Blasting GnR on the radio as I left the house was obviously a good omen. Confidence was knocked for six on arrival, surrounded by 7 foot beanpoles with spray-on cycling suits and bikes that clicked together like a black ops sniper rifle. Skimming my eye along the rack of 250-odd bikes in the transition zone, I reckon mine was the only one without any form of suspension. I quickly also regretted not trying harder to adjust the rust-fused saddle.
But the bike did me proud. After a quick(ish) 2 mile run it was a bone-shaker of a ride once away from the gravel paths, and fear took over on a few of the downward slopes. Here’s where I lost much of my time to the mountain bikers. Came off several times in the churned up mud – chain, cogs, gears and breaks caked in the stuff, but it all somehow kept going. Running again after 10m of this was tough, but averaged 8 min miles overall, and passed quite a few of the mtb bastards at the end.
|now where did I leave it?|
Looking at previous times I was optimistically aiming for 90 mins and completed in 87. A few years ago this would have got me in the top third, but this time had to be happy with 112 out of 260. Not bad. I’m confident I could take a couple of minutes off with a better bike, and a couple more again with a bit more confidence / experience of mountain biking. With the course being re-run in Feb I’m looking to sign up with a goal of 80 mins. It can’t be any muddier, and I should have more than 3 practice runs under my belt by then.
triathlon shorts - can I join the club now?
Meanwhile, back home I’ve tried to keep the momentum going, and paid a visit this evening to the the Hotblack garden gym. Sadly, the wind ripped away the pagoda last week. It’s bloody miserable trying to lift weights that are covered in ice, in the dark, outdoors. I've one pathetic little paraffin lap that's in constant threat of going out. Morale has quickly sunk back to reality. Time for a new plan.