Over the last couple of days, the fine weather had continued, but since Wednesday it had become less humid making for better racing conditions. I travelled over to the race HQ in Great Amwell with Tony. The course for the event was the F20/10 (map is at the end of this report), a course I’d not ridden for a few years,The HQ’s about two or three miles from the start which, once reached, there’s no exit from (other than the course), as it’s in a layby on the A10. En route to the start I stopped to check my wheels – they’ve taken to making an annoying ticking noise – and found myself talking to rider #1 who strangely had the same model/colour of frame, same overshoes, same shoes, same helmet as I did! Anyway, after a bit of banter with the start line crew (during which they let slip Bradley Wiggins’ performance in the Tour de France prologue), off down the A10 I went.
After a bit of heavy traffic just before I started, traffic levels seemed OK, though I did keep a careful look-out at each sliproad. Soon after the start is a gentle rise that knocks the speed a bit, from an initial burst at 30+ mph, I found myself falling back briefly tp 23-24 mph. However, soon back up to speed, I made it to the turn in good time (I estimated about 10 minutes) and set off on the return leg. The gentle start-stop breeze had I think helped me to the turn, so I wasn’t surprised to find it a little harder on the return leg.
The finish lies at the far end of a very long layby, and by the time I crossed it, I’d been closing down on #2. I’d also been looking at my computer, and was a little disappointed not to sneak below 21 minutes. On the other hand, 21:05 is not half bad – as far as I can tell, the last time I went faster was on 6th July 2002 (8 years ago!) when I set my all-time personal best of 20:51 on the F1/10. At that time, the F1/10 was a course that’s no longer used – south on the A1 from Little Paxton to turn at the Black Cat roundabout.
A gentle ride back to the HQ to find my result just going up on the board (I’ll post results later when available). Tony returned from his race a few minutes later, having recorded 20:46. Altogether we felt pretty damned pleased with ourselves!
View F20/10 3rd July 2010 in a larger map