An odd morning, weatherwise – quite bright as we drove out to Tempsford but rather heavily overcast for most of the event. In fact I was quite surprised it didn’t rain, and the general darkness of the cloud certainly suggested we might be in for a bit of a downpour. An additional worry for me was that I’d only just returned from a week off the bike at residential school in Nottingham. Not only does that keep me off the bike, but the diet is rather dodgy, with too much greasy and stodgy food topped off with more alcohol than I’m used to.
So it was with trepidation that I set off for this event. I wasn’t feeling too great, having slept badly and got up early, and to add insult to injury my inward parts were still suffering from the last week. I made a vague effort at warming up, during which my heart rate resolutely refused to rise above 150bpm. Anyway, I returned to the start line, had a chat with other riders and the start crew, then off I went.
The event was on the F1B/25, reputedly the slower of the two courses based on the A1 near Tempsford. You can see the course on the Garmin map below. After joining the A1, the course heads south across the Sandy, Biggleswade North and Biggleswade South roundabouts, to turn at a roundabout under the point where the A1 becomes the A1(M), near Baldock. In general terms, the turn is higher than the start, with considerable uphill and downhill sections in the southern section. I had no real problems, other than lassitude in the legs, and no traffic related issues other than nearly seeing a car crash happen at Biggleswade North (which had my heart in my mouth), and getting delayed by a lorry (but that won’t have delayed me much) at the Sandy roundabout.
I got to the turn in a bit less than 30 minutes, which is usually OK, as the return leg is often a bit quicker. There was a stiff sidewind which meant that the return leg wasn’t as consistently fast as I’d hoped. Still, I finished with 58:15. That’s the fastest ’25’ I’ve ridden this year, I believe, but only because it’s only the second solo ’25’ of the season. Let’s face it, my 2011 season has not been good so far! Tony finished with 55:43 I think, a sterling ride on a not-so-quick day on a not-so-quick course.