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Sunday, 29 May 2011

Rob Jefferies

Where do I start?
You walk into a room and you don't know anyone. You are nervous, insecure, a little bit on edge.
You see a familiar face, instant calm, relax and feeling a lot better. This was the impact that Rob had with me.
I came to time trialing via triathlon, always keen but never taking it particularly seriously, and thought that it would be a great way to improve my skills. As a non-member of Poole Wheelers at the time I was always a little nervous turning up to these club events, signing in with sweaty palms and not saying a right lot, not wanting to embarrass myself infront of some serious bits of bike kit and riders! And along comes Rob, one of the first people to speak to me and I instantly felt at ease. Easy going, relaxed and genuiney interested in what I had to say.
It brought me into the club, I decided to join up formally, buy myself a skinsuit; and the last two seasons as a Poole Wheeler have seen me go from strength to strength.

When Rob asked me to ride a 2-up with him last year I jumped at the chance. Here was a very experienced guy who was happy to put his faith in someone who hadn't ridden one before and I was honoured that he thought I was up to the task. And I can assure you I was damn nervous when we turned up to ride on the day. We had a trial ride a few days before and I was trashed from a heavy run and swim session the day before and a massive turbo session the day before that. I had no idea of how to ride as part of a 2 man team but Rob stuck by me, gave me some sound advice and we cobbled together a reasonable ride. On race day we had a couple of close incidents involving a bit of wheel touching, but we rode strong and I had the bit between my teeth, pushing as hard as I could to the end of a hard 25 miles. Race was the VTTA Wessex 25 2-Up TTT.
Rob and I were both knackered after that one but we both really enjoyed the experience and in the post-race endorphin rush we talked about some more in 2011 and getting me on the track with him and Bryce Dyer and another and having a go at team pursuiting. It was brilliant and I wanted to have another go.
So this year it has been great to see Rob again at the club and open TTs, see how he was getting some good results, and he would always ask after me and say well done having seen my results. We'd exchange the customary Facebook banter and emails. We had a chat on Wednesday at the Gallows Hill 10 and he looked so fresh afterwards I actually asked if he had been riding! And I wasn't joking!

And then the awful news on Friday morning. 10 minutes later it hit me and I am not ashamed to say that I sobbed. I am still upset now, and having read the massive amount of lovely tributes on the Poole Wheelers website and others I still struggle to hold back the tears. Rob was just one of those truly lovely human beings that have the knack of touching the lives of all those they know.
Rob made you want to do better, and for that he has my complete respect and admiration. Never forgotten.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Wessex 50

First effort at a 50 mile TT ended in a slightly disappointing 2 hrs and 3 secs. It was a very tough morning, out into a strong headwind, and even with a big tailwind, never seemed to make up for the time lost. I will have to remember that I don't have to run off the bike at the moment! Rode well within myself and finished with legs! That said, on the day I was 9th, picked up another team prize for Poole Wheelers with Terry Icke and Gary Dighton. Julian Jenkinson is absolute quality on a bike and took the win with a very impressive 1hr 49mins.
Results here

I have been looking at triathlons and keep seeing results posted and I quite fancy picking a race for July, that will give me 6 weeks to put in some quality hard training. The bike is there, swimming would come back after half a dozen sessions and that leaves me with running off the bike. A bit more speed work and I should be ok. Purbeck triathlon on 10th July looks a good bet, and it's only 30 quid to enter! 600m swim, 20 mile bike, 4.5 mile run. If I can swim 9 minutes for 600m and then nail the bike I might have a decent chance of coming away with a good result. I will give t some thought this week and see if I can plan in some training.

Saturday, 21 May 2011


So, another week goes by, and another PB on the bike! 25 mile TT on Wednesday evening, same course as Sunday, and much better riding conditions. 55' 12". Absolutely delighted with that ride, as not feeling 100%, a bit snotty and tired, and still not comfortable on the bike. I now have a sore lower back as a result of that ride. I was second on the night behind Gary Dighton who rode a solid 54' 17".

