Early morning patchy mist had cleared, revealing a rather warm morning (well, warm for 7am!), for the Beds RCC charity ’25’. The event was run, as usual, on the F1B/25. This course, which runs south from Tempsford on the A1, is reputed to be a slower than the northbound version, due to the severe undulations on the course just prior to the turn. But I’ve always found it a good course, and one that feels a bit safer due to the absence of slip roads: all joining roads do so at regular juntions and roundabouts.Before I started, my team mate Tony found he’d forgotten his overshoes. He borrowed my plasticky black ones though he seemed dissatisfied with their general grubbyness, and cleaned them up with some wet wipes he had kicking around. Dave Jones, a regular photographer at these events (I’ve posted some of his photographs before), had arrived without his specs, so I lent him my reading glasses so that he could work his camera.

The essential support roles now complete, I rolled off for a brief warmup before starting. It was quite quickly obvious that this was a rather nice morning – there was virtually no wind as I lined  up at the start. I rolled off and tried to keep a semblance of speed as I rode up to the junction which leads down to the A1. Once on the dual carriageway, things seemed to flow quite well. I had absolutely no holdups at any of the roundabout crossings. Perhaps all this means I didn’t try hard enough? Well, I reached the turn in under 30 minutes, and finished in 58:17, which (somewhat to my embarrassment) is my fastest ’25’ time this season. Perhaps I could have gone that little bit harder to finish with a 57, but given that Tony did a cracking ride to finish in 55:06, I was unlikely to get too much closer.

With only 6 weeks or so until Team Grumpy’s ride at the Duo Normand, perhaps this uplift in my form is an indicator that we’ll snatch some form out of nowhere for the Duo. Here’s hoping…