Bristol Triathlon Course – Fastest Ride along the Portway Ever!
As we were in Bristol for the weekend I decided to take my biking and running kit and meet up with Jay, Brad and Mike for a little ride and run around the Bristol Triathlon course. Brad, Mike and myself will be doing the Bristol Triathlon in July so we thought it would be good to see where it went.
So, after a 3 hour drive to Bristol and a quick stop at my parents house near Wotton-Under-Edge, where I left Anna and Morgan, I headed into Bristol and parked in Ashton outside our old house. The others soon turned up on what was a cool, dry morning that was perfect for a bike ride. We headed around to the docks and the likely spot for the transition area. We stopped to look at the water and as we were stood there chatting there was a sudden “pfoooosh” sound as my back tyre suddenly deflated. Not a great start, but I soon replaced the tube and we headed off for a leisurely ride around the course.
The route for the sprint distance triathlon consists of two laps out and back along the Portway. We couldn’t do it exactly because on the day the road will be closed and we’ll end up coming back along the wrong side of the road. Instead we just rode up to the lights at Sylvan Way and then back down the other side. We met back up after one lap and decided to do the next as a Time Trial, setting off at 30 second intervals.
Brad went first, followed by Jay, Mike and then me at the back. I got held up by a few cars crossing the little swing bridge but as I pulled out onto the Portway, I tucked in behind a huge lorry and started what was to become an amazing tow along the Portway. I was soon up to 25 mph without any effort and flew past Mike without even pedalling, but with one arm in the air going ‘Wooohooo’. The lorry was providing me with a perfect slipstream and it was slowly increasing speed. It slowed a little at Bridge Valley Road but then continued to increase speed and I soon flew past Jay and was now up around 30-35 mph and it was all so easy.
Then came the best bit, once onto dual carriageway I lost the lorry at around 40mph, but was still obviously flying along, Brad was just up the road, so I was down on my aero bars, there was no sight of the lorry and I rocketed past Brad at well over 35mph on a very slight incline. He had no idea that I’d had a tow from the lorry and simply saw me absolutely blitz past him. By now I was giggling uncontrollably just at the thought if what must be going through Brads mind. He later said he just couldn’t believe it. He was thinking he was going really well, he hadn’t been caught by anyone yet and felt as though he was going pretty fast when from nowhere I just appeared and the disappeared into the distance at speeds that he thought were impossible on a bike. He was completely shocked by it and couldn’t comprehend how someone could go so fast. If only he’d known.
Needless to say, the ride back along the portway wasn’t quite so quick and I was still giggling about it when I got back.
After the ride, Brad and I went for a run along the triathlon course as well. I did the 5k out and back route twice whilst Brad did it once. Judging by the bike and run routes, it should be quite a fast race, although I won’t be getting quite such a helping hand from a lorry on the day.