symbol_03This was my second ’10’ of the day, just as it was almost exactly a year ago to the day. The reason this sticks in my mind is that in last year’s Icknield RC ’10’, I was brought down at around 26mph by a couple of kids messing about on the old A421. This, of course, was occupying my mind a bit, as was the prospect of charging down Brogborough Hill at the start of the F15/10 on a fairly windy afternoon (also on my mind was that I was starting as #30, a position not really warranted by my time trial performances over the last couple of years).

The last time I rode on the F15/10, roadworks forced a last minute change to the course, so I suppose that it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that this had happened again on this event. Fortunately this time the amended course was still 10 miles (last time we’d been reduced to 6.5 miles!). The new course, as described verbally by the organiser, used the section between the two roundabouts twice. We were to start heading west, turn at Marston Moretaine RAB, head east to the usual turn RAB, return to the Marston Moretaine RAB, head east once more to the usual turn, then head back to finish somewhere before the start point. This was all rather confusing, as the description didn’t leave me with a clear picture of how far it was from the start to the first RAB turn, or where the finish would be in relation to the start. Still, I was sure it’d all become crystal clear!

I rode down to find the start in plenty of time, and rolled up and down the road until nearly at my start time. This was rendered rather alarming by the large numbers of kids messing about on BMX bikes and scooters (see opening paragraph) – surely history wouldn’t repeat itself! I stopped briefly to explain why all these oddly costumed cyclists on weird bikes were riding up and down the road to a couple of small kids and their mother. It was interesting to hear that they’d figured out this was a time trial (presumably recent TdF and Olympic success is responsible), but they thought we were racing on a residential street! I said we were actually racing on the main road.

As I started, I wasn’t sure how far the start was from the first roundabout. As it turned out it was just under a mile. Unfortunately I’d thought it was going to be a bit less, and had kept the gear a bit lower than I’d normally use in preparation for the roundabout. Oh, and did I mention the headwind? Once round the first roundabout, things got a bit quicker due to the tailwind. On the first eastbound leg, I was quite surprised by the distance between the finish line and the start point, but at least having clocked its position, I had a bit of clarity regarding the course layout.

I was relieved that there were no children at all playing on the course, and indeed the event went quite well. Overall there were three sections heading west and into the headwind, which broke up the difficult sections quite nicely.

I thought this amended course was rather good, though I suspect that the finish line time-keeper must have had an interesting time, with riders coming past twice in the event. I suppose that if the finish could be on an exit road from the course, things would have been easier. To be frank, I preferred this course to the ‘real’ F15/10 despite the multiple RABs.

I finished with 23:47, which at least was consistent with the morning’s ’10’. I left before all the results were out.