Sunday, January 7, 2007

7-1-07 TT 29.59. Splits 6.48, 14.26. Mild southerly but sunny – I find heat more debilitating than cold. I chased some guy up – he had about a minute start – but blew out and he pulled away. My head wasn’t focused and I was relying on my body, which wasn’t up to much. My lower-back hurt. In the end I eased off and was lucky to make the road under 30. Ran into James Graham at the top – he of an unforgettable midwinter ride round the Karapoti when we just about froze and I nearly hit a motorbike in the gorge (I was so cold I just shut my eyes and somehow he avoided me). We headed to the Sanctuary, the Windmill, down Car Parts and Planet, then I went up through Brooklyn and down Happy Valley Rd home.

3-1-07 TT 28.41. Splits 6.48, 14.08. Steady southerly. With Ben Wilde – this time he gave me a minute’s start, but blew up. (I usually push harder if my splits are OK, otherwise I ease off.) Down Red Rocks – all climbs cleaned first pop plus descent – round coast and home. Ben tells me that John Randal went up last Sunday (31st, strong southerly) in 22.45, and then went down and did it again in 23 something-or-other! That’s impressive. We debate whether John might be able to break Simon Kennett’s record of 20 min flat set in 1997. No backpack could gain him a minute or more, and a light bike – like Simon’s Schwinn - could also gain him a minute – so maybe? However, the law of diminishing returns says that once you’re going as flat out, it takes a whole heap more effort to go even a teensy bit faster. He would still need to lose 2.45. Depends how blown out he was after 22.45. The second time of 23 soemthing would suggest hardly at all!

There is plenty of debate over Simon’s TT record. There’s little doubt that people have gone faster – Tim Wilding, who won the race earlier this year from the Owhiro Bay car park up the TT to the Golfball – I think his time was around 24 something? – must have been under 20 for the TT portion. Also, Trevor Woodward’s 18.52 up to the top barrier – was it from the bottom gate or the second barrier? - would probably have put him close to, if not under, 20 mins as well, but for our purposes the distance is bottom gate to sealed road. The track conditions are good and getting better at the moment, thanks to the smoothing of the initially terrible grading done in Nov last year. A few more water bars have been added, which slow you down, but otherwise the record is just waiting to fall.

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