So far this year, my racing has been characterised by lack-lustre performances, where I actually managed to complete a race. On the bright side, the recent change of date for the Duo Normand time trial in September now means that Team Grumpy can once again turn out. This gives a really good late season target for us!

9th March

The season kicked off with a club event on the Astwood circuit. Unfortunately it was so windy that I packed on safety grounds after a mile or so.

16th March

Cub event at Astwood cancelled as we had a clash with a curcuit race at MK Bowl

23rd March

Back to Astwood. This time it was OK to race, though it was a bit of a struggle owing to it being my first race of the season. We had 14 riders out – I took fourth place with 24:45, first place on standard.

30th March

This was scheduled to be the Hardriders event, but a calendar mix-up had it on a Saturday morning rather than the usual Sunday. It was cancelled on safety grounds.

3rd April

This was the first event in the club series to be held in an evening slot, albeit quite early at 6.45pm. We had 13 riders turn out, and I had a horrid time on the course – I found the nagging headwind difficult on the return leg. I also had the weird sense of riding very slowly given my power output, and in the end finished with a dreadful 25:13.

Sunday 7th April

My first open event, the Icknield hilly 30k, on the course that uses two laps of a circuit round Mentmore Hill. I felt reasonably OK, though it was a bit cold. Unfortunately I punctured on Mentmore Hill on the second lap. A very kind chap drove me back to the HQ, where I repaired the tyre and rode home.

10th April

We were at the Stony course, which currently measures a fair bit over 10 miles. I didn;t ride owing to discovering a sidewall hole in my front tyre, through which the inner tube was bulging. Presumably a consequence of the puncture suffered at the weekend’s Icknield RC Hilly time trial.

17th April

Back at Astwood, on a lovely evening. I was 5th out of 16 with 24:34, so a small improvement over the previous outing at Astwood. Reasonably pleased. xPower of 243W was a little lower than that event, so it must have been an easier evening.

24th April

Brogborough again, pretty cold, I did 23:40 on an xPower of 240W. Not a great placing on the evening. I always find this course tougher than I should!

1st May

Astwood again! It is with some chagrin that I report that I DNF’d. A few days earlier I found the bearings on my Hed/Powertap disc wheel were pretty shagged out so I had prepared it to take in for a service. I rode the Cervelo P3 with H3s front and rear – the same setup as I’d used on the New Years Day ’10’. Unfortunately the aero extension issues that occurred prior to the 2014 Duo Normand happened again. My left extension came off and I had to pack. Grrr…

6th May

Another open event, the VTTA ’10’ on the F11/10 near Aston Clinton. Not too bad a day, but quite cold and with an unfavourable breeze for the course. I had hoped, at this stage in the season, to pull off a 22:45 or thereabouts, but could only manage a lacklustre 23:14. My ride felt fairly sticky at times as I couldn’t keep the effort up in the face of what was really quite a gentle breeze.

I rode out to the event and back again, so a total of about 66 miles all told, with warmup etc included.

8th May

This evening club event was held on the 10 mile Brogborough course (F15/10). During the day, we’d had some truly appalling weather. I got drenched riding to work on the commuting bike, we had thunder and lightning, torrential rain, high wind and then loads of quite large hailstones. All that put off a good many riders, since there were really threatening clouds around all evening. We had a turnout of four riders, all tough nut veterans. While the rain held off, it was pretty windy, mostly affecting the return leg. I took second place with a decent (given the conditions) 23:43.

As with the VTTA ’10’, I rode the Cervelo P5 with front and rear H3s and the P1 power meter pedals. Of the two mechanical issues recently faced, the wobbly bearings of the rear H3 are sorted, for now at least, by judicious shimming with aluminium cut from a Fever Tree tonic water tin. I plan to effect a more permanent fix next week. The issue with the Deda GCB aero bar extensions was avoided by riding the P5!