The course I choose for my debut was 10 miles, with a target time of 30 minutes. I have often ridden the roads so I had an idea what it would be like. Pacing was the main unknown. Going too fast at the start could mean I'd be exhausted quickly. But not pushing enough would also produce a slow time.
There is more I could do to the bike and what I wear; but that's for another day. And will depend on how seriously I take it. This time I just wanted to see what's involved. The season will finish before I can attend my second event.
Arriving early to sign in and do a warm-up ride helped control the nerves. Russell, Oxted CC chairman, was also competing. He does a lot of these and took me through the prep. A ride around the course to stretch the legs and open the lungs. It gave me a chance to checkout the lanes, paying attention to the junctions. I didn't do too bad, posting a time of 28:59.
How do I improve it?
I was at my max heart rate for nearly 90% of the time.
So I can't increase that very much.
There are eight junctions; I could attack them harder. And accelerate out faster.
The human body causes most of the drag so a lower profile position is more aerodynamic. A bike designed for speed would also be an advantage.
Stronger legs would get me up to speed faster, and allow a higher gear. As would a lighter bike.
It seems like I'm talking myself into buying another bike doesn't it? That will have to wait for quite some time, unless a premium bond number comes up.
For now I will work on free improvements: strength, position and technique.