My first time trial event I entered was the West Pennine RC Hilly 14 mile on a wet cold Saturday afternoon. I used my road bike for this race and if I like cycling time trial I would invest in suitable bike.
Basically you are racing against the clock and I was very excited to be going into the unknown, I had no idea about time trial racing or what it is about. I was told I had to ride fast over a selected route. I am always ready for a challenge.
Arriving at the event I was amazed about how many people was preparing their time trial bikes and warming up on their turbo trainers. There was a sense of seriousness, nobody really spoke to one another only the odd pleasantries. I was amongst some serious, dedicated riders and I immediately thought what have I let myself in for.
I collected my number which had to be pinned to my clothing where it can be seen by the marshals, timekeepers and anyone else who might show interests. As instructed I was at my start time 10 minutes early and watched some of the rider set off pedalling at speed.
My turn to start and I approached the start line, the timekeeper confirmed my name and number and the count down started from 20 seconds. I was looking ahead excited and my energy was building up, 5 seconds and the helper grab my seat so I could balance on the bike with both feet on the pedals. A voice shouts go and with that I set off at speed faster than I ever rode before, but that did not last long, I suddenly felt my legs getting heavy and tight. I was now riding slower, very slow. All of a sudden the next rider rode pass me at a high speed, later I learned that the rider was “Mr James Gullen”, who was the fastest rider of the day.
I was absolutely exhausted at the end and finished with a time of 0:47:55, I was very happy with my time. Not bad for a man of 56 and riding a road bike. This was my first encounter with time trial racing and I enjoyed the competitiveness, the atmosphere, the challenge. After the event and all the riders had finished, there was a presentation for the group winners. The atmosphere was totally different from before the race, everyone was laughing joking and swapping stories about their ride on this tough 14 mile hilly route.
I have finally found the type of cycling I want to do, it excites me and already I am wanting to ride the route again to improve my personal best, but I have to wait until next year. At the moment I need to find as much information about cycling time trials.
I will be updating some of my time trial rides. Writing about each event I have been involved in and raced in. This type of cycling is named the “Race of Truth,” its you, the bike, the course and against the clock.