Steve Dennis writes…
You can’t beat good forward planning: Three of us travelled over to
Bentley on Sunday morning – in separate cars, to arrive within 15
minutes of each other!
The purpose of our trip(s)? To ride the Houndslow & Dist. Wheelers 25.
OK. so there was 45 minutes between PB and myself on the start sheet,
with PW somewhere in between, but I decided to arrive extra early to
recce the course. Something PB didn’t need to do having ridden the self
same course the previous afternoon.
Coming down off the Hogs Back with the the mist looming ominously
over Farnham, and the temperature barely hitting 6 degrees, the
prospect of a delayed start time and arm/leg warmers was becoming more
of a probability.
Fortunately, the sun broke through and burnt off the mist, so by the
time PB was off at a quarter past nine, things were looking up.
The H25/8 course is based on the A31 and what wind there was was out
of the NE so it made the first leg of the course a bit of a flyer, but
after the turn at Holybourne, predictably it was a slog back to the 2nd
turn at Farnham where you had to retrace – past the start, to
Holybourne, turn again and finish one mile short of Farnham
PW was off at 09:27 and although admitting to not having the form of
last year, got round in 1hr 2mins 45secs. PB srugged off the last of
the cold to record 57:45, while I was unbeknowingly on for a flyer.
With the taste of blood in my mouth and seeing stars, I crossed the
line in 52:27 – just 4 seconds short of a personal best.
Back at the HQ I learned that my main rival had punctured on the start
line and had to ride on a rusty training wheel he managed to scrounge.
As a consequence, his time was well short of what he should have done
and I won the race!
Not only that, we won the team as well! Well done lads – we’ll get on
the map yet!