The blog post where…I give a brief overview of my season
I am now taking some time off the bike and have had some time to reflect on the season that I've had. Earlier on in the year I was searching for races abroad and seeing what opportunities were available to race in Europe. It wasn't looking hopeful. Luckily, Time Trials began to start back up in the UK and so I got stuck into those instead. Here is a brief summary of each:
Addiscombe CC TT:
It felt really good to be in a race again. It was wet and rainy and my visor fogged up. Good thing there were very few corners to navigate.
Southdown Velo 25 mile TT:
This was my first 25 mile TT and so the aim was really just to get a feel of the effort. I found it useful to have some people to chase. At the time I really didn't know how to judge the effort, but it was one step of development in this new area of the sport.
RTTC National 10 Mile TT:
Today didn't go so well. The added pressure of a National championship got to me a bit. I was a bit rushed and didn't warm up fully. I wasn't fully prepared. The effort started off well and the climb halfway through helped break up the effort. However, I had a slow puncture and by the end I was riding on my rim. Some things just aren't in your control. Disappointed but I learnt stuff today that helped me better realise the importance of getting properly prepared for racing and allowing myself time to get in the zone.
Icknield RC TT:
Today was windy, fast, and a little bit scary. Being fairly new to testing I am not used to riding on open roads. I was being blown about quite literally by the wind and cars were passing a little too close and a little too fast, it being on a fairly major A road. As you can imagine this slightly distracted my focus. I was almost scared to go too quickly, especially on the downhill sections. Not exactly conducive to getting a fast time. I fully accept that this may make me a wimp but I really couldn't help being scared, despite my attempts to ignore my fear. I think this helped me learn the benefit of experience, and hopefully I will be better at managing my fear the next time I have a close pass in a TT.
National Youth Championship Final (GHS):
It's fair to say I was frustrated with my ride today. I had high hopes, believing the hilly course to be well suited to my strengths. I had a good shot at a win. As it was, I lost out to someone who has been doing TT’s for a whole lot longer than me and is probably more suited to banging out the power numbers. I learnt that it is good to aim high but you need to manage your emotions and put things in perspective, not allowing yourself to get too wrapped up in disappointment.
RTTC National 25 Mile Championships:
If I thought I was scared at Icknield, this was a whole other level of fear. Once again the cars and the wind were getting to me. On the way out I was weaving all over the place, struggling to keep myself steady. It was arguably one of my least favorite moments I have had on a bike. On the way back I had had enough and I plonked myself in the middle of the lane. The faster I went the less swaying I felt. I had a tailwind pushing me on and I felt amazing. I was flying. Such a high.
RTTC National closed circuit championships:
I think this was one of my most favorite TTs so far. We raced five times around the Thruxton race circuit. I went in with little expectation. I was going to give it my all and see where that got me. I kept it simple. I knew what speed I needed to go at and what lap times I needed to hit. I got caught by the eventual winner in the last couple of laps and having her near me helped to focus my attention. I got a silver, some PB's and a fast-ish time. A fairly successful day out.
RTTC National circuit championships:
This was my final Time Trial of 2020 and I wanted to make it count. It was also only my second ever 25 miler. Before the start I went through the motions, allowing time to check over the bike, sufficiently warming up on the turbo and fueling well for the effort. Early on, my visor fogged up and I ended up getting rid of it, deciding it was probably worth losing the aero gains in favor of seeing where I was going. I am really pleased with my effort, I gave it my all. I lost out, coming second, by the slim gap of two seconds. So so close. I was a little disappointed not to have won but a margin that tiny really does help to show the benefit that all the little things have. Not just making a small as possible gap in the wind but also taking the correct line on the hairpin, squeezing on over the rise, defogging my visor, etc. The list really could go on. A good way to conclude the season.
Some things I learnt:
-Looking into the course and working out a strategy helps me to switch on and know what I have to do.
-Lots of TT courses in the UK are a little bit gradually uphill and a little bit gradually downhill.
-Thinking about your position does matter, it could lose or win you a race.
-Allow yourself time to get focused.
-Be ambitious and aim high (cheesy but not necessarily untrue).
-Sometimes you can overthink things. It may be better to work through the processes and give it a shot, not dwelling on the details.
-Learning from a mistake doesn't necessarily mean you will get it right the next time, or the time after that. The hope is that you'll get it one day.
My results can be found here: https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/rider-results/29298
(Enjoy the profile picture. My fathers doing, not mine)