symbol_01Another glorious evening brought out 15 riders, including six North Bucks members, to this event on the Stagsden course. There was only a gentle breeze which, while it did make the outward leg a bit harder than the return, was rather nice as it was bearing the summery scent of wheat harvesting from the the nearby fields. OK, poetic bit over, how did the race go?

The Stagsden course is never as fast as one might expect, mostly because it’s quite undulating. Indeed, the opening part involves a nasty drag up to Astwood. I was off as number 13 (it’s a good job I’m not superstitious), so I had to opportunity to catch a few riders, and to see how others looked on the return leg as I approached the turn. Unfortunately, I felt like I was riding through treacle, and the sight of other riders flying back from the turn didn’t serve to increase my optimism! Still, sense prevailed and I kept up the effort. The explanation, of course, was that the return leg has several significant descents which (though shallow) serve to give the rider a spell of 35+ mph riding. Oh, and I guess a slight tailwind can only have helped!

I crossed the line in something well over 23 minutes – I couldn’t really read the small numbers due to my sunglasses (and age-related myopia!) and I was initially at least rather disappointed. However, when I saw the results the following morning, I was quite pleased with my second place, together with my time relative to other riders. So maybe things are looking up for Team Grumpy