So, today I was riding the Chronos RT ’10’ over on the F2A/10 (A428), courtesey of Clive who kindly gave me a lift over. The day had dawned rather calm and sunny, but the wind had built up during the morning and by the time we got over to the race HQ, it was really quite strong. Added to this was the threat in the weather forecasts of light rain at about the time the race was to be on.
I got to the HQ and got the bike all set up, and rolled off to do a warmup. This went OK, until I suffered what appeared to be a front tyre blowout* at about the furthest point from the race start. I am very grateful to #52 (Jan Ertner of Cambridge CC), who insisted on riding back to the HQ to fetch a wheel, which he lent me for the race. I also have to say the number of riders who stopped to see if they could help was really heartening. In the end Jan found me again, we swapped out the wheel (the replacement was a standard road wheel) and I sprinted for the start while he took my trispoke to leave with the time keeper.
I made it to the start line in time to see #36 depart (I was #35). Fortunately I didn’t have long to wait for a start, as #37 was a DNS. Somewhat disturbed by all the excitement, I failed to reset my computer (hence the somewhat extended Garmin trace below) as I set off to rescue my day. I zoomed off from the start, made the sharp left at the roundabout and hacked off down the sliproad onto the A428 at about 29mph. The speed ddn’t hold for long, as it dropped to around 23-24mph for a bit as the full force of the head wind took its toll.
Once into the swing of things, however, the pace picked up. The course is actually pretty flat and if one could ride on a calm day might be pretty quick. I reached the turn, which I negotiated easily, despite the motorist who tried to drive through me. The return leg was a fair bit quicker, as the cross wind had enough of a tailwind in it. I spent much of the return leg ruminating on what time I was likely to to finish in (as I’d not rest the computer), and felt pretty comfortable cruising along.
After finishing, I paused at the start to see if they had my wheel, then back to the HQ. As I write this, I don’t know my exact time, but I recall a short 24 on the results board. Taking into account the extra two minutes, I think that’s a decent result on the day**.
*Back home, I examined the tyre and tube closely. There are no punctures in the tyre, but a series of small holes in the inner tube.
**Paul T. who was manning the results board tells me 23:05 including 50s late start penalty…
I’ll add the results when they are available. In the meantime here’s my Garmin trace:
And a photo taken by Dave Jones at the Cambourne underpass. This was on the outward leg. Note Jan’s wheel!