Ride Reports

NLTTA Combined Clubs 25m Time Trial by Paul Baillie

This event was the last time trial of the season for most of us and the club was represented by myself, Ian Sibbert, Andy Whiteside and Michael Gates. The course was to be a flat 25 miles which consisted of a bit a run up from the start on the A6 at Brock to the Flag (Bellflower) then a left turn towards Nateby all the way to Lancaster Road, before another left turn onto Rawcliffe Road towards St Michaels, where a slight left was to take us back to Churchtown. Then a left onto the A6 and complete the same course again.

All was well, and in true GCC fashion, the route was ridden the day before by all of us, just to make sure we knew where all the potholes were!

At about 3pm the day before the race, we were informed that due to roadworks on the A6 the course would be shortened to 10 miles and would now start at the Flag and finish just before the Village Hall at Kirkland, which was also serving as the HQ.

On the morning of the race the weather was worse than forecast and it was chucking it down as I drove in from Lancaster. I got to HQ at 8.15 to meet Ian & Andy whi had both ridden in. Andy was ok as he lives in Garstang. Ian lives in Overton and was soaked and freezing cold! I lent him my Gillet and he had a few cups of tea to warm up. It was a pretty well attended race with over 100 entries so riders had been setting off since 8am - Some of the faces of those who had ridden round in torrential rain early on a Sunday morning were not a pretty sight!

We were off in team order, slowest (me) first at 9.14 then Michael, Andy and Ian setting off at one min intervals. We rode the mile or so up to the start and did an few mins warm up. Before long it was my turn to go and I had a plan to ride at a certain heart rate for the first 3 miles, then to gradually increase my effort so I could finish strongly.

My ride itself was ok, but I couldn't get the HR up as high as I would've hoped without really gassing my legs so I was going slower than I wanted. I knew I'd get passed by all 3 of my teammates at some stage as they are all much quicker than me, but I didn't expect to get passed by one of them twice!

After the left turn at the end of Skitham Lane we were speeding down Lancaster Road and I saw Andy Whiteside slowing down. He'd just passed me 30 seconds earlier going about 200mph so I was worried he's had a puncture or a mechanical problem. As I rode up alongside him, he said 'are we going the right way?!' I said yes, you fool (cleaned up) He said oh heck (very much cleaned up) as he passed me again and sped off, not to be seen again until the finish! Did I mention the fact that Andy is from Garstang? And that we did a recce of the ride less than 24 hours before the race?

All safely back at HQ we compared stories and laughed at Andy for getting lost. We didn't hang around for the official times as we had arranged to meet some other lads at the Barn in Scorton so we cruised up there for cake and a natter.

There is now a link to the times but and Andy placed in the top 10 overall, with Ian not far behind. Michael put in a good time despite a dodgy knee. My time was around a minute slower than my normal 10 mile pace at 27m.01s but it seemed that most people were around a minute or so down.

That's it for me until next season now. I've got some hours to put in on the turbo if I'm going to compete with these guys next year!

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