A Journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single step

Chippenham Wheeler Sporting Time Trial 10 Mile Sporting TT

First ever Time Trial – Sporting 10 mile 4 April. 'Sporting' means it's not flat.

This would be my first ever time trial and I had no idea what to expect, would I see a constant stream of people whizzing past me, or would I be able to hold my own and post a reasonable time?
Perhaps I did not prepare in the best way for this evening event, having cycled into Swindon for work from Whitley (26 miles) and gone for a short run at lunchtime (3 miles) and then cycled the 16 miles back to Sutton Benger for 18:00. At least I was ‘warmed up’!
I spoke with John Lewis at the start area and we had a discussion about who would be slowest, both of us convinced that we would be slower than the other. I left my rucksack I had cycled from work with in his car to collect when we finished.
I then spoke to Mark Hanby about how his training was going for the UK Duathlon team and saw that he was to start 3 minutes after me, so I knew I would see him pass me later on.
I rode slowly up to then start on the rise up to the motorway bridge; somehow John has missed his starting slot so he passed me his car keys for when I got back.
There were quite a few people out possibly because it was a nice evening, but standing around on the bridge my starting slot I got a bit cool in my short sleeve tee shirt.
I remembered to change into a higher gear than I would normally start off in, after all this was a Time Trial and speed was the key, and launched off across the bridge.
This was quite new for me, racing on my own. I have only raced in running races before when even on the long ones there is normally someone in sight. The only people I saw initially were the marshals, pointing in the direction to go in, always a reassuring sight.

At a few points I did find myself grinding up some rises, but they were all mercifully short. I was even freewheeling at one point, not uphill! And maybe next time I should just change up and keep pushing on, I’m sure this would make a difference to my time.

It must have been around the 8 mile mark when the first rider passed me, it was Mark, he cannot have been trying all that hard because he said ‘hello Colin’! Then not long after that I was passed by number 18, who must have started 5 minutes after me. Luckily I crossed the finish line before the rush of more people passing, there were a couple of people close behind who would have passed me very soon.

I rode back to Queens Field with Mark and got my rucksack from John’s car, then headed off to the club. I really should have looked at the most direct way there.
I had checked the best way to get to the start and where the route went, but had omitted check the route from Sutton Benger to the club. In consequence I rode about 1.5 miles further than I needed to, not far but it was getting darker.

All in all though, I was pleased with my performance. In my 52 mile ride to work and back I had managed to incorporate a 10 mile TT with and average of 18.7 mph, which is faster that I have ridden 10 miles before.