It certainly seemed as though summer had arrived when I arrived at Launton for the Hemel Hempstead ’25’, held on the F13/25 course. Riding out to the start, it was immediately clear that my headset adjustments made before leaving home had left the bearings too tight. I returned to the HQ and retrieved my mini allen key set. A quick adjustment and I was on my way (with the allen key set in my pocket to be on the safe side).
Before starting, I reconnoitred the finish area, since on a previous outing in this event, I’d been misdirected off-course by a charity ride marshal. It was quite clear that the finish comes after an annoying little climb. I also straightened my handlebars a little. Lining up at the start, rider #4 asked if I had an allen key, as his saddle clamp (this was also on a Cervelo P3) wasn’t tight enough – I was happy to oblige, and I think he was rather relieved. Unbeknownst to me, #3 also had a mechanical – the nipple on his front mech cable had just popped off the cable en route to the start. I’ve never seen this happen before! He bodged a permanent shift to the big ring by wedging a stone in the front mech, which must be the most enterprising start line tech fix I’ve ever heard about!
Anyway, my start finally arrived, and after some banter with the start line crew, it was off and joining the A41. The F13/25 cruises along the A41, through Waddesden (where there is a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights – running red lights earns a DQ), turning at the first roundabout in Aylesbury. The course is cerainly not flat, and there are some quite stiff, but fortunately short little climbs. In particular, the road surface has degraded quite badly between Waddesden and the turn, particularly after the turn. I’d caught all three riders in front of me before the turn, so the return leg was a little lonely. And surprisingly tough – more so than the outward leg. At least I never got caught at the lights in Waddesden (unlike the unlucky rider #3).
By the time I reached the little rise to the finish turn, I was really hot, tired and my HRM was reaching in excess of 190bpm. At last, I turned and yanked the gears up a notch for one last hammer down to the finish line. My time of 58:50 was good enough for 10th place (start sheet of 49 riders had several non-starters. the event was won in impressive style by Danny Axford with a 53:22.
After the event, we pushed off to the Waddesden Garden Centre so C. could buy some requisites for the garden. Oh and coffee and cakes. Then home, where after lunch we nipped out on the Longstaff tandem for a 20 mile circuit. A bit hot, really, and my legs knew about this morning’s effort.
View F13/25 27/6/10 in a larger map
|1||50||Danny Axford||Arctic Premier RT||53:22|
|2||45||Jesse Elzinga||Beeline Bicycles RT||55:46|
|4||40||André Dyason||St Ives CC||56:22||+||14:45||3|
|5||37||Thomas Bell||Twickenham CC||57:44|
|7||22||Thomas Sutherland||Twickenham CC||57:53|
|9||35||John Dowling||Hemel Hempstead CC||58:19||+||14:24||5|
|10||5||Robert Saunders||North Bucks Road Club||58:50||+||12:17||8|
|11||21||Jonathan Page||Bicester Millennium CC||1:00:15||+||13:01||7|
|12||11||John Bourton||Bicester Millennium CC||1:00:18||+||14:37||4|
|13||6||Stephen Hewitt||Hemel Hempstead CC||1:00:48|
|14||16||Jonathan Gillham||Stevenage CC||1:01:04|
|15||42||Nigel Atkins||Twickenham CC||1:01:17|
|16||28||Clifford Price||London Dynamo||1:01:30|
|17||10||Ian Brazier||Verulam CC||1:01:35||+||8:29||13|
|18||49||Rob Luff||Brighton Excelsior CC||1:01:35||+||11:08||10|
|19||4||Neil Fisher||Welwyn Wheelers||1:01:40||+||4:50||17|
|20||3||Mark Smee||Fenland Clarion||1:02:59||+||6:34||15|
|21||9||Richard Hutt||Lampard RC||1:03:17||+||8:54||12|
|23||48||Simon Hemington||Hemel Hempstead CC||1:03:52||+||2:08||19|
|24||27||Jody Conibear||Hemel Hempstead CC||1:04:30|
|25||18||Ian Huntingford||Hemel Hempstead CC||1:05:31||+||6:08||16|
|26||7||Julian Barnard||Dulwich Paragon||1:05:35||+||6:36||14|
|27||17||Tim Carey||A5 Rangers CC||1:05:44||+||3:49||18|
|28||14||Steven Abraham||North Bucks Road Club||1:06:41|
|30||32||Les Church||Camel Valley C&TC||1:07:19|
|31||34||Josephine Perry||Thames Turbo||1:08:36|
|32||24||Robert Major||Welwyn Wheelers||1:09:11||–||1:11||21|
|33||47||Brian Foran||Lampard RC||1:09:21||+||1:46||20|
|34||8||John Wheelwright||North Bucks Road Club||1:10:25||+||10:16||11|
|35||38||John Pfeifer||Icknield RC||1:10:51||+||11:39||9|
|36||44||Stephen Roffe||Hemel Hempstead CC||1:12:51||–||4:51||23|
|37||19||Christine Yuill||Stevenage CC||1:15:25|
|38||29||Michael Richardson||Icknield RC||1:24:04||–||2:11||22|
|39||2||Nigel Goffin||Hemel Hempstead CC||1:25:12||–||9:43||24|
|43||William McFarland||East London Velo||DNF||Went off course|