Senin, 12 Desember 2011

Time Trialing

To be honest, for me Triathlon is all about the bike. The only reason I got into it in the first place is because I am a bit big framed to be a fast runner and I have disproportionately strong legs (compared to the rest of my body) so I figured I could be handy on a bike. I can still remember a couple of years ago, when I bought my first bike since the road accident I had ten year's before, asking if for a Mountain Bike that was also good for Triathlon. They didn't take advantage of my obvious naïvité and sold me a decent Mountain Bike, patiently explaining that I needed a road bike - or what I used to call a "racer" - to ride in Triathlons. (Of course, there are such things as off road Triathlons but that's another story).

When I was buying the road bike I discovered that there were two kinds of Triathlon: those that permitted drafting and those that didn't and that, potentially, you needed a different bike for each although you could make do with one. But I wasn't interested in swimming or seeing how fast I could run off a bike, for that matter; what I was really looking for was a Time Trial in Spain. I imagined there must be loads of them up and down the country, just as there are in the UK - bike races where you are not allowed to draft off anyone in front of you and it is just you against the clock. For some reason there don't appear to be any such competitions in Spain for non-professionals.

I recently asked a friend who organizes Triathlons whether he fancied organizing a Time Trial in Spain, which surelly should be at least three times easier and cheaper. He said that that the Federación Ciclista expressly disallowed Time Trials run for profit. I wonder if you could get around this absurd restriction by obliging all competitors to run 100m to mount their bikes and calling it a Duathlon. Or perhaps one could be organized for charity? It seems a shame to me and perhaps goes some way to explaining why Spain dominates in Road Racing but not in Time Trialing or Pursuit. It's also probably due to the fact that road racers are generally smaller and lighter than time trialers as the main resistance they have to overcome is not that of the air but that of gravity.

I've sent an email to the Federación Ciclista Madrileña asking whether there are any Time Trials open to amateur "age groupers" like myself, and what the entry requirements would be. Still, I miss the grass roots amateur racing that exists in the world of running. I've also been trying to find out whether there is a velodrome reasonably near me and so far, all I have found out is that the only one in Madrid is in a state of disrepair. What Spain needs is a Cristóbal Hoy...

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