Following my New Year's Day adventures, I haven't done as much bike racing as I hoped I would this year. I was away In Norway all of June for work, and then the Stockport Clarion evening time-trials took a break during July. However, the last three Monday evenings I've been out on the Chelford 10-mile course, in an attempt to get some race fitness for next week's hill climb on the Cat and Fiddle. My aim was to get under 28 minutes for 10 miles, which is pretty modest. After a horrible day in the first event, where I was recovering from a migraine and should probably have stayed at home, I clocked 29:30 and wasn't optimistic. But the following week was better with 28:24, and last night I cracked it, just about, with 27:45. For the first time in these 10s, there were actually a couple of people slower than me. It was a good night, dry and sunny with a light headwind on the slightly longer outward leg, and times were generally fast-ish. There was a 21-minute ride, which is pretty quick for such a slow course.
Coming into Chelford on the homeward leg, there was an electronic sign that gives a read-out of your speed. I was grovelling up the slight incline at a bare 21 mph, so the days when I could get under 25 minutes seem long ago. One of the other riders went through at 27 mph. Still, I felt good, and I'm looking forward to the Cat and Fiddle next week.