Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team Time Trial (the first) May 22nd 2011

This was another "first" - not for me, as I've done a couple of ten mile TTs before, but for our club - it was the first ever Sri Chinmoy CT race, organised by Tejvan, and it seemed to go unbelievably well. I was the only team member in the race, as our other cyclists all had specific jobs in the organisation. I would have liked to do a good time, close to my 25.50 (well, good by my standards, not by a cyclist's!), but in the event it proved a tough call. I was first to start as a solo rider (after the one and only tandem) and I was hoping that a background of hilly riding to work and back twice a week would have toughened my legs up. Sadly it didn't!

I started ok, battling into a stiff headwind and a slight uphill slope, with a push off from Vilas and Bahumanya who seemed to be enjoying their role at the start line. Mile 1 ticked by in a little under three minutes - slow, but surely I would speed up? Mile 2 proved tougher, and slower, with the wind stronger and the slope a little worse, but I was sure I'd warm up and get faster. The pattern went on - at one point the wind was reducing me to 15mph, when I was aiming for 22-25! Tragedy! The hill looked innoccuous enough - barely a gentle slope - but with the wind as well it was killing me, and I was getting blown around so I couldn't keep down on the tri bars but had to grab the drop bars to keep balanced. Faster riders - proper cyclists - eased past me. Despite the total failure to perform at a respectable level, the experience was really great - head down, battling into the wind and working my legs for all I was worth - great feeling. Honest :)

Finally the turnaround came, and a few familiar faces (Dipika, Shankara and Bithika) cheered me round the roundabout. Then it was the fast bit - wind at my back, edging up to 30mph and finally feeling like a proper rider. I eventually came in with a time of 28.08 - way off the pace, but at least not last (third from last out of 70, for the record). Made me want to do some more TTs, maybe on a still day on a flat road. Actually the hill is virtually non existent, it's just the wind combined with the slight slope that creates the feeling of a mountain for the amateur rider like me. So, I don't really have any excuses for the slow time but it was a great race and nice to be the only Sri Chinmoy rider in the first ever Sri Chinmoy cycling race in the UK. Note to self - must train harder :)

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