Well a few days a go we said “what could possibly go wrong” racing the RCTT National 24hr Time Trial….. As it happens quite a lot it turns out.
First off Sleazyjet decided to bounce Brian’s bike on the tarmac whilst unloading it resulting in the forks getting snapped! An emergency overnight drive across the country by Sean saw a similar version amputated from one bike and transplanted on to Brian’s Cervelo.
Race wise it started well enough but then the Heavens opened and an ark would have been more appropriate than a time trial bike. Riding on heavy narrow roads in what seemed to be a washing machine cold spin cycle every time a lorry made another close pass proved it somewhat character building…. After one exceptionally close pass Brian decided enough was enough and Stacey would probably appreciate him returning alive and in one piece and climbed off after 125 miles.
Russell continued being somewhat more used to the UK’s heavy traffic and dusk saw a change to a road bike which proved far better on the by now flooded roads and huge slurry puddles but unfortunately eating too many sugary bars combined with his meds and the cold weather (13C) caused a stop overnight with what we shall call the ‘time trial trots’ when it became far more important to be near a toilet than clocking up miles.
By the morning he was empty and dehydrated but climbed back on after a restorative mug of tea (amazing what tea can do) having lost nearly 7 hours riding time… the rain had thankfully somewhat relented to a steady drizzle (it put down 48mm during the race according to t’interweb) so he stuck with the road bike.
Gradually he was able to take some plain solids on board again and improved as the sun finally came out for the last 2 hours. And with it came the best road surfaces of the day on the finish circuit plus lots of vocal support led by Mr Welsh. A pit stop had to be made to re-oil the bike chain as the water had washed it off and made it rust even whilst riding.
Eventually the 24 hours was up giving Russell 286.37 miles according to the time keepers and the realisation over 50% of the field had stopped due to the conditions and traffic density…
Thanks to Jenny for her unending cheery support and warm campervan, Martine for coming across to cheer in the rain. Ruth, Dave and the South Pennine Road Club members for their help and support. Thanks to Ziggy the dog and Horace both of whom seemed more concerned with finding biscuits in the van – we couldn’t have done it without any of you.
Next year? 😉
Maybe, but for the next couple of week’s we’ll be watching little dots on the screen again as Shu Pillinger a friend of JSNT races the trans continental.