First TT of the season last night and instead of the usual Kilton course I tagged along with fellow North Cheshire Clarion rider and colleague Gary Wood to the Rainford 10 mile run by Wigan Wheelers and St Helens CRC.
We set out straight from work and after a bit of rush hour traffic we were amongst the first there. Straight away a friendly chap came over for a chat and said he’d make us aware when the signing on guy arrived and sure enough he waved us over and we were at the front of the queue. What I liked about registering is that you had the freedom to pick your number and correspondent start time. I picked my lucky number 11 which meant I was off at 19:11.
It was just a little after 6pm and it was so well organised we had plenty of warm up time and used the back roads that ran alongside the course. This is when we realised the wind and was maybe thinking it wasn’t a day for a great time. Before long I found myself at the start line getting reassured of the course directions and then I was up. At the start line you put your trust in a guy who holds your bike so you can clip in ready for the off, at this point a realised how nervous I was as I felt my leg give a little shake and I struggled to clip in. The guy holding my bike cracked a joke to put me at ease and then 5,4,3,2,1 I was off.
One thing I didn’t want to do was go off too quick but with a head wind that wasn’t a problem but was flying at the first turn when I felt the tailwind, I managed to get round the first roundabout with no traffic and then I was on a long fighting stretch against the wind again. Half way along the stretch I almost came to a complete stop at a roundabout hitting traffic which I guess is bad luck/timing but then the same happened at the next roundabout too which knocked my avg speed straight down so was glad when the roundabouts where out of the way and I could put the effort in for the final stretch.
I finished with a 28:21 which is around avg speed 21.2mph and was really pleased to average over 21mph for the first time and in my first TT of the season. The only downside to it is that my time is still not good enough for a standard with the North Cheshire Clarion but I’m showing signs of improving and the season has only just started. I’ll definitely be doing this course more than a few times this year and was really impressed with the course, organisation, atmosphere and friendliness of the other riders.
9.36miles in 26:32 (I forgot to start it!) Avg 21.2mph Avg HR 176bpm