New Year’s Day turned out to be surprisingly warm, which came as something of a relief to me, just emerging from a major cold that had laid me low from taking any exercise since the middle of December. The cyclists who congregated outside the NBRC clubroom as notified via the club website seemed to me to be rather crocked on the whole – many had been suffering from colds, and Lindz had had a rather nasty prang involving a pedestrian and significant muscular damage to his leg. Also of note was the complete lack of timekeepers and pushers-off. Shortly after 9.30, we decided they must have gone straight to the start area of the event, so we all pushed off down there.
Fortunately, we did have a start team (Tony and Bryan), and we all signed on. We were warned about a diesel spill at the first roundabout; in actual fact something appeared to have travelled the entire course slopping diesel all over the place (the smell of diesel was strong, even in the strong wind) and most riders took the event quite gingerly.
It had been so long since my last time trial (which I think may have been the Duo Normand back in September) that I quite forgot to check my gears before starting: I therefore ended up starting in the small ring, and then wasting significant time trying to persuade the chain up onto the big ring after I’d started. We had a significant head wind on the outward section, even after turning onto the dual carriageway section, where there was enough crosswind to make my front H3 rather twitchy at times. Fortunately, things got a bit easier once round the turn. I had been nervously eyeing up my HR, and occasionally felt it prudent to ease back when it reached higher levels.
Back off the dual carriageway, and I tried to take maximal advantage of the descent (somewhat thwarted by the road diesel) with the tail wind. I crossed the line in 24:37, which I felt was quite good given the conditions and my recent bout of ill-health. It was also enough to take the win. Just in case, I had taken note of Team Grumpy rules #1 (“Remember to make your excuses before the race, not after. Otherwise it will just sound pathetic”. – specifically noting the first ride with the Pro Disc wheel and my recent illness) and #5 (“Never train or race with a bad cough – it will destroy your entire season.” – if I’d still had that racking cough, I would certainly not have raced).
Results are at the NBRC website.