Steven Dennis writes…
I fancied a change of scenery last week end so after having my arm
twisted by Robin Johnson not to ride the ‘local’ 25 (South Eastern RC)
event and have a go at one of his favourite ’50’ courses in Essex, I
found myself being picked up at some un-godly hour of the morning and
trundled up to the sleepy lanes of Maldon District.
The Maldon & District CC 50 is a SPOCO South East qualifying event so
I knew it wasn’t going to be a drag strip, in fact after a brief look
at a map, it appeared to be two and three quarter laps of an 18 mile
circuit with one hill per lap.
It was a beautiful morning, but being so near the coast, the wind soon
picked up out of the north-east, so by 08.05 (my start time) it was
pretty well established. My minute man was Robin and I caught him just
before the hill (about 1 mile), and I continued on my way for the next
5 miles or so before turning into the head wind.
Fortunately, due to
the twisty nature of this part of the course with lots of hedgerows,
you could hide from the full force of the wind. At last the course
headed west and with it a tail-wind off your right shoulder. This is
where you could make up some time as the average speed on the computer
edged towards 27.5 mph. Through Steeple & Mayland and on to Latchington
where you turned back into the head-wind to complete the first circuit.
By the end of the second lap everything was starting to ache – just
got to hang in there. Keep that average up. Seven miles to go. Body’s
screaming STOP! STOP! Average dropped to 27.1 – must get it to 27.3!
Two miles to go 27.2 – not going to do it! Over the line at last. 1hr
50mins 21seconds. Just missed out on a 49 – Damn.
Still, it was enough to win and take course record as well. The next
guy was a further 5 mins back.
I’ve got nothing but praise for my few experiencies of racing in
(rural) Essex. The clubs put on superb events and the roads are 1st
class – a far cry from the traffic-beaten rubbish that we have to
contend with down here (Dual Carriageways aside). Thanks too to Robin
for the lift.
Results 1 Steven Dennis East Grinstead CC 01:50:21 2 Jason Chester Essex Roads CC 01:55:38 3 Philip Hersey Eagle RC 01:56:31 4 Andrew Leggett Stowmarket And District CC 01:56:41 5 Hugh Vivian Finsbury Park CC 01:57:19