The Push Hog Legacy: Stage 7 – Hull Thursday Newbald TT

The Newbald TT (Time Trial) is an event run by Hull Thursday Road Club, a local cycling club who also organised the Big G. I actually went along to cheer on a few of my colleagues when the event was run earlier in the year, only for the time trial to be abandoned due to the poor weather. But hearing the event was been re-run on 21st August, I duly forgot to go, so found myself on the start line a full 2 days late on 23rd August.

If I were a big shot then I might have driven to the starting point, but I’m not, so I cycled the seven or eight miles from Beverley to the start line at the junction with Wold Road and Littlewood Lane. The course runs anti clockwise towards North Newbald along Beverley Road, then goes up Burgate Hill and then returns to the start along Littlewood Road. The route is just over 8 miles in length, with the fastest time recorded at the time trial two days earlier been 21 minutes and 5 seconds.

Before I set off I gave myself a target of 30 minutes, that would be averaging 16mph, but I knew to do that I’d have to ride clever. I split the course into 3 sections, the first from the start to North Newbald would have to be at the average speed, followed by the climb up Burgate where I would lose time, only to make it up on the last section, Littlewood Lane. Sorted.

With my plan at the back of my mind, I set off like a bat out of hell, I’m not sure what came over me, but before long I was travelling along the flat Wold Road at 25mph. In no time at all I reach the junction with Beverley Road, where I slow to take a left turn, before accelerating again, only this time I never quite reached the heady heights of 25mph, struggling to get over 16mph – This was not going to plan.

This particular section of road is very undulating and quite difficult to get a rhythm going, but I peddle on and push myself hard towards a fast section of road named ‘Mount Pleasant Drop’ on Strava. At this point the road leads steadily down hill, before dropping more steeply towards a left hand bend, the road the levels out again, but any momentum gained lasts for over a mile afterwards, so I have targeted this as a critical section of road.

Cycling as hard as my chubby legs can take me, I rise over Walkington Heads and begin to accelerate towards the steep section. I hit the slope fast, possibly 35mph plus, feathering my front break, I round the left handed and give it some beans. As I hit Mount Pleasant Drop I’m doing a steady 35mph, the road undulates and is covered in bits of gravel and hardcore, but I keep going. I begin to tire and slow as the road rises, but I’m pleased with my progress as I ride towards North Newbald.

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As I speed into Newbald I know that the first section is ahead of schedule and feeling confident I take a left hand turn onto Townend Road, a residential street with a nasty little hill, which leads nicely onto Burgate Hill. Putting my bike in a low gear before rounding the corner is a stroke of genius, as I begin to climb hard and out of my saddle.

Once at the peak of Townend Road, a left turn takes me into Burgate where I begin to climb up the first section of the steep hill. Trying to keep my momentum going is hard work and I feel myself flagging, but despite myself I keep going and before long the road begins to level out and I get my first chance for a sip of my drink.

Soon the next section of the climb appears and now really struggling I begin to slow and it’s not long before I am just crawling up the hill. I knew this section would be tough, I had allocated myself 12 minutes for the climb, but at this rate that’s not looking likely. I keep going and finally reach the final climb, I summon all of my energy, but it’s no good, I’m spent.

Limping up to the junction with Littlewood Road, I make the left hand turn, but instead of putting down the hammer on this long down hill section, all I can do is cruise. Littlewood Lane is a single track country lane, with a quite rough surface, so my long ride to the finish is uncomfortable for a number of reasons. As I approach the finish line, I make the final up hill section look much harder than it actually is, as I limp home in a disappointing 32 minutes 20 seconds.

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With my tale firmly between my legs I limp home towards Beverley having cycled just shy of 20 miles. I’ll be back again to put right the wrongs, after all the first half of the time trial went better than expected, I just need to learn to climb, that’s all!

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Total Distance Covered: 142 miles

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