Three weekends and Three time trials. I've never done so many time trials in my life before. Anyway first off was the Black Isle grand prix. This event is not your average tt with a distance of 38 miles involving four crossings over the spine of the Black Isle. There was no gentle breaking in either as the start was straight into the climb up the Fairy glen taking riders to the furthest East point at Cromarty. Next was Mount High and at over two miles distance this is a mean climb. Third kick was a very short but steep Mount Eagle. A well needed descent over the other side to Culbokie had me overtaking the commisaires car as he hadn't quite realised my speed on the descent! The last climb over Knockbain had me cramping up which wasn't the best but thankfully I managed to get rid of it pretty quick. All that was left was to gun it along a slightly uphill stretch to the finish in Fortrose.
This was my first time at the BIGP but it all seemed to fall into place for me on the day and I was good enough to take 8th place and a cheeky wee win in the handicap.
The following weekend was the Iain Longbotham Memorial 25 mile tt. Iain was a Firefighter with me in Inverness and a very good time trialist. Sadly Iain passed away eight years ago with a rare form of cancer. I've always said I should ride this race because of the link but I've never got round to it until this year. Quite shocking but I'm no flat time trialist as I was about to find out. Conditions on the morning were glorious with not a breath of wind on either leg which didn't make things easy. I turned in a 1.05.15 for my first ever flat 25 which I suppose isn't too bad considering the other eighteen riders in front of me were all on tt bikes. It's not my scene though, Too painfull!
As is customary now is the presentation to the fastest Inverness Firefighter and this year I managed to take it by the very smallest of margins(only two seconds in it) from my old gaffer Ross Nixon who took great delight in presenting me with the Highland Firefighter polystyrene cup.
It was back to the Black Isle for my time trial farewell at the Munlochy two up. I paired up with my usual time trial partner Donnie Macdonald. We were pretty evenly matched after only seven seconds seperated us at the recent BIGP. The course was two and a half laps around the Munlochy area giving a distance of 21 miles. Again we were lucky with the weather it was cool with only light winds and this no doubt made for good going.
We kept it steady to finish in 6th place behind winners and former Commonwealth games riders Kenny Riddle and James Millar and there was another bonus waiting for us in the second handicap prize.
It was good fun and hopefully good training for the upcoming cross season but I'm back to riding the dirt now and thankfully I've not experienced any withdrawal symptoms yet.
See you out on the trails...........