Today I took my first ride out for 2011 on the road bike and I felt brave enough to fix aerobars onto the handlebars. The bars shown below came with the bike when I bought it second hand through e-bay but I hadn’t got the bottle to try them so they were removed. With the duathlon taking place on a car racing circuit I am expecting it to be devoid of pot holes and traffic lights so it will be worth me getting a bit more aerodynamic and resting on the bars for the longer straights at least. The problem with using the bars is that you have to commit to a particular gear and you are much more vunerable as you cannot instantly pull on the brakes.
This morning I was resting on them as soon as I crossed Heywood Road and with the roads being quiet around 7am I didn’t feel at all nervous. The lights at Sheepfoot Lane broke my flow and for the next few miles I stayed away from them as I took on the majority of my 500mls of SIS PSP22 which I needed to refuel from the run prior to the ride.
I ran my usual 3k circuit before riding. At the first kilometre split I was disappointed to hear silence in place of the audio coach or ‘digital bint’ as I affectionately call her. I guessed that I had gone off a bit to quick but despite slowing on the 2nd and 3rd kilometres each was still under 4 minutes which is what I had wanted.
Transition to the bike was steady but efficient and my bike legs didn’t notice any ill effects from the running effort that had warmed them up nicely. Without the coach or speedo/trip computer, the pace of my ride was as blind as my run. I used the aerobars for the first third of the climb up Heywood Old Road but needed to return to the handle bars to start swinging my shoulders around as I honked to the summit. The downhill on the aerobars was fun and I was also able to hold a steady cadence in a high gear for a little longer than usual because of the bars.
I did a bit of off road as Pilsworth Road and the Harry Hill cycleway was dug up but after the frustrations of moderating my pace to suit the terrain I hit top speed though Pilsworth, past Asda and on to Croft Lane. The time for the 19k circuit was under 40 minutes which pleased me.
The 2nd transition was slow as it involved dressing my son but we ran a final kilometre together round the block and I let him beat me with a sprint finish down Orford Road.