Trike 87km, inc. Manchester Wheelers 50-mile TT. Course J5/12
50 miles = 2:10:12 __ HR158(167)
Had a terrible drive to this afternoon’s time trial. I was all ready and packed (I was driving straight on to Pembrokeshire after the time trial to meet up with Chris on his stag weekend), and left slightly earlier than I needed to. Stopped off at the petrol station round the corner to fill up the car and top up the tyres. As I put the inflator on the second tyre, it started hissing and when I took the inflator off, the end of the valve came with it! Disaster, the tyre went down in seconds. I had to quickly put the other valve caps back on and drive the car a few yards along the forecourt so I could change the tyre. Of course, to get access to the spare, I had to fish my trike and wheels and all the other stuff out of the boot.
In my haste to get the wheel nuts off, I managed to trap my little finger between the ground and the wheel brace, so there was a fair bit of blood around too. While I was rushing around trying to get all this sorted, some guy came over to me and started up a conversation. “going to a triathlon are you?” (I guess he’d seen all the gear I’d taken out of the back of the car), like I had time for a chat! Then he tried to offer me some advice about changing the wheel; yeah, thanks mate! Eventually I got everything packed away and managed to persuade the garage cashier to let me use his sink to wash my bloody hand and he got me a bandage for my finger.
Now I was late for the race, and the traffic around Oxford was really heavy. Even out on to the M40 it wasn’t much better, and the overhead signs were warning of more jams ahead on the M6. I thought to myself that even if I had a late start I still ought to ride – the organiser had put up a prize for fastest trike and I was the only one on the startsheet. I diverted off the M42 via Lichfield and made it to the race HQ with about 25 minutes to spare before I was off. Thinking about getting the valve fixed, there was a tyre fitters right next door, but of course it was closed on Saturday afternoon.
It was too windy for the trispokes – my trike would’ve been all over the road – so I pumped up my “training” wheels and used those. Rolled to the start with a few minutes to spare, phew! The race itself went OK, very fast to the turn with the wind behind and then a real struggle back to the timekeeper – about an hour for the last 20 miles. Coming back over the “concrete mountain” was very hard, and I was glad just to get to the finish line. Some amazing times were done by the bikes, despite the wind. My heart rates show I was certainly working hard enough, but I guess my race preparation wasn’t the best!
I had to get going, so there was little time to stop and chat to the other riders. I drove down to Pembrokeshire in a little over 4 hours, despite being on the spare tyre, and made it to the pub just after 9:30pm to join up with the others for a few welcome pints.