Saturday 18th August
Trike 113km, inc. 69 miles, hard __ HR157(171)
I was keen to seal up the Tricycle Association Best-All-Rounder (taken on average speeds over 50 miles, 100 miles and 12 hours), and with a decent “50” and a fast 12 hour, needed to improve on my 100-mile performance. I’d managed to finish the WTTA 100 with 4:44, after being held up by a wide load on those roads, and the normally fast ECCA 100 had been cancelled due to torrential rain. So I had entered this event, held near Dishforth, Yorkshire. This meant a 400-mile round trip to a new course for me.
I left home just after 9am for the long drive north. It was warm and sunny, but once I was past the midlands it clouded over and the weather was distinctly muggy. There were a couple of small hold-ups on the way, but I’d left myself (just) enough time to get to the start comfortably and load up with a litre of isotonic drink and malt loaf before the “off”. It was muggy enough that I left my pointy hat in the car and just road with cap and sunglasses on my head, a 2-litre camelbak under my skinsuit.
I felt pretty good on the first run down to the far turn, but on the way back my right hip started to give me some real pain – numb, and yet painful on the skin. I was riding OK, though, well within myself I thought. The climb back up the Disforth turn to finish the first lap at 34½ miles felt harder than it should’ve though. I massaged my hip round the turn, and struggled to get going again down the slip road for lap 2 of 3. By the time I’d done another 10 miles I’d realised it was game over – I just wasn’t comfortable and was getting much too hot. My hip was *agony*, much worse than I’ve had it in many years (it often gets inflamed after a long ride – I think I damaged it somehow in a skateboarding accident when I was a teenager, it’s never been quite the same since) I rounded the far turn, and peddled reasonably briskly back past the timekeeper, finishing off all the fluid in my camelbak as I did so. I gave them a DNF sign and toddled back to the car at Dishforth, 69 miles done. Clearly, I’d not properly recovered from my big effort in the Breckland 12, two weeks previously.
I drank some more, got changed, washed my face and hands and drove off, thanking the marshals at the turn (especially Peter and Anita Hopkins, fellow trikies who are always there to give me a shout). Not too bad a drive home, and nice to be back at a reasonable hour for a beer or two in front of the TV. Looking on the timetrialling forum to see how Wilko had gone today, I was shocked to find that a rider starting in front of me had been killed in an accident on that last lap and the event had been stopped. That was shocking news to me – the course, although a dual carriageway, was certainly not too busy and did not seem as bad as some I’ve ridden in the last few years. It has certainly given me food for thought as to whether I want to continue riding these big national events on fast stretches of road (“dragstrips” in the old time trialling parlance), especially on the trike, where the extra width seems to catch some drivers out.
I will have to wait and see how Ralph Dadswell gets on in tomorrow’s ECCA 12-hour to know whether I’ve done enough to capture the trike BAR (although I don’t know whether he’s done a decent “50” or not). I’m not sure whether any other trikies are going for the BAR this year. My current average is 21.870mph, it’d be nice to have pushed that over 22mph, as all riders in the bike BAR get a certificate for going faster than that speed (for trikes it’s only 18mph).