I have missed running this week and I haven't been in a pool for 10 days. I will concentrate solely on the bike for he next month but then I am going to find a triathlon for August and get some run miles in my legs and some pool time. Biking is remarkably good seeing as I haven't really done much in the way of specific training. Riding the TTs, the occasional easy ride and that's about it. Leading the Forest Fit sessions gets me plenty of exercise and keeps me in reasonable shape, so at least I am not far off the pace. Should take me about 4-6 weeks of solid tri training to get me ready for a race. So no rush! Just enjoying what I'm doing at the moment, all good fun!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

25 mile TT

Sunday, BDWCA 25 mile open time trial. I am going there with the intention of riding as hard as I possibly can and giving it my all, and see if I can come away with a prize. Feeling strong on the bike, had two very good rides last week which have been great confidence boosters. Hopefully if I ride well I can be part of a winning team. Gary Dighton and Terry Icke are both riding, so we stand a good chance of picking up a team award.
I rode out for an hour on Sunday and 90 minutes yesterday, just steady miles in my legs. I will ride again today, and go out for a run later, just 30-40 minutes to keep the legs in some sort of run shape.
What I'm struggling with at the moment, is finding time to get in a swimming pool! Busy with work and fitting in what I can, swimming has taken a back seat at the moment. Not so much of a problem as traithlon is not high on my prioirity list this year. But, I actually really enjoy swimming and am missing having a dip! Only chance is late in the evenig, but it's quite tiring after a long day.
Yestersay was the first evening of Forest Fit, 6:30pm at the Sika Trail, Wareham Forest. Brilliant! 21 people turned up to train. Great fun!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

2nd by a second

10 mile TT last night on a very windy evening. Wareham to Wool and back. ANd boy it was a tough ride. Had to dig deep and I was glad I did. Maybe I should have dug just a touch deeper!!!
But I gave it all I could and finished 1 second behind Gary Dighton, Terry Icke in 3rd, 6 seconds back with Leighton Girling in 4th, anothe r6 seconds behind Terry. It's great fun to be in the mix in these events and I seem to have a found a little extra from somewhere. Let's hope I can hold onto it!!
Results on the Poole Wheelers's website.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

New Laces

Out for a run yesterday and moving lots better, only 30 minutes and felt tired but my legs are moving a lot freer and ankle is shaping up well. Still a bit of stiffness in my calf as a result, but loads better.
So time to think about some races. Biking-wise I am doing a 25 mile TT on the 15th and 50 mile TT on the 22nd May. I think a triathlon in June might have to be done if I can get in some swimming over the next 4 weeks.
New laces now needed, and going for Lock elastic ones. I have got on with those great over the last few years and I have found them cheap on Amazon. If anyone wants some then just click on the ad on the right hand side of this page.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Race Across America

Good friend and elite triathlete James Gilfillan is embarking on a new challeng this year and taking part in the Race Across America( RAAM). He is competing as part of a four man team. Each rider takes 2 hour turns and rests inbetween, as they attempt to cover over 3000 miles in as fast a time as possible!
Here is the team's website. Please have a look and support the team if you can.

27km TT

So I rode out to this one feeling alittle tired after a long weekend, and rubbish sleep thanks to a moaning 2 year old!
I did manage a two hour ride on the Sunday, bagged 42 miles in that time, nice comfortable ride out in windy weather. So I was not feeling in best form on the start line and the warm up felt laboured and my breathing was hard.
The Gallows Hill course round Bovington, Moredon and Wool is a testing ride, a bit of everything thrown in, technical turns and a very fast downhill section, poor road surface and a very tough last 4 miles drag up a ridiculously tiny uphill gradient, the kind of one you would never ever notice in a car, but on a bike it hurts!
So off I set with a very strong crosswind blowing slightly from behind and after 500 yards straight into a very fast downhill section. I was all over the place, wind catching the disc and doing it's best to try and unseat me! hit 40 mph with me feathering the brakes, sat up and hanging on for life as a lorry sped past in the opposite direction making things even more interesting. Then things settled a bit and I got into something of a rhythmn, but it wasn't really until into a headwind that I felt safe! And that was with 10 miles gone! Another bit of a drag up the Wareham Road and then a very sharp left into Puddletown Road and so began the last drag. Thankfully it was a bit sheltered down here and not as bad as I thought it might be and I dug in to finish in a very respectable 38'20 something time. 2nd on the day behind Paul Jones in 37' 20something and the in-form Leighton Girling was a minute back in 3rd.
Well, I managed to find some legs from somewhere. We all agreed it was a tough morning, very difficult riding conditions. And I'll settle for that result. On the 22nd May I am having a bash at the Wessex RC 50 mile TT. Under 2 hours and I'll be happy with that. The way I am riding at the moment, and now finding some form, I should go well.
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