Beginner cyclist Karen Jaggs has been following the Health and Fitness for Cyclists training plan since spring, now she has a taste of her first time trial.

Picture the scene… a balmy evening in Dorset. Somewhere near Ringwood an elite group of athletes gather for a weekly ritual – a 10 mile time trial past lush green countryside, rolling hills and a rather scenic lake or two.

Now, I was rather excited about this little treat having been aiming for such an event for a while. Following strict instructions from super coach, aka Michelle, my preparations went well all week and I arrived eager to get started. However, all excitement promptly flew out the window to be replaced by sheer panic when I saw the scene that greeted me.

Stack loads of slick athletes, all in team gear warming up on turbo trainers with VERY expensive bikes and super fast helmets. My aim to go as fast as I could and burn up the tarmac was promptly replaced with a simple wish to not fall off, take too long to clip in or embarrass myself or Michelle in front of soooo many people.

After a shaky start, made worse by new tri bars which have resulted in more than a few wobbles, I zoomed off and it was over before I knew it. I was pleasantly surprised with my time but eager to try and improve it.

Yes, I managed to hit just about every pot hole or patch of gravel I’d made a mental note to avoid on the pre-ride drive round but hey we can’t all be perfect and it gives me something to work on in the future. Oh and the view, what view? I can’t say I took any of it in – pure concentration.

Anyway, I didn’t come last, but everyone was really friendly and you’re only racing yourself so its all good fun. Can’t wait for the next one…

Karen Jaggs