Early in February I attended the Seamons 68th Annual Prize Presentation Dinner. It was a wonderful evening, brilliantly hosted by Nigel and Maria. I thought it hit a perfect note, combining both the traditional aspects of a club presentation dinner with a modern feel, and I came away with this little lot above. It includes the BAR Champion George Arstall Trophy, the Club Timetrial Champion D K Hartley Trophy, the Veterans BAR Champion Shield, Veterans Timetrial Champion Trophy, 10 Miles Series Champion R W Chapman Trophy, the 50 Mile Club Champion Trophy and the 12 Hour Club Champion Trophy. I’m very proud to be part of a roll of distinguished winners over the decades including (sat at my table) a former National BAR winner. I was quite nervous because I had to say a few words on behalf of the prizewinners but I think I got away with it.
Racing starts next month. The bike is raring to go and hopefully, so am I despite suffering from a mild cold at the moment. Although I did one event in 2010, and a few events in 2012, my first real season was 2013 – with the bike, pointy hat and skinsuit. So 2017 will be my 5th season. I go into it, as ever, with a feeling of excitement but also trepidation – wondering if I will have improved at all, and just how much everyone else has improved. I’ve been looking back over my training for last year and over the winter of 2015/16 I’d racked up just over 12,000TSS by the end of February. This year for the same period it is around 13,400TSS albeit I’ve followed a different plan that was quite a bit more structured and specific. It would have been easy to stick with what worked last year but you have to try different things if you want to keep improving.
After the disappointment of last month’s power test I was scheduled to take another; the last one before the start of the season. It was a much more positive result and I’ll be starting next season at least 10W better off than the start of last season, and those watts have been pretty hard to come by. That said, I’ll be 50 this year so I suppose I shouldn’t be expecting big gains. I’m hoping my new position will also add a bit of speed but it all comes down to a simple question. Can I translate the power and position to the road under race conditions? If I can, I’m looking at decent time gains.
This time of year is always unpredictable in terms of the weather (although I guess in the UK it’s unpredictable at any time of the year!) March is usually cold, a bit damp and often windy, but will see me ride three races which I class as “openers”. That is to say they are races to blow off the cobwebs, get back into the race routine and test out the new position and equipment. The real fun will start in April, but more about that nearer the time.
On the subject of weather I very much recommend checking out mywindsock.com which is a website that enables you to check the wind direction on TT courses and/or Strava segments. And it’s got a few more new features that I’m yet to play with but they look great. It’s already an incredibly useful tool for planning your race strategy and understanding where you need to go hard and where you need to be aware of crosswinds, and it gets regular updates too. It’s produced by one of the local area riders, Ben, and so is worth supporting.
Anyway, during February I managed 334 miles outdoors with 18,143ft ascent at around 15.1mph average, which used up around 12,698kcals. I spent 25 hours and 40 minutes on the turbo using a further 20,629kcals. Total for the month was 2,637TSS