Anyone who regularly commutes to work on a bike does it, no matter how hard they might try not to, the commuter time trial, the CTT. Before we know it, we’re aiming for the first checkpoint, especially if the traffic’s kind to you, or you just find yourself with good legs. A PB? Apply a large dose of “The Five”, and push on.
Today was one of those days…….
It didn’t start too well as I got slightly baulked by the traffic on Innage Road. This cleared and I was soon spinning along on Haughton Lane. The legs felt pretty good, but it was too soon to think too far ahead. The crucial part of the ride was upon me. It might only look like a small rise, but the Haughton Road cutting is key to determining a good time. I hit it quite hard, and as I came over the rise I glanced down down at my V-meter. A shade over 5:30, very promising. Checkpoint 1 is officially designated as the lamppost on cycle path that crosses Junction 4 of the M54. Anything Sub 9 mins is good, and 8:08 was a new PB but some distance!
Thanks to a very courteous driver in a quite lovely Porsche 997 I made it across the junction with no hold ups, and I was soon heading to Checkpoint 2, the bridge that crooses the M54 alongside DHL. The uphill drag along Stafford Park 7 often suffers a block headwind, but not today and I was easily holding 25km/h plus. Checkpoint 2 passed in 13:05, another PB. It was well and truly on!
Phase 3 of my CTT is the best bit by far. Fast, a little dangerous truth be told, but when done properly very exhilarating. As I joined the A5, a long queue of traffic was backed up all the way from the Hollinswood interchange, and the lights were on red. Perfect.
Passing all the glum looking people sat in their tin boxes, it’s always difficult not to feel smug, and to appreciate what it is to be a cycling commuter.
As I closed in on the lights they went green, one last final effort. Across the island in a blur, the final set of lights was all that stood before me and a PB. Five metres from the lights they went red. Fuck it, head down and I was on my way up the hill to the Asda Island. 15:03 at the top, it was in the bag. As I pulled up in the car park I looked down, 15:28!!! A massive PB.