Steve Dennis writes…
What with one thing and another, it was my first chance to ride an Essex-based SPOCO event on Sunday. This came in the form of the Chelmer CC 25 on the now familiar E9/25 Leaden Roding – Great Dunmow course – or so I thought. Two days before the event frantic emails were flying about with information about road works on the course and subsequent changes of course. News that my ‘chauffeur’ Robin Johnson didn’t get ’till the morning of the event due to him not being “blessed” with the luxury of email.
We arrived at the HQ with extra time to spare as the organiser had allowed an extra half-hour for riders to make the 6 miles ride to the new starting point. Having had the benefit of being given the new course details in advance I was able to check out the route on the map which appeared to involve 3 laps of an eight and-a-bit mile circuit. I explained the route to Robin in the car and we actually had time to drive part of it on our way up.
After a good 6-mile warm-up from the HQ in Chelmsford we arrived at the start with just enough time to be sufficiently bitten by millions of midges that were hanging around the start area, and in no time at all first Robin and then me were off with a minute between us. The first lap was obviously a tester, not knowing the roads or how to take the bends etc. One poor unfortunate soul had come to grief on a particularly tricky descent which required an ambulance. There was also loads of charity riders about on the course as well that were as much a hazard to themselves as they were to us. As you can imagine it was an interesting mix, but with very little motor traffic and roads that flowed nicely, I was enjoying myself.
By the third lap at full pelt, I was starting to tire and was relieved to cross the finish line (which was conveniently where the start was), where I was pleased to be told by the timekeeper, SPOCO honcho George Potter, that I was fastest on the day. My time of 56:05 doesn’t sound like a world record performance but I was pleased with the win and would have struggled to have gone any faster. Second place went to fellow south-of-the-river rider Niall Digby of La Fuga-Sigma Sport in an impressive 57:36. Robin found the undulations not to his liking and finished in 1hr 16:30.