So today was my first 50 mile TT! 50 miles isn’t such a long way to ride; I mean I’ve even done that much without even stopping for cake before! I’ve even ridden road races that were over 50 miles, however, as I found out it’s quite different to race it on your own on a TT bike!
The event was the Ferryhill Wheelers 50. The course (T502/2) runs along the A19 and A168 from Crathorne, past Northallerton and Thirsk and then turns close to Ripon at the A1(M) junction.
I have to admit I was pretty apprehensive about this race. I knew 50 miles was a long way to race and the route runs along some pretty busy dual carriageway, which is pretty different to most of the courses I’ve ridden this year. I was also a bit unsure about eating/drinking; other than the odd sip I don’t usually bother on a 25. In the end I ended up downing 3 gels and a large bottle, so I’m glad I had plenty with me.
The ride was pretty wet right through, but just about started dry. The first 25 miles was good, in fact it felt a little too good to be true. As I approached the rather disconcerting ‘Motorway Traffic Only’ signs that meant the turn must have been close I was averaging 45kmh, which is a healthy, if not amazing speed on my local 10. The turn consisted of 3 traffic Islands and was a little slow, but they were soon done. Just after the turn I hit a headwind and was expecting to grind to a comparative halt, however, I pushed on hard for a bit and realised that it had actually been tough more due to the slight drag.
At just before the 30 mile mark I was feeling good and then disaster struck. I heard a click and my right foot suddenly felt all wrong. After a bit of diagnosis whilst rolling slowly I realised than my Speedplay pedal had come off the axle and I now had the pedal attached to my shoe and just the axle sticking out of my crank! I immediately thought I would DNF, but then tried to hook the pedal back on and realised I could pedal. It wasn’t great, but overall it can’t have cost me that much time (I’d like to say 10 minutes or something, but alas I expect 90 seconds is more likely!); negotiating the last few turns to the finish was fun. This was almost certainly related to my recent re-greasing maintenance of them, more than a coincidence!
I ended with a time of 1:48:30, which I have to admit I was delighted with. I’d probably have taken 1:55 given it was my first ever 50 if it had been offered to me before (I’m glad I didn’t!). It’s clearly a fast course, Joel Wainman (Team Swift) finished with a fantastic 1:39:30 and won by quite some distance. That really is a good ride and although you really can’t compare such things it was faster than his 4th place in the BDCA 50 mile event that saw Matt Bottril break the 50 mile competition record (thanks to Tejvan Pettinger for his (as ever) great write-up and also congrats for his 3rd place in this high class event!).
Strava action here.
Below is a terrible snap of the results sheet. I think I was about 5th on the day. Many thanks the Ferryhill Wheelers for putting on a great, friendly event. The cake at the end was very nice and made up for the rain!
So 100 miles next! Well maybe, not this season though!