This was another warm and humid evening, with only a gentle breeze to bother the riders. We had a reasonable turnout of 14 solo riders and one tandem crew. I was what you might call well-rested, having been off the bike for a few days because of work commitments, so I was keen to gauge my fitness against my peers. I ended up as the penultimate starter, with only Tony P. behind me. So obviously, the fear was that he’d catch me embarrassingly early in the event.
My start was pretty uneventful, and was pretty quick. Approaching the first roundabout, I was aware of a car coming up behind me, and took a conservative line through the roundabout. Unfortunately, this really slowed me down as I had to negotiate the huge potholes somewhat carefully! From there on, things did get better. As usual, the climb up to the main dual carriageway was a bit slow – I think the wind direction had a bit to do with that. Onto the dual carriageway, and my initial speed was around 30mph, which was encouraging. Unfortunately, this soon dropped away as the gradient flattened and the breeze took its toll. I began to get a little worried! Coming out of the turn, I could see Tony, who seemed to have gained rather more on me than I had hoped.
Once round the turn, things got a bit quicker, and I felt a bit more up for it. I had no real issues negotiating the last roundabout crossings, and finished in 23:20. This was somewhat slower than my last ride on the course, but as far as I could see from looking at the results, everyone seemed to have gone a bit slower in comparison. The traffic levels seemed OK this evening, but several riders said they’d found that cars had been passing a bit close – this was certainly my experience. Nothing dangerous, mind, but it does remind us to keep our eyes open!
Here’s the Garmin trace for the event.
On Saturday, I’m off to ride the Norlond ’10’ on the F15/10. Thunderstorms are forecast, which may liven things up a bit!