A niche cycling discipline that I’ve dabbled in, acquired a taste for, and am now hooked on.
I’ve always admired a rider with the ability to hold high speeds and tolerate the extended periods of pain needed to maintain them.
I may not be a big guy with huge power output, but I’ve got enough of an engine to give those dudes a run for their money on the hilly circuits. And I’m hoping as the year progresses I’ll get quicker on the flatter circuits, too. A target of mine in the coming months is to push my 20 minute power / FTP further than ever before. Then build on top of that for specific hill climb strength towards the end of the year.
“A Time Trial every day. Against myself. Against the elements.”
In many way Time Trialling is where I started. Back in 2012 I would go out every day (rain, wind, or shine) on the same 27 mile loop. I would ride as fast as I could, ever day. My average speed wasn’t very impressive back then. I could only manage about 18mph and I would be absolutely buggered by the time I got home. But I loved it.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of pushing yourself to go faster and faster on a bicycle. When your legs are screaming STOP! But you head refuses to listen. I love the whole mind-over-matter aspect of cycling.
So it’s no surprise I’ve taken to Time Trialling in a big way. I suppose I’m just a bit of a geek at heart and Time Trialling is the perfect balance of applying science to physical activity. There are endless combinations of equipment, tactics, and training opportunities. Countless charts to interpret, and graphs to plot. For some, training with a power meter and analysing every detail of your cycling performance in some way lessens the enjoyment of riding your bike.
For me half of the enjoyment is looking at my current abilities, my diet, my position on the bike, or the training I’m doing. Assessing my weakness’ and where I can improve. Then setting and achieving goals. That’s (almost) as satisfying as winning a race…
And what else am I supposed to do on a rest day?!
“It’s just two equally shiny sides of the same coin.”
Don’t get me wrong. I love a good cafe spin as much as the next guy. I just don’t think putting a power meter on my bike and riding around trying to hit numbers or stay in a certain zone spoils the enjoyment. For me, it enhances the complete experience. On – and off – the bike.
This is the first year I’ve Time Trialled competitively. I did a couple of early hilly courses on my road bike as a warm-up for future events and a good day of training. Having caught the bug though, I went on the hunt for my perfect time trial bike. And I found it in the shape of a Specialized S-Works Shiv TT. With one previous owner, who just happened to be a professional on one of the biggest World Tour teams; Tinkoff Saxo.
TrainerRoad Webinar on Time Trialling
TrainerRoad has a great Webinar roundtable discussion on Time Trialling. Check it out below, it’s quite long but great to have on in the background (as there’s not much to watch!).