It was with some trepidation that I set off for the Finsbury Park CC ’25’. For one thing, I’d not been on a bike for a week preceding the event, as I’d been working at a residential school (and to make matters worse, the week’s diet was less than satisfactory). For another thing, i was relatively late in the start field, and I’m never so keen on starting so late, partly because of traffic levels, and partly because any wind seems to get stronger as the morning warms up. One other factor was the number of events I’ve ridden along this stretch of road recently – I’ve getting a bit bored of it!
On the morning, the weather was kind. Except for the northerly wind, as it turned out. Lining up at the start it was clear I was in for a lonely ride, as half a dozen riders in front of me didn’t start. The exception was Sam Barker (110), and I was never going to see him during the race! A bit of banter ensued with the time keepers and pusher off, wherein it transpired that my enthusiastic arrival with 6 minutes to spare wasn’t going to be rewarded in any material form!
Anyway, off I went southbound, dodging the potholes (which resemble archaeological excavations rather than road defects) at the Tempsford flyover before joining the A1. This was rather nice, as the aforementioned wind was providing quite a bit of assistance. Unfortunately this state of affairs only lasted as far as the frst 3 miles or so, where the course turns north at the Sandy roundabout. As expected the northbound leg to Buckden was rather tough. Rather than muscling it, I chose to down gear slightly, which seemed to do the trick. Once round the Buckden roundabout, things got markedly easier as the tailwind assisted me.
This has to have been the first time trial in ages where I didn’t see anyone – either by catching them or by being caught. I finished in 57:28, which I was quite pleased with given the circumstances of the past week.