Today was really rather cold. Not as who should say sub-zero or frosty, but that awful nagging clammy sort of cold that seems to be unusually penetrating. I rode over the the HQ for this course (a social club in Marston Moretaine), as the F15/10 is about as local a course as there could be for me. The start is about 3 miles from the HQ, and well sign posted by the organisers. Still, by the time riders reached the start at the top of Brogborough Hill, most were complaining of the cold. Indeed, the pusher-off was complaining of cold hands – apparently due to a metal frame (these do seem to be becoming as rare as hens’ teeth!).
Anyway, at the allotted time, off I went, rapidly accelerating down Brogborough Hill. One of the attractions of this course (which I was riding for the first time) is that riders don’t ascend the hill on the return leg. Anyway, by the time I reached the bottom, I was really very cold, and upon reaching the level part of the course I was required to pedal. It was at this point that the after effects of last week’s illness became manifest. I had nothing there. My legs felt just hollow. The head wind in the outward leg was cold and rather problematic, but I think the main problem was a near complete lack of strength. In fact, I nearly packed within the first two miles. But I pressed on, noting the slow speed. I was caught by #16 before the turn, and by #17 on the return leg. The return leg was a bit swifter as the wind was assisting, but at no stage was I likely to do a halfway decent performance. I crossed the line in about 24:45, possibly the worst performance in an open ’10’ I can recall.
Still, at least I’ve made a return to racing. And there is a season ahead of me. The coming week sees a midweek club ’10’ and the Beds Road CC ’25’ on the F1B/25 on Sunday 15th April.