Trip No 10 coincided with a very hot weekend.
Initially I had planned just one event – the Team Swift 10 on the V718 at South Cave, west of Hull. Then I realised that there was room to ride the Leicester RC 10 on the A10/11 – part dual carriageway with a loop of single carriageway to ensure we had a turn- not a bad course, but not super.
The ferry didn’t leave Guernsey until 10:20PM, but I got off the boat fairly quickly to be faced with a 50minute drive to Eastleigh as the Poole hotels were silly prices. This meant I didn’t get into bed until 2:10 and had to get up at 9:00 so that I could be on the road by 10:00. Breakfast was slow and I didn’t get out of the hotel until 10:15 for a scheduled 3 hour drive to Leicester – and the roads were busy and the car was hot!
Fortunately, I didn’t lose too much time and got there with time to put my bike together and have an abbreviated warm up. But I couldn’t find my heart rate strap – found it that night when I turned my bags out at the hotel.
Rode up the road to the start and my Cadence wasn’t showing on my Garmin – couldn’t fix it!
So I rode with no HR or cadence.
Legs weren’t happy but I gave it my best shot, clocking 27:00 dead – my 20 minute state of collapse after the finish told me a story – I was dehydrated from the hot drive and hot race – I normally go well in the heat. So I poured lots of liquid down my throat and checked the results. 47th from 54 finishers, winner Matt Botrill with 19:30, so I was well put in my place.
I had ridden faster than the previous weeks, but was still weakened with the damage done by the Shingles.
With another 90 minutes driving to Hull, I set off to my hotel, still pouring fluid down my throat.
The following morning was a little cooler- there was a stiff breeze from the east which meant a 4.5 miles headwind start followed by a 5.5 mile tailwind to the finish – good for the course but the wrong way round for me.
The start is at the top of the slip road to the dual carriageway, which helped me to get moving, but not very fast. With the headwind, I had trouble getting up to speed – over 3 minutes for the first mile, over 6 minutes for 2 miles, then just under 9 minutes for 3 miles.
Then I reached the slip road for the turn – with a sticky head wind up the drag – 53x23 and really should have honked up the road.
A nice smooth turn, then I stormed through the gears on the way down the slip road, getting to the 11 sprocket before I was back on the dual carriageway.
It was quick all the way back, although I did use all my top 4 gears on the leg.
With a mile to go I was caught by my 4 minute man who got 100yards ahead of me then sat up and freewheeled. So I caught him up again to see that he had a rather flat rear tyre. I passed him and he immediately sprinted past me again, nearly taking me out in the process.
My finishing time came out as 25:25 – better than the previous day, but still disappointing.
This event was for riders who had not beaten 22 minutes in the last three seasons and I ended up in 106th place out of 107finishers – There are a lot of fast riders out there!
Our event was won by Julian Waller with 20:06, whilst the event for the fastest 120 was won by Joshua Williams with 18:03.
So, still getting my legs back, but some way to go?
Trip No 10 was set up as a trio of 10’s on various courses.
First event on the Saturday afternoon was the Bossard Whs 10 on the F15/10, near Marston, Milton Keynes.
This is single carriageway old main road with a ski slope start (one mile), a roundabout halfway to the turn (and on the way back as well) and another roundabout for the turn. Not a slow course, but not superfast by any means (I had been led to believe otherwise).
Anyway, I started, taking a bare 4:10 for the first 2miles, with my speed gradually dropping as the road levelled out.
The return leg was a bit of a grovel as we had had a tailwind to the turn and I only just managed to break 20mph on the return, to clock 26:03 for the ride – better than the Leicester event by a good margin, so legs still getting better.
I finished in 77th place from an entry of 108, whilst the winner, on a road bike – standard wheels, no clip-ons, etc. /also no skinsuit or pointy hat was Douglas Coleman in 19:41.
Sunday’s event was the Fairly United 10 on the A420 outside Kingston Bagpuize (if you are confused, the main road between Oxford and Swindon).
Basically a flat course with very slight drags (except for the one approaching the turn) and a straight-through roundabout halfway between the start and the turn. Road surface is a bit coarse and you can feel the vibration on a TT bike.
It was a bit wet and there had been some debate as to safety (the big worry is always spray thrown up by traffic rendering cyclists invisible). However, things improved and we had a (wet) race, so off I went.
Took a couple of miles for my HR to get to 180ish, then this dropped to a little under 170 at the halfway point and stayed more or less there for the rest of the ride. My return half was a minute quicker than the first half, so it must have been a bit quicker on that leg, although it wasn’t noticeable.
End result gave me a 27:16, just outside the top 40, but we had several trikes in the competition, also a ‘novice’ club who weren’t very quick. Winner was Mick Ford with 19:59.
Overall, my ride was a little disappointing as I struggled to get up to and maintain speed, also was over a minute slower than the previous day’s event on a course I would have rated as being similar (but it did have a ski slope start).
Another 10 had been scheduled for the Monday, organised by VC10, but this was postponed until October 4th, due to standing water on the course and the consequent heavy spray from fast vehicles. As it happens I will not be very far away riding the Leo RC 30 the day before, so I may well ride the rescheduled event