Ah summer. We had a few days of that this month. At least the rain was warmer though.
The first race of the month was the club 10 championship on the 1st. As is often the case it didn’t go to plan as I got held up by an Eddie Stobart lorry who I am convinced did it on purpose, causing me to limp in well down the field. However, we race on public roads so them’s the breaks, and the winning time was a cracking one that would have taken some beating, so I wasn’t too disappointed. 23:29, 6th from 32
On the first Saturday of the month I rode the Stretford Wheelers 25 on J2/9. This was a hot day – probably the first day of the year racing in such temperatures. I don’t carry a bottle on 25’s and it doesn’t usually matter but this time I was serioulsy overheating and dehydrating. My power was down, barely above the previous week’s 50, and at the end I thought I’d done terribly, as it got worse and worse. As it was it must have affected others more than me because my time was much better relative to the people I’m normally in and around. 55:28, 5th from 67 (£25, 1st 40-49)
Midweek I rode the club 10 and didn’t get held up this time. 22:26, 1st from 34
The next day I was up at stupid o’clock to get down to Tilstock to ride Chester RC’s 25 on D25/8E. I like this course but not so much the early starts! However it was a lot cooler and I rode much more evenly paced race. In the end I was both delighted and gutted in equal measures to take 2nd place, not far off my first win. 55:02, 2nd from 54 (£50, 2nd and 2nd veteran on standard)
Saturday the 11th was a day of rain, rain and more rain, and the Janus RC 25. The road was flooded in several places and it was no fun when my feet (and expensive power pedals) were going underwater riding through the floods! Twemlow Lane, the subject of a very recent surface dressing, was flooded in at least 3 places – yet another reason to add to the list why surface dressing shouldn’t be considered an effective or viable road resurfacing method. This time I fared worse in relation to my peers, being affected more than they were. 56:27, 5th from 77 (£20, 3rd veteran)
The midweek club 25 championships were postponed due to roadworks so my next race was the M&DTTA 50 mile championships. Having got soaked on Saturday I did likewise in my recovery ride on Sunday, so ended up with a cold all week, and feeling a bit sorry for myself by the time of the 50. The weather was near perfect and despite how I felt I managed another 50M power PB, but everyone else just basically went faster! 01:54:16, 10th from 91 (£15, 5th veteran on standard)
The following week, after what felt like a month of general malaise, I actually felt good again when I was training and good again at the mid-week 10. 22:06, 1st from 26
Although I’ve ridden A25/11 and the 100 mile course on the A50 from Etwall, as well as the 50 mile course from Blythe Bridge (the other way round – J5/12), I’d not ridden A50/6 before so I’d identified it as an A race as it’s a fast course. That meant lots of very fast riders from all over the country so I only just scraped in with my PB of 01:53:00. The weather forecast was pretty variable before the event but there would be a headwind out and a tailwind back. The question would be whether I got a soaking too – an hour beforehand there was a hailstorm so it didn’t bode well!
I’d set out the splits I needed to hit my target based on my knowledge of the course and how fast I could push it. They were first 10 miles in 22:30, second in 24:00 (up the “concrete mountain”), back down in 20:00, single carriageway section in 23:00 and last 10 miles in 20:30. That would give me a target of 01:50:00, but of course it didn’t take into account the wind direction. I resolved to ride the first 20 miles into the wind at 25 mile power – roughly about 290W. I was 7 seconds over on my first 10 miles – so far so good. Then the headwind really hit me as I started the drag up the hill. It took me 25:22 to do the next 10 miles – so far so bad! I was able to get a bit of a breather on the next 10 and still spin out on 53-11 at nearly 40mph, making it in 19:03. I took a gel and calculated that I was still down so pushed a bit harder to do the next 10 in 22:05. It was back on – my renewed impetus and the tailwind helping me to complete the next 10 in 19:29 to clock a new PB of 01:48:48 and a Seamons all-age veteran club record. That felt really satisfying, especially as I didn’t get wet at all! 01:48:48, results not yet in
The weather must have put a few people off for the last club 10 of June as there were only 24 riders. The forecast correctly predicted the rain would blow over so none of the riders got wet which was another bonus. The effects of the weekends efforts and training meant I was coming into this with a -11 TSB and low expectations and I met those comfortably! My legs simply ran out of power after about 6 miles. 22:35, 2nd from 24
Here’s hoping that July brings some kinder weather with it.
Overall, during the month I rode 639 miles, with 27,987ft of climbing at an average speed of around 18.4mph. I used 21,932kcals of energy, with another 10,473kcals during 13hrs and 24mins of turbo time. Total training stress was 2,679TSS.