This was, to all appearances, a glorious morning for a time trial – clear with light winds. It was a little cold, but I guess that’s just to be expected at this time of year. I was a little apprehensive, as I hadn’t been feeling particularly well the day before. Over by the start line, I soon settled in, with a nice chat with the timekeeper and pusher-off. Hovering just to the north of the start was a splendid sight – about 25 hot air balloons, resplendent in bright colours and at various altitudes. Indeed, one of them seemed to be coming down just across the A1 from Tempsford. Putting that distraction to the back of my mind, I rolled up to the start line just a few minuted before my start at 7.25am.For what was probably the first time in riding on the F1, I got briefly stalled at the Tempsford flyover roundabout, as a car got held behind someone warming up. This wasn’t too bad, as the road surface on the roundabout is still in a dreadful state due to last winter’s extended cold snap, and I invariably have to pick my way carefully round the potholes. Once out on the A1, I was quickly up to speed, but not a particularly brisk speed. Never mind, I thought, it’ll be easier on the return leg. I found it difficult to push out much effort – whether this was due to being ill the day before, I wasn’t sure. Over the Sandy roundabout and on to the turn at Warden Lane. Now, I thought, it must get a bit easier…except it didn’t.
However, I kept the effort going well enough to cross the line in 22:56. Not my best time of the season (by a long chalk) but not out of the frame set by other riders. Most of the riders I spoke to felt it was a heavy morning, and difficult to get the speed up. So, not bad.
This was my last domestic open time trial of 2010 (my only remaining event being next week’s Duo Normand) – and I have to say that it’s bit of a relief to have a break from riding up and down this particular section of the A1. This season I’ve ridden events at 10, 25, 50 and 100 miles on the F1 courses, all of which focus on the A1. In particular, the current version of the F1/100 is on the A1 for the first 86 miles. I think I’ve become rather jaded from seeing that particular section of tarmac. On the other hand, it has been a good season with by times at 10, 25 and 50 miles being my best for around 5 or 6 years.