Recently I have been riding a few time trial efforts. Using my TT bike (though with none of the aero extras) It has been fun to redo local time trial circuits like Brill Hilly, Long Hanborough. Both these circuits I did as club events back in 2004 and 2005, but I haven’t done for many years.
The other day I was riding out to Charlbury and I saw four teenagers on bikes trying to turn right on a busy road. It was difficult for them to find a suitable gap in the traffic to turn right and after been stuck at the junction for a while, a young girl turned around to apologise to the motorist behind, saying ‘Sorry, it’s taking so long!’ The motorist perhaps surprised that anyone on a road would ever apologise, was very cheerful in replying to the girl not to worry. They were able to turn right shortly after – four young people looking like they were just getting into cycling. I hope they weren’t put off by the difficulties of turning right on Oxford’s busy roads. Anyway, it was very nice to see such consideration amongst road users.
I sped off on my TT bike and rode around Charlbury and Chipping Norton. I did quite a good effort, though was left wondering if you can average 24.7 mph on a TT bike with floppy road jersey and training wheels, what could you average with the fully optimised aero kit? This is the problem with doing time trials, as soon as you finish – you start thinking about how you could go quicker? I really am interested to find out, but at the same time, I really don’t know if I can face riding skinsuit and aero helmet for a ‘private’ time trial.
On the way, back I was still on my aero bars when on the other side of the road I saw a lady, in a wonderful full-length white dress billowing in the wind, she was also on a classic sit up and beg style bike, with back perpendicular to the road. I was on my TT bike – with back horizontal to the road. She looked like something out of Edwardian England or a Sherlock Holmes novel. I don’t know what I looked like on my aero TT bike, dried snot still on the side of the face. Anyway, I looked up from my aero tuck and said hello to the lady. She smiled and said hello back. We were like the yin and yang of the cycling world. She was enjoying the grace and dignity of cycling as a pastime. I was enjoying the aero speed of a TT bike.
I got home after a long, hard 60 miles and took a while to recover.