5 miles

As this Principality is embraced by a heatwave, and we see daytime temperatures soar to 32C - I am happy with my day job in a heavily air conditioned office, out of the heat. I, am not a fan. It's nice and stuff - however I perspire profusely as business as usual, so in this - well - I struggle.

Leaving the office at the end of the day there are a few paces of acclimatisation in the hallway, and then, as the door opens you are hit with a blast of air akin to opening the fan oven door. The sudden gradient is unwelcome - almost dazing.

So obviously this was the natural choice - to decide slightly too late, and have to rush over to Denbigh to take part in the VC Melyd & Rhly CC time trial season, a five mile course - sprint if you will - and my first in what must be a decade.

Not riding enough, out of shape, over weight, weak of shoulder, numb of arm, non TT bike, last proper ride two weeks ago, suffer with warm weather let alone hot - what a coming together of the perfect storm.

Having acquired enough change (my first unintentional but none the less welcome / convenient obstacle to participation) to sign on and take #1 it was just a matter of finding out where the start and finish where.

Emptying my pockets of all but phone, wallet, and puncture repair paraphernalia - I rolled up to the start - by this time as warmed up as I was likely to get having ridden to the start in a hurry and the now 28C temperature.
Opting not to get a push off, and clipping up after the "10 seconds, 5 seconds, 3-2-1-Go!" - and peddling away in a comedy gear and freewheeling down the first hill taking in Tom warming up on rollers... very serious. The first two bends were upon me, and I thought I had best get on with this.

The skies, blue, the wind warm, and no real sense of whether it was against me or with me - just a lot of thick, mouth drying air to cut through - and the joy of the hill ahead.

Resisting the temptation to hunker down - and resting my arm when I could (it had been a bad arm day following Easters broken shoulder blade) - I sat up and made my way steadily up the hill at towards the roundabout turn of Llandurnog as I am passed by my minuteman. Around the roundabout, and then down the other side.

The route back must have been into wind. Technically shorter, but seemed to be taking an age, as I was watching the #2 who had passed me at the turn slowly slowly slip away - sleek of bike, disk of wheel, pointy of hat. Army free I waved / acknowledged the oncoming riders.

As the huddled group of fluorescent jackets came into view for the finish I was quite happy to roll across the finish shouting out the number on my back... "ONE!".

Returning to the start I realized I had committed some form of sacrilege - in one way I was quite pleased with myself - as I was comfortable, okay, able to speak, sweating no more than I was earlier... and in another I realized that I was open to be struck down by the Gods of Time Trialling for not trying to bury myself along the route with an all out effort.

Well stuff them I say!

Sure - I came DFL (Dead ... Last) by around 30 seconds - but I was there. I was riding. I enjoyed the route. I enjoyed seeing others busting a gut. Given exertion comfortable I could have done a lot better.

The first evening TT in a decade I should think, and I enjoyed it. This is important.

The ride there was pretty tough, the ride back saw a swathe of PB's on a commonly ridden route... this was in fact far more epic - much fun.

Power good for a one armed fat guy, and heart rate - needlessly pleased with. Its surprising (to me) - despite the noticeable spike in the terrain - how I managed to keep that on the figure I picked.... clearly old habits die hard.



I am a long way - many years, and many miles from the tester of days gone by. But I am a different person. Less power, and far lighter... but the bit that enjoys it - is still very much alive and well... and curiously happy with not taking it too seriously resulting in a last place. Happy days.... and a good choice. Yay.



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