This evening’s club event was the Club Time Trial Championship, held as usual over two laps of the Astwood circuit. We had a pretty good turnout at the event (including at least one newcomer on a road bike), and though I felt a bit tired and unenthusiastic I felt pretty good at the start. Unfortunately things most certainly did not go according to plan!After a lengthy period of hot and sunny weather, it was quite heavily overcast and rather windy. The opening leg to Chicheley was harder than usual, due to the head wind, but as usual once round the sharp turn after Chicheley, the leg up to North Crawley was quite brisk. Coming out of North Crawley I rapidly picked up speed again, and indeed was feeling rather good as I caught and passed Gilbert, who’d started three minutes ahead of me (#12 – #13 was Tony, #14 was the tandem pair). Passing the turn to Cranfield University, I was momentarily distracted by a small car that pulled out in front of me, but on this occasion the drive rmanaged to get up to speed without holding me up.
Unfortunately at the left hand turn towards Bourne End and Astwood, disaster struck. Since I was approaching the corner rather fast (about 27mph, I think), I thought it prudent to brake as I entered the turn. At this point there was a “clonk” and I lost all front stopping power and found myself heading rather fats towards the verge. Somehow I avoided the low kerb and found myself bouncing along the grassy verge. Which might have been OK, except there was drainage ditch which propelled me upwards and off the bike.
Picking myself up, I checked myself and the bike. Gilbert stopped to check I was OK, which was much appreciated – he accompanied me back to Astwood as I rather gingerly returned to the finish area. It turned out my front brake’s bolt had come loose (something I’ve never had happen before), and when I applied the rake it had shot out of the front fork. Still, not other damage seemed to have happened (pending a close look at the bike). Physically, I received a large bruise on my right shin and my wrists took some of the impact (as I write the following morning, they are rather sore). So apart from those injuries and one or two smaller scrapes and bruises, I seem to have escaped without major injury.
Oh, well. there’s always next year…