Swim 3200m + 10-mile trike TT

AM. Swim 3200m/54, steady

PM. Trike 27km inc. VC10 club 10-mile TT. Course F11/10. Hard

8km w/u
10 miles: 22:53 (26.220mph/42.197km/h) __ HR161(171)
3½km w/d

New PB, new club record. [Results, Gavin Atkins fastest with 20:23]

Looking like a fairly blowy evening, wind from the south west, which would be against-ish on the downhill portion of this new, fast course (Gmap_Pedometer), the F11/10 near Tring, promoted by VC10. Anyway, packed the trike in the back of the car and gave it a go. I drove the course to see how it went – the roads were quite busy at 6:15pm, but by the time we’d signed on an hour later the rush-hour had died away and it was much better. I struggled to find anywhere good to warm up – all those roads go either up or down, it’d be easier with a turbo trainer but that’s not an option on a trike.

The first 3 or 4 miles of the course is as bumpy as hell, and the first roundabout on the turn really nadgery on a trike (off-camber too!), but the dual carriageway is all nicely sheltered by high trees. Despite this, the bumps in the road make you feel like you’re working hard to no great effect. Then there’s a small rise to get back to the flyover by the start and suddenly the road surface smooths out and descends and you’re flying! I had a 55-tooth chainring on and with my smallest sprocket at the back (12) was nearly spinning out, downhill and into the wind. The flat 2 miles to the Aylesbury road roundabout at the bottom was very hard work, the wind was right in my face and killed the speed I’d built up on the descent, but I figured I’d be better off giving it everything here to make up time and risk have nothing left for the tailwind sprint to the line. Just about worked OK: I was very slow picking up speed out of the roundabout but under the second bridge and with the slip-road countdown markers in sight managed one last lifting of my pace to nip 2 seconds under Ralph Dadswell’s trike course record and shave 10 seconds off my PB/club record. Wow!

Not so many happy faces in the car park at the finish – apparently the course was running a bit slow with that wind – Gavin Atkins, who set the course record here a few weeks ago, was about a minute slower (although he said he’d had a fairly tiring day) and Ralph, riding a tandem trike with Paul Mace, didn’t reckon it was great. The later starters got the best of the conditions (I was off at no. 11)  and the last six or seven times all started with “21..”! Looks like I’d better head back there on a quieter evening.