Another day of very heavy showers and blustery wind didn’t bode well for tonight’s club event on the Astwood sporting ’10’ course. I had pretty much decided to ride the event no matter what the weather was like, but I found myself running a little late by the time we got home on the tandem. I reached Astwood in time to see the early riders start, signed on, had a bit of a chinwag, and then rolled off for a short warmup. I soon found I needed a nature break. This delayed my return to the start line, where I found no-one except Tony and Bryan (timekeeper and pusher off). In fact as I reached the line I heard Tony say “5, 4, 3, 2, 1…go”. And off I went…
I found the outward leg to Chicheley quite tough, and mostly because the wind was twitching my front wheel quite badly, particularly where there were gaps in the hedgerows. In fact I wasn’t much above 25 mph for a lot of that section, which is normally quite fast. Reaching the sharp left after Chicheley I need feel a bit of wind assistance, but as the course meanders through the countryside, the wind never really seemed to add too much help! Fortunately the temperature was a bit warmer of late (last time at Astwood, my fingers got so cold it was difficult to hold the bars!).
I had no real problems until the last mile or so – the fast descent before the final climb had quite few twitchy moments then just as I was approaching the finish line, my gears decided to jump up a gear, making a huge noise and denting what little remained of my momentum. I finished for a tied third place (out of 12 riders) in 24:16. I’d been unable to start the timer on my computer until about 15-20 seconds had elapsed due to my almost late start, so I didn’t have a terribly good idea on how I was going.
This was the second event on the replacement tyres (Bontrager Aero), which not only haven’t punctured so far, but aesthetically speaking look pretty spiffy on the H3 trispokes. Maybe that’s Puncture Bob banished for the time being!