Sunday, August 31, 2014

10mile Time Trial

The race was most memorable for Nick Despres' fantastic shot of me riding and looking like a pro.  He's an award winning professional photographer so it is no surprise he creates a great image.  You should check out his work via his blog linked above.  Despite being the last weekend in August it was a dull morning with misty rain and a gusty force 6 cross / head wind which made handling the bike a bit sketchy due to the deep section Zip 808 front wheel.  This was made worse by also having a loose tri bar - the gear cable running through it was the only thing stopping it falling out.

I completed the course about 30 seconds slower than my season's best - most of which I put down to bike handling - or an in ability to!  Average power was good showing that I still have some good form.

Nick Despres Blog site - Nick Despres Wedding Photographer website

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Riding on the back of Bertha

For me Island Games qualification came down to having to get a result ideally in the top 4 in the last selection race of the season - the Pembroke Olympic Distance triathlon on 10th August.  I was as ready as I could be but just one thing hung like a shadow over the race and her name was Bertha.  

Tropical storm Bertha was a Category 1 Hurricane that still had plenty of energy by the time it reached our side of the Atlantic - fortunately Pembroke is a sheltered bay for westerly winds and swells but the strength of the wind still whipped up a decent chop and swell.  I came out of the swim well placed in 5th and then set about minimising losses on the bike.

Bertha tracks over the UK gusting to 108 mph
Riding the west coast was hazardous with storm debris littering the road and a gusty wind making bike handling sketchy - I'd put a spoked front wheel on the Boardman to give better control and provide a better braking surface for the wet conditions.  Battling the headwinds was one thing, but the strong tailwind and wet roads made the down wind return leg up the coast road scary - going into corners with way too much speed!  

Photo by Nick Despres Photogrpahy.

The bike went well and although I had dropped one place I was still in top 6.  Getting off the bike the legs felt pretty good and despite the lashing rain and squally wind I ran myself up to finish and 3rd place and secure my Island Games place.
Race results here.