symbol_03Each year, the North Bucks club event calendar includes one event run over two laps of the Atwood circuit. This is one of the longer events in our calendar, at a shade over 20 miles. It’s a fun event, given the nature of the course, and one that I always look forward to.

I tried my best to get out of the house a little earlier than the last time we rode at Astwood, but failed to avoind the level crossing en route to the race. Once again I found myself held up while two trains passed and ended up dashing to the start. I arrived after the first few rides had departed!

Having signed on and got my number pinned on, I awaited my start. I’m always in two minds about whether I should go hell for leather from the moment the pusher-off lets me go – it’s only a short distance to give way on the main road. This evening, I found myself easing up until oncoming traffic passed. Still, that can’t have cost more than a few seconds! Out on the main road, I settled down on my tri-bars and tried my best to keep a decent speed. This was made a bit hard by the head wind, which seemed to be coming from a peculiar direction, and made somewhat gusty by the hedgerows. Nevertheless, I felt pretty good at times.

Probably the only point where I felt some wind assistance was in the stretch to North Crawley after the Chicheley turn. Apart from that, the going felt pretty heavy to me. Indeed, even the descent near the end of the first lap was surprisingly slow – presumably a consequence of the headwind once more.

The second lap was pretty uneventful and not much different from the first lap (including having to once again pause for traffic before joining the main road!), though I did catch a couple of riders. I finished with 50:10, which was good enough for 5th place.