Another dreary morning for a North Bucks club event. In actual fact the rain (mostly) held off for the event itself, but it was rather wet for the ride over to the start. The NBRC hardriders course (F5x/22) starts at the bottom of the steep climb at Bow Brickhill, proceeds in a westerly direction towards Bow Brickhill station, then heads over to the A5, where the course climbs steadily past Little Brickhill and down to the Flying Fox roundabout, where it turns left to Woburn. From Woburn, the course turns northwest to Woburn Sands, where it turns to Bow Brickhill at a double roundabout. After completing two such laps, the finish lies up the climb from Bow Brickhill (the climb used for our Hill Climb Championship, which gives an idea of how steep it is).
Anyway, this was the first time I had ridden the course, and I was rather dreading taking my TT bike up the final climb – my lowest gear is 46×21. The opening leg wasn’t too bad, predominantly downhill, the major issue was dodging potholes, and getting stalled by traffic at the first roundabout. It was a different matter on the road up to and along the A5 – predominantly uphill with a head wind. From the Flying Fox roundabout, it was surprisingly quick to Woburn, largely I guess due to the tail wind on that section. Then a steady climb and descent to Woburn Sands. I got held up slightly by traffic at this roundabout on both laps, but nothing serious.
The major issue was the series of appalling potholes just after leaving Woburn Sands. Unlike one rider I saw, who coped by riding in the gutter, I decided the prudent course was to ride it wide. Through Bow Brickhill and onwards for a second lap. Ultimately, I was really mostly worried by the prospect of the final climb. Firstly I didn’t have any spectacularly low gears, secondly the geometry of my bike doesn’t I think suit hill climbs. In the event, I chose to take it easy rather than blow halfway up and suffer the ignominy of having to get off and push!
I finished in 1:00:56, which I was quite pleased with. Full results, and hopefully a map of the course to follow.
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|DNF||10||Stuart Tarry||Team Sanjan Design||S||28.01||N/A|
|Time Keepers:- Steph Cousins & Tony Farmborough NBRC.|
|Pusher off:- Mr Bryan Scarborough NBRC.|