After two failed attempts in previous years to hold our Christmas 10 due to snow, we all gathered in anticipation at Newchapel Hall on Sunday morning awaiting an ‘ice report ‘. With temperatures hovering around the 3 degrees mark, and after over-night rain/frost, conditions around parts of the course were proving treacherous for two-wheeled transport.
With this in mind, the decision was taken to race just the one full lap, starting and finishing outside the wood yard, thus avoiding the still-icy Croydon Barn Lane stretch.
A record (I think) 9 riders signed on to ride, some in fancy dress (see photos) with fairy lights adorning their bikes, some in shorts and short sleeves. Brrrr! Chief time-keeper Chris set us off one-by-one into the fray to negotiate the slippery corners, horse-drawn carts and tractors deliberately sent to hamper our progress. Miraculously, we all returned unscathed (OK, John Geal might have lost a few strands of ivy) 4 and-a-half miles later and in times varying between 12mins 55 and a truly pedestrian 25mins 42 seconds.
After such exertions, we were all more than ready for the festive fare kindly laid on by our long-suffering ladies, which was duly hoovered-up in record time also, I reckon.
By the time it was time to leave, the hall had just about warmed up, and all that was left to do was thank the ladies and present the awards – Belgian chocs, to the best dressed rider and best dressed bike. John Geal and Steve Poulton respectively.
Have a very Merry Christmas and see at the club dinner on the 21st of January.
1st Steve Dennis 12:55
2nd Dan Gardner (Lewes Wanderers) 13:31
3rd Paul Winkley 14:26
4th Steve Poulton 14:40
5th Richard Woodward 14:42
6th Ian Thompson 15:24
7th Michael Diebel 15:25
8th Paul Turner 16:04
9th John Geal 25:42