Monday, 23 February 2009

Ice breaker 2-up TT report

Icebreaker numbers
Inside Drybridge HQ
Icebreaker route
Jez and I rode the icebreaker 2-up TT over in Ayrshire on Sunday. The preparation started a few days earlier when Jez, who stays on Islay, rode all the way to Edinburgh from his home. We met up in Linlithgow on Saturday and took a trip up to the Bike and Ski Clinic in Polmont to get a new 16-cog for my wheel, giving me a closer ratio to Jez's 84" gear.
Shop owner, Robin, was rushing off to the ballet (seriously!) but he still had time to make us a brew and have a blather while Tam swapped over the cog. Both bike mechanics stepped outside to gawp at what we were riding. They completely ignored my stunning bike and spent a good five minutes cooing over Jez's "beautiful" Bob Jackson, re-sprayed by www.freshtripe.co.uk, mainly I think, because it was a bit cleaner than mine.
On Sunday we arrived at Drybridge with enough time for a warm up and to find the start. In a personal triumph I remembered to bring some team toilet roll in case the locally sourced variety sold out - which it did!
Graeme Obree was spotted at the start chatting with riders and later we flashed by him as he marshalled at the first junction. You can't miss which direction he points because his hands are so big! In which other sport could you get one of the greatest ever sportsmen offering to marshal at a grass routes event?
We're planning to ride the Duo Normande 2-up TT in France later in the year so we need as much 2-up time as possible. Our race plan was to ride within ourselves so we could partice our through-and-off skills. We weren't using tri-bars or fancy wheels so our retro bikes looked slightly out of place next to the sleek carbon variety leaning up outside the HQ.
Our start time was at 10.am and we rolled up with plenty of time to spare. It was my first TT where there wasn't a pusher off, it didn't really make that much difference so I don't think it's completely necessary that we have one for the club's 10 TT series.
Straight away, we were nearly blocked in by a farmer, turning his tractor in the road, but managed to get round without any time loss, we quickly put this behind us and set to getting up to our planned 42 kmh.
The route was flat apart from two ramps off the dual carriageway, the first few miles were twisty as the route passed through a couple of RABs and we needed Mr Obree's help to point us in the right direction.
Once onto the dual carriageway we kept it tight and tried to be as consistent as possible, taking one minute turns on the front. The wind picked up towards the 2nd RAB and our wheels slowed as we rode up to turn. It was the only portion of the ride where we dropped below our target speed.
I wasn't using a speedo so found it difficult to keep a consistent speed on the new gear I was using. We were overtaken by a couple with all the aero kit, Jez had to stop me from chasing them down with a shout of "ride your own race." Towards the closing stages we managed to knock out a good rhythm and almost caught our two minute markers.
We crossed the line in 31st place with a time of 28.40, with both of us feeling pretty fresh and happy in the knowledge we could have gone faster. We gained valuable experience riding together which we can build on for events later on in the year.
Back in the event HQ you could see there had been a great turn out for this first TT of the year. We had a chance get a bite to eat and a cuppa and took in the relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Fullarton Wheelers ran a great event - many thanks to the organiser Willie Stephen, time keepers, marshals and helpers in the HQ.
Jim Cusick and Alan Thomson from Glasgow Couriers won with a 30.49.
When we got back to LInlithgow Jez gave me a master class in bicycle cleaning. Never again will I let my bike get into such a sorry mess again!
Jez shares a blog with David Harmon about their fixed wheel exploits in preparatin for the London to Paris ride.
Jez clean 2

3 comments:

JMC said...

Brilliant article Matt, jeez that Duo Normand is a top event too, hope you get some good pics and article at that as well.

Peace>JMC

SparkyP said...

Great run guys...

28.40-were the official figures wrong (Edit required)

Mark

Matthew Ball said...

dunno sparky, I copied the times that Grant posted on the forum.