface is not good here either – kerbump, kerbump. I had to come off the tribars in one place along here to keep the front trispoke under control in the wind.

In had Matt Molloy (@AhoySavaloy) off 4 minutes in front of me – a useful carrot. Felt like I paced it well enough. Matt had gained a minute on me by the first turn, and another half a minute by the second. I thought that was that but I pegged my losses and managed to claw some time back with a spirited attack over the last 10 miles, although I got caught by my 10-minute man with about a mile to go. I think Matt had some problem with his Di2 shifters which can’t have helped. My hamstrings started to stiffen up towards the end – not being used to riding in such a low position for this length of time – and I was grateful for the odd rise here and there so I could get out of the saddle for a small stretch.

My (32.5km) lap splits were 45:31 + 46:49 + 21:56 (last bit to the near-turn and back), pretty even, that’s good. Got back to the HQ to find some fast times had been done despite the wind, and the course record had been lowered by three minutes to 1:43. Wow! I’m still very happy with my time though.

After washing my TT bike and discovering that the lacquer has cracked on one bit from bouncing over the worst bits of the bumps on the course this morning, bah!, I spent the afternoon in the garden, fettling a new chainset and front shifter on to my trike. There was a display due by XH558, the only flying Avro Vulcan, over Abingdon. I had my camera handy, and luckily it flew right overhead on its way to the air show. Compared to when we saw it at Farnborough last year, it was quite quiet in cruise mode, a couple of thousand feet up. I got a couple of shots off, and watched the display from a bedroom window – it made a lot more noise once it was twisting and turning in the sky. What an impressive machine it is! It flew off south and then west where it was joined by another aircraft for some air-to-air photography.

The new mech has dramatically tightened up the front shifting on my trike. The old clamp-with-braze-on-mech was evidently too flexible. The new 7800 Dura-ace chainset looks smart too.