Warwick Tri - Bike
So the swim wasn’t the fastest. But I’d had a look around the bike course, and was pretty confident that I could make up for it here.
In transition everything went like clockwork - putting everything on in the right order, remembering to take a gulp from the bottle that wasn’t on the bike, and then up and clip-clop running with the bike saddle hooked over my right shoulder to the mount line.
Yes, I was running in my bike shoes rather than putting them on once on the bike. I know other triathletes have mastered this feat of dexterity, but I haven’t. I’m not saying that I can’t do it. It just takes far too long, and in the end, I’m far quicker having a slightly slower run to the bike mount. It probably doesn’t help that my bike shoes are just regular road shoes rather than tri-specific shoes, which’d have features like:
- One, instead of three fastening straps
- A ’stay open’ tongue
- Reverse-fastening straps that won’t get caught in the chainrings
- A heel tab to give you something to hang on to.
Tri-shoes used to be expensive (like double what you’d pay for a basic pair of road shoes), but this isn’t the case any more. £45 gets you a pair which, in a recent article, Triathlon 220 reckoned were pretty much on the same level as shoes costing three times as much. Maybe it’s time to buy a pair.
ANYWAY . . . this is a fast bike course, so it was time to reel in some competitors. Within the first mile, I’d started passing other riders, and with the course’s long straights & wide, sweeping curves, I was starting to play the “I see you on the horizon, and I’m coming to get you” game. Great fun for me, and I gave most of the riders I passed the “good ride / keep going / almost at the top” encouragements as I passed. So I hope they didn’t mind too much.
On the out and back section of the Warwick Triathlon bike course, I spotted a guy that I didn’t seem to be catching quite so quickly. I seemed to be gaining on him on the climbs, but then he’d pull away on the descents. Hmmm someone worthy of catching?
I managed to reel him in by the turnaround point, which has a short climb immediately after it. I knew that I had to put some distance between us here, or he’d have me again on the way down. On the short descent at mile six, I thought I could hear him coming to get me, and tucked in & dug deep to hold him back. Then just over the small ridge at mile seven, a bike came blasting past - I thought it was the guy I’d overtaken, but it was someone else, tucked down and going like a steam train.
My concentration went, and on the hill down from mile eight, I was passed again by the guy from the turnaround. As he went past, I congratulated him on a good race, and then saw the hill ahead.
Hee hee hee! I knew that this was the final hill of the rolling section of the ride, and that the descent was the steepest on the course. I passed him again, calling out “. . . . but you’ve gotta race up hill as well!” Just friendly rivalry, you understand - the stuff that makes racing fun.
It took him another two miles to catch me again on the gentle downward slope towards the retail park area of the ride. I didn’t pass him again, as we were now nearing the end of the bike, and was mentally preparing myself for the transition - easing off a little on the bike effort, running through the routine in my head, and planning to pass him before we got onto the run course.
So we got to the bike dismount line the regulation seven metres apart (this is a non-drafting event) . . . and into transition one behind the other. He racked his bike two down from me . . . . and while he was still wondering about changing shoes, taking his helmet off, etc, I was running out over the timing mat.
Transition - it is the race within the race!
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 09/09/2007
- Time: 10:00:00
- Total Time: 00:36:56.00
- Distance: 12.4 miles
- Average Speed: 20.14 mph
- Max Speed: 34 mph
- Average Cadence: 102
- Max Cadence: 130
Oh, and I’m pretty pleased about the pace on this - it’s the first time I’ve had a race where I’ve broken the 20 mph average speed.