Blog – ‘Aye champion!’ – Emma Coldwell


Emma Coldwell looks back at her first time trial of the 2015 season and how it felt all uphill

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Blog – ‘Aye champion!’ – Emma Coldwell

The 22nd February was a busy day. The first event of the year, a time trial on a freezing cold February morning on a rather lumpy course (v910). It wasn’t exactly my idea of fun but perhaps a good way to blow away the cobwebs!


It certainly did that! The wind was so strong it nearly blew me off my bike too. It seems like so long since I was last on the bars (the aero variety of course!) it took a while to get used to the twitchy handling under those conditions! Another white knuckle experience when the lorries thundered by!

I got to the start with 10 seconds to go, hardly enough time to compose myself and in my haste, stupidly forgot to press start on the Garmin! Bollocks! Usually an autopilot response in the last minute whilst clipping in! I set off at 10.52 perhaps a little too hard and then hit the long climb and many roundabouts.

Legs and lungs complaining at me and recalling this from last years racing, how it felt to have that conversation – or today, a bit of a fight with my body and more importantly my head!

Despite not altering my position on the bike since last season, I must have had a body transformation as it just did not seem to ‘fit’ and I felt like I was constantly falling off the front of my saddle! So in between pedalling circles, I was pushing butt too! Getting stuck at the roundabout at the half way point was frustrating but unavoidable – then the real push started as I realised I was way behind where I wanted to be.

This was hardly helped by the lack of Garmin lap time! My first blunder of the season. Another three roundabouts to contend with on the way back to the finish and in my head, I had imagined that after all the climbing, the reverse stretch should all be downhill – not so. Still lumpy – but how?! Some geographical abnormality perhaps?! Push, push, push, onto the last roundabout and then slightly too high a gear as I pushed hard on the last stretch to the finish.

I knew I hadn’t performed exceptionally well and to some degree I had been warned that I may not perform as well as I may hope, as most of the training recently has been working on my weaknesses, rather than in preparation for this pre season time trial.

Past the finish line at 11.17ish according to my Garmin – but no lap time to support it. I nearly had a heart attack when I first saw the board at the HQ. Someone must have found it hilarious to add 10 minutes to my already disappointing time. This was quickly remedied and my time of 26.50 added to the board. I would have liked to place a blanket over the board and find a way of distracting the growing number of people that were gathered around waiting for their results!

It was a tough day but with some great results for some, in particular Jo Blackburn from Team Swift who even managed to set a course record of 24.59 – nine seconds off the last course record. That was some riding – Chapeau!

Racing feels good, especially afterwards, the rush, the slight taste of blood in the back of your mouth. More so, when you have set out what you intended to achieve!

Downing a cuppa, it was then a race to get changed and presentable (minus the lycra) for the YCF presentation dinner. Feeling a bit flustered, we arrived late but just in time for the starters – phew! Having not had time to stretch before sitting down, I must have looked like some fidgeting child.

Table leg restricting me being able to stretch out my legs I squiggled and squirmed my way through the presentations. It was inspiring to hear about how the Tour de France hit Yorkshire last year following a pretty impressive bid from Gary Verity and to think that the French thought Yorkshire was ‘Very sexy’ made me laugh – although you have to say ‘Very sexy’ with a suave French accent!


Who would have thought that Yorkshire puddings, rhubarb and parkin would get the sexy seal of approval from the red blooded French, known for their culture and style. Growing up in Ilkley – an area famous for its Moors and beautiful countryside, we are also known for being bar t’at – I can concur that we cyclists certainly look sexier minus the egg head shaped aero helmets! Practical they may be – stylish and sexy they are definitely not!

Yorkshire has produced its fair share of pretty incredible cyclists though. I collected my trophies for the YCF Ladies BAR 2014 and the YCF 15 and when you look at some of the previous cycling greats, it really is very humbling. Beryl Burton is named on the YCF Ladies Bar an incredible 28 times and I understand she also got the BBAR 25 times.

Such an astonishing achievement and so inspiring. The Yorkshire hills produce some stubborn and determined individuals. The weather and terrain ensure we are a pretty hardy bunch! So, to sum up in a typically Yorkshire fashion… I feel like ‘an os’! ‘An os?’ ‘Aye… Champion!’

Sexy Yorkshire!

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