Club Ten’s / TT’s

8 Aug

No road races this weekend gone, I have one coming up this Sunday down in Kent, but wanted to write just a bit about the good old club ten.

I think I’ve done in the region of 10 club tens now since I joined the club, I can’t make every one, and the early season ones are a particular challenge to get to as work is not local and getting home, in the car and down to Dorking is not the quickest process. Now I’ve moved a further 10 min walk from the station its even harder. However, as the evenings drew longer I was able to get down there.

There seems to be quite a divide between people that race on the road and those that specifically do TT’s, even though I personally think they compliment each other quite well in terms of training and net effect on each other. What I really like about our club ten is that is attracts a huge variety of people from our club, people that race on the road, people that don’t race, and people that just do TT’s. Its a great mix.

My journey as far as the club ten’s are concerned is probably one that many people make, I started off on my road bike with no TT specific add-ons bar a skinsuit and a insulation taped road helmet, I managed 22.17, initially I was a bit annoyed with it, afterall you look at the results of your local TT’s and all you see if 19’s 20’s and in some cases the odd 18 too. This led me to aero upgrades, so I could go faster on the same power, I moved onto aerobars which gave me another few seconds, though I never managed to crack 22 that year. As time went by I saw how fast people were going, and I wanted a bit of it, as you’ve probably read in another post, I bought a Trek Speed Concept from a clubmate and kitted it out with some aero wheels and all the rest.

Since then my fascination with TT’s has grown, and though I feel like I’ve kind of neglected them this year given I’ve done a handful of open events, but barely anything longer than 10 miles, one thing I’ve tried to make a point of doing is the club tens as the course (G10/42) is quite an honest one, not many gifts, not much chance of a hold up, and I know it well – the TT bike was a bit of a revelation time wise, it immediatley took a minute off what I was doing, and that was with a position I had not really explored and power that wasn’t anywhere near what I’d want to be doing now. I was down to around 21.07 as a best, I was eager to break that 21 barrier and get into the faster times. This was going to take some doing though, and it actually took a bit of thought, and the fear of getting caught by a minute (30 second) man to spur me into action. I managed to do 20.46 that particular day, and upon trying again was slower, I thought that was as good as it was going to get on that course for me this year. I’d given it my all, hit all time high powers for the duration and thought I was in a pretty good position.

However last night I went along and gave it another crack, conditions looks poor, low temps, and crosswind, however as I set off and went about my usual pacing for this course of ‘blast up the hills, and relax a bit down them’ I could see it was fast, and in fact I got to the turn in good time, still 10 seconds down on my previous best, I’d kind of given up hope with this ride, and consigned it to be another sub 21 but nothing of note. However upon setting off on the way back, where I should have been getting crosswind, I felt like I was being pushed along, and actually holding 30 mph along the draggy bits felt OK. I was flying, my legs were feeling it and I knew I had to dig in, I glanced down, saw there wasn’t long left and I was still in the 19’s, there was a fleeting thought that I’d do a 19, but I then was put firmly in my place when I saw I had another few hundred mtrs to go, but when I did cross the line and stop the clock in 20.18 I was very surprised. That was miles better than what I’d done previously, and it would seem others agreed, a PB night for many.

Bit of a ramble on, but that is the story how in 8 club tens I shaved dead on 2 mins off my time, its taken a new bike, sure, but actually its been great fun working out what does and doesn’t work, and how to ride a particular course, there is actually little doubt in my mind that when F11/10 comes good after the initial re-surface job I will do an 18 on it, whether or not I get a day like Steve got and put in a storming ride to beat his record I do not know, its a big ask, and to this day its the fastest 10 that has been done this year in any open event.

I’m still unsure which way my riding will go over the next couple of years as I undoubtedly have less and less time due to work and all of what being an adult entails, but I don’t feel like I’ve realized most of my potential yet, if I’m honest with myself about the riding I do, its pretty lackluster and though I look and see that I’ve done 10-12 hours a week each week for 2 years I also see that the vast majority of this is still far from optimum. I’m planning on working with a coach over the winter, I’ve narrowed a couple down, so am hoping that with a bit of direction and a bit of willpower on my part I can build on this year and compete properly in the National B races.

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