More Time Trialling completed meant more messing around with the bike, positioning wise. I have been constantly adjusting the saddle height and bar length and almost anything that has a screw.
12th May saw my arrival at my favourite course L101 at Garstang near Preston. Lowered my saddle as my theory was that I'd be able to recover quicker but also generate more torque by being further back in the saddle as Im not a fast peddler sp? so may not benefit from a forward position. Any how as usual the wind wasn't the best and I came away with a 22.51 and was highly disappointed, I just didn't feel right on the bike but I was bouyed by the fact I had another TT the week after at Levens - A Fast Course
19th May - Was perfect weather at 4pm and I was in Morecambe just down the road from the course start. Whilst the rest of the country suffered rain and strong winds there was bright sunshine and 18 degree temps. However by the time 7.30pm came the temperature plummeted and the wind picked up again. This time I had lowered my saddle even more, even cutting down my seat post to allow the extra drop. This course looks such a 'CHEAT' course whoever made it up and I will never do it again. The start is down such a massive downhill gradient that you hit 40mph in no time and the finish 'bypasses' the hill you started from and goes down even more down a sliproad. The rest of the course is heavily undulating. It is also heavily exposed to the elements especially the wind. The first 5 miles is westerly and the latter easterly. I averaged 28.5mph out and 24mph back due to the head wind and was actually surprised to get such a high speed on the way back. Final time was 22.57 I was inconsolable and to top it all off Pantani got a PB!!!! Without any bloody training all year!
20th May - Over the Edge bike ride run by the British Heart Foundation. The atmosphere was carnival like and when I arrived with minutes to go the whole place at Hollingworth lake Visitors centre was toatlly rammed. The strong wind and cold temps put a massive dampner on things and I wasn't in the best of moods and my legs didn't want to play out today. I struggled around the whole course but managed to keep up with my Tri Club team mates, getting dropped slightly just the once and even set a good pace up the final climb - Cragg Vale. No where near my fastest time but I left everyone for dead. I completed around 90miles with an average of over 17mph but it was hard work and there just doesn't seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel. I FEEL SOOOO SLOW.
Chaingang on the Tuesday after 'Over the Edge' and again I felt terrible but more experimentation yielded so impressive results. To say I felt wrecked was an understatement however I was keeping up and even led all the way on one lap. I had raised my saddle height without any ill effect and my peddaling action felt fluid and smooth. At the end I had a race up Huddersfield Rd to Ogden reservoir I think it was and got wasted by one of the faster guys at the club when during previous years he had been on the back foot. It got me motivated to carry on and that I did.
So after 3 weeks off work my commuting restarted 23rd May and after a slow start I kept getting faster and faster as I raised my saddle and the conditions improved. Although very gusty winds have perservered the past two weeks my times are improving day by day, up to where I expect them to be. One of my commute I average 21mph for my 30mile uphill commute home.
ROSSENDALE TRIATHLON is on Sunday 3rd June and during a disastrous outing with my TT bike on a mountain Timetrial I figured I would have to tweek my position until it suited me, otherwise forfeit the TT bike and use my road bike for the hilly 23km. I raised the saddle very high and pointed the bars down a bit and rotated them 360 degrees. They are 's' bend bars.
The perfect test for Sunday would be the BIRCH 8MILE TIME TRIAL on Tuesday night run by ABC Centreville. There is a very big dig of a hill and lots of descending then repeat. The course is only a couple of miles away and when I arrived having doing 22.5mph with my eyes closed I knew I was in for a fantastic time. I practised the course and was going very well indeed, I felt fast for the first time in months! &pm came and went an no time keeper arrived. Another devastating blow to my morale. Five of us had turned up and we all decided to do the course anyway and time ourselves. I was absolutely flying!!! Barely dropping below 20mph on the steep section as a slight tail wind gave us a nice push. even the head wind didn't feel like it was afftecting my speed. I cruised up the hill in my 'Aero' position, overtaking the rest of the gang as if they were standing.
My previous best for the course was an official 20.02 in April '11 but I had just done it in an unofficial 19.15!!!! with an average of just under 25mph. That was a terrific time. I decided to carry on and complete 25miles altogether and averaged 23.5mph for the 25miles. The bike felt amazing and my legs felt amazing. About TIME! Only 2-3 months late. I might have to try a 25mile TT next!
The past couple of months my swimming has been slowly improving and my running is coming on a dream but I can still only do short distances due to my arthritis. I am aiming for a TOP 10 finish at ROSSENDALE TRIATHLON and with the recent form I have been displaying over all 3 disciplines it is a very realistic target.