I had expected a nice morning for this 10 mile time trial on the F1B/10 but as it turned out, while it was quite a quick morning, the weather wasn’t too great.  It rained for the whole time I was on the course, at times rather heavy.  And I spent rather too long out on the course!

I travelled out with Chris Hartley (Team Salesengine), and we were conveniently close in the start sheet (he was 64, I was 67, with his team mate Dave off a minute ahead of me).  The rain had started while the early riders were on the course (e.g. the 2-up teams), and had properly set in by the time Chris and I left his van.  I just did a quick warm-up, and persuaded the GPS transmitter to behave properly.

The start of the course is rather closer to the slip road onto the A1 that for the F1B/25: accordingly I was going pretty briskly as I negotiated the flyover roundabout (it has acquired some new potholes over the winter), and joined the A1 at well over 30mph.  I kept up a strong pace pretty much all the way across the Sandy roundabout, to the turn.

Coming round the turn, I could see Dave ahead of me, tantalisingly close.  The realisation I was gaining gave me further impetus.  Then all of a sudden I heard the tell-tale pshh-pshh-pshh of a punctured tubular.  Hoping it was just a slow leak, I pressed on.  Unfortunately the tyre went down pretty quickly, and with a curse or two I pulled over to the side of the road and dismounted.

It was still raining, as I started the long trudge back to Tempsford  – it must have been 4.5 miles to the finish.  Before I’d reached the Sandy roundabout, a passing marshal (from the turn, I guess) stopped and picked me up.  On the way back to Tempsford, we saw Chris driving south in the van trying to find me!

After all was said and done, this turned out to be a pretty quick day, with both Chris (a 23) and Dave (22:37) doing PBs.  One can only speculate what I would have finished in, but it would probably have been my fastest ’10’ for more than three seasons.

So, a bit disappointing, but an indicator that my form is returning. Next weekend, I’ll be on the F1B/25 for the Icknield ’25’, and the following weekend the F12/10 for the Bossard Wheelers ’10’.

Here’s a map of the F1B/10, though I turned the GPS off soon after I started walking.


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