Starting a blog is definitely easier than maintaining one!
Since writing my last post, I have done a few events and been on a great training camp in Mallorca. Time for a brief write-up.
As I still don’t feel entirely in control on the Shiv, I have been a real chicken at the start of this season and did both the Maidenhead (Fifield) 15 TT (flat) and Southern Counties 21 TT (hilly) on my road bike. The Maidenhead event on Saturday 22 March went OKish but it was very windy, with an especially annoying cross wind on Drift Road which can be so nice and quick on other occasions. I clocked 00:40:16 which was enough for fastest woman but I was annoyed I hadn’t found the courage to ride the Shiv in the cross winds. I chickened out once more for the hilly 21 mile Southern Counties TT on Sunday 23 March on the challenging Bletchingley course. This was also the first event in the South East Women Time Trial Series and had a record entry of nearly 50 women. I managed an OK 1:01:55 on my road bike on a course that is more suitable for climbing whippets than diesel engines like me. Mulebar Girl Natalie Creswick won the event in an amazing 56:40 beating many of the men! A link with pictures of the event taken by Huw Williams can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/huwspics/sets/72157642801135284/. Full results for the women can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/aav25doq71lz01w/SEWTTS%20Round%201%20start%20sheet_result%20sheet.xlsx
By the time of the second SEWTTS event I managed to force myself to racing on the Shiv. I was still a little nervous and probably spent too much time on the bars rather than in the TT position, but managed to get round OK. It was a nice sunny day, a pleasant quiet course and there was a great buzz at the HQ with again plenty of female competitors. Four of us managed to break the female course record for the SCCU Sporting 10 on the G10/46 course (including me with 25:25) and Detta Guerrini took the win with 24:42. For images see: http://www.davehaywardphotos.com/Cycling/Time-Trials-2014/SCCU-SPOCO-10m-TT-29032014/ For results see: https://www.dropbox.com/s/f0ae8fdt3gzexa4/SEWTTS%20results%20sheet.xlsx. Chris was particularly pleased with the bottle of Merlot from the Maipo Valley in Chili I brought home as a price.
By the time of the third SEWTTS event on Sunday 6 April, the Redmon CC 25 TT on the G25/46 near Dorking I finally raced on the Shiv with both the disc wheel and the deep section front wheel. As I was flying out that night for a training camp in Mallorca, the road bike was already packed up so I had simply no other choice. The weather was foul, with rain and headwind, but somehow I thrived on it and managed to win in 01:01:06 and saw some good power numbers. Whilst it was nice to surprise both myself and some of the other SEWTTS women, the icing on the cake was beating one of my male club mates in the process 😉 Unfortunately there are no pictures from this event, but here is a link to the results: https://www.dropbox.com/s/f0ae8fdt3gzexa4/SEWTTS%20results%20sheet.xlsx
That evening I flew out to a training camp in Mallorca. I had been on Legros Training Camp two years ago when I just started racing and really enjoyed it. Last year I went to Mallorca twice in February, but twice it rained and snowed. April is definitely a better time of year for a training camp there. The camp was amazing. 7 days of riding, nearly 40 hours in the saddle, over 1,100km in my legs, some great scenery, long climbs and plenty of sunshine. It was good to bump into some familiar faces from 2 years ago and meet some friendly new people, including Jill and Andy Wilkinson. Those two are definitely to be added to my list of heroes, not just for being inspirational endurance athletes, but also for being really friendly, funny and down to earth. I also managed to do a solo loop of the island (312km) on the ‘rest day’. A great experience, but squeezing two more fast and hilly rides out of my legs the days after was a challenge! After two complete rest days I now feel refreshed and keen to get back on the bike. Time for more TT fun soon and no more excuses, I will ride my Shiv now at every opportunity.