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A Few Words From Karl Alexander

This is my first blog since becoming a member of the Planet X family and is the perfect opportunity to introduce myself.

So who am I? Regular readers of tri247.com may already have heard of me as I am a regular contributor to the site, reviewing races and reporting on my experiences and I’ve been a regular on the UK Triathlon scene for the last 5 years.

My first ever triathlon was Ironman UK 70.3 in 2006, which I followed up with the full distance Ironman UK a few weeks later in Sherborne. Since then I’ve raced 10 Iron distance events and qualified for the Ironman World Championships on two occasions. But I don’t just race the long stuff, I race middle distance and Olympic format races, as well as duathlon and the occasional Time Trial.

This winter I wanted to do something slightly different and bought an XLS Cross Bike for my commute to work. Living in High Wycombe and working in Watford, the 20 mile journey to work and home has become a staple of my training and allows me to log a good 200 miles a week regularly with the option to ride longer on the way home. With the state of some of the roads the cross bike is a better option than the road bike and this is something I continue to train on during the week even now we’re firmly into spring. At the weekends though, that’s a different matter and the RT90 and Exocet 2 get an outing. 

The very first outing on the RT90, I knew this was a serious machine. It's light, stiff, agile and responsive as well as a real head turner, there isn't any missing the fluoro yellow! The first ride, a 58 mile solo jaunt through the Chiltern Hills was ridden at 21mph and I felt as fresh when I finished as when I started. 

 

As a triathlete, the vast majority of my racing miles are done on a Time Trial bike so training has to be done regularly in the same position to ensure it is comfortable and I can run well off the bike. Living a few miles from a well known 29.5 mile hilly time trial course, I often use the route as a test of my form and to see how I stack up against the TT specialists. On only my 2nd ride on the Exocet 2, in far from favourable weather conditions, I smashed my previous personal best and went under the hour (59:09) for 25 miles along the way and setting the 5th fastest time on Strava. This is a fantastic indicator going into the season and I can't wait to get started.

 

If you see me at a race, do say hi. You'll not miss my bike!

Words by Karl Alexander

22 April 2015

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