This event in the annual series of North Bucks time trials uses two laps of a course starting in Bow Brickhill, running down the A5, across to Woburn, through Woburn Sands and back to Bow Brickhill (see map below). The final coup de grace is an ascent of the climb at Bow Brickhill, which is used for the annual hill climb championship. So it’s quite a tough circuit, and one notable aspect is that the man who devised it has, as far as we can tell, yet to ride it in anger!
I woke with a nagging ache in my lower back – not painful, but enough to make me less than enthusiastic about 22 hilly miles in my time trial tuck. Accordingly, I turned out on my road bike for this event. There wasn’t a massive turnout – only six riders – but it was rather a nice morning, with only a gentle wind. It was actually quite interesting to time trial on a road bike for a change, as I’ve not done this often before. The bike in question is fitted with a Polar power metering (see my reviews at TeamGrumpy.org), and I have to say that during the event I rarely bashed out much power!
Anyway, I was last man off, and set off towards the Bow Brickhill roundabout as best I could. From that roundabout, it’s a gentle climb to the A5, and then more climbing to pass under the flyover near Little Brickhill. I was surprised to see my minute man ahead of me in this section – actually this pattern was repeated through the event, as I was climbing faster than he was, only to see him accelerate away from me in his aero position on the level and downhill sections.
No real problems (other than worrying about my back), except I got occasionally held up by traffic (for example getting through Woburn Sands on the first lap, and getting stuck behind an aged motorist who sailed through Woburn at a very sedate 20mph in the second lap. The road surface had suffered over the winter, but not to the extant seen at last year’s running of this event. Eventually I reach the final section, the ascent of the finishing climb. I shifted into the small ring and in fact during the climb I ended up in 42×23 as all my energy deserted me. I was reduced to pulling anguished faces to generate sympathy from motorists coming down the hill.
Still, not a bad ride – I took second place!