Time Trialling

Recently I've started Time Trialling, adding another cycling string to my bow alongside the track nights I did over winter. Dave Hinde was always saying I should get involved with club 10s and with the new season getting started I thought why not!

Time Trialling is all about you and the bike. You have a circuit and you need to get round in the fastest time possible. Simples. I quite liked the sound of Time Trialling too as there wasn't the chance of getting dropped from the bunch in a race until I get the fitness up and loose more weight.

You sign up, pay your £1.50, get your number and off you go in order with a 1 minute interval between each rider.

Weaver Valley Cycling Club hold a 10 mile Time Trial every Wednesday at 7pm on the JC19 Course. The course starts at the old Threeways Petrol Station at Lach Dennis, runs along the B5082 (Pennys Lane), past Shakerley Mere and over the motorway bridge to a sharp 90 degree left turn onto the A50. Bomb along the A50, past the Mangoletsi car garage, Whipping Stocks corner and Barclays Radbrook Hall before turning left onto the B5081 (Middlewich Road opposite Seven Sisters Road) and follow the road all the way along until the finish just before the motorway bridge.

It's an interesting course. Easy to do in the big ring throughout yet has a couple of irritating drags especially from the Mangoletsi car garage to Middlewich Road. This saps energy and really gets the heart rate going.

At my first attempt I clocked a 30:22. I was happy with the time on my first go but I rode terribly. I didn't get a sufficient warm up due to arriving late from work and set off too quickly. My heart rate went through the roof within the first couple of miles, and being a Time Trial, I couldn't get it down again comfortably due the constant pace. My legs were everywhere too and I just wasn't pushing the pedals around smoothly.

My second attempt I clocked a 28.02. I was delighted. I had time to warm up, get the heart rate up beforehand, attached some aerobars and was able to control myself a lot better. I raised my seat slightly and turned the pedals nicely.

You learn a lot from Time Trialling, especially setting up your position and riding smoothly to get speed. The Weaver Valley Club 10s have been excellent, really nice atmosphere before and after with everyone offering support and advice.

My 3 top tips.

1) Get some aero bars. You can buy clip on aero bars for around £40-60. They make a huge difference both aerodynamically and performance wise: I found that I could breath easier and position myself a lot better on the bike, which resulted in a better pedalling action.

I bought some Deda clip on aero bars. These are raised at the ends so I'm not over stretching.

2) Warm up beforehand. Push yourself and get your heart rate up. Make sure it's not surprised and up for working beforehand. If it's been at a high level beforehand it will be settled when riding at a constant tempo.

3) Pace yourself. Reece the course beforehand, understand where the drags are, and where you need to preserve energy. Keep a nice steady tempo during the first 5 minutes, listen to your heart and then have faith in your reece. You want to be hitting it hard in the big ring in the last mile. If don't finish exhausted you've not tried hard enough.

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