Photo courtesy Colin Derrick
East Surrey RC Hardriders on the shortened GS/491E course
This seemed to have caught the imagination of a few club members this year so after a 44-year absence thought I’d give it a go!
The course is a tad shorter at the moment because of a restriction at Flanchford Bridge but is still a good ‘sporting’ Time trial course over 27.25 miles and favours a complete rider as it includes climbing [1295ft], fast dual carriageway and twisting country lanes.
The prize list for the event is worth £2160 and with six of us down to ride there is always a chance of getting in with the prizes.
Spring like weather was a bonus and after a terrific shove to push off its out onto the A25 near Reigate. You follow an undulating route to Dorking were you join the A24 and climb Deepdene. Continue via Bear Green through Kingsfold, and join the A264 near Horsham at Great Daux. A very familiar piece of dual carriageway takes you to Rusper Road and the only tricky hill on the course – I thought the 42 x 25 gear combination would have been adequate but at my current weight was massively over geared, according to Garmin I was down to 3mph at one stage! Grovelling over the top to Rusper Village and wound it up down to Newdigate, left by the Surrey Oaks pub and a more or less straight run to the finish just before the HQ at Leigh – a nice fast finish if you still have the legs!
A couple of tales of woe, I hear Ben Hardisty had a close inspection of the road surface and Adam Grange slid off while warming up but, we all finished and while official results haven’t been posted yet its safe to say Chris McNamara of ‘Pedal Heaven’ won for the second week in row in a stunning time of 1.00.16 . Well done Chris.
Update: EGCC trio of Steve, Chris & Paul win vets team prize !
We all finished thus:
Ben Hardisty 1.21.08
Adam Grange 1.12.10
Chris Yates 1.5.40
Steve Dennis 1.3.38
Paul Winkley 1.17.12
Luke deQuay 1.19.49
I’m hopeful the club got close to some of the individual and team awards and will post an update when results are known.
Another one ticked off, after a lie down I’m going on a diet and search out some flat courses!
Photos courtesy Colin Derrick
Apparently there are some rules to racing:
Rule 1: never tinker with your bike the night before a race! Last night I took an Allen key and went about changing the position on my road bike, putting the saddle forward and a little higher and added clip on aero bars to supposedly make me faster.
Rule 1.(b) NEVER EVER mess around with the bike an hour before the race! Warming up before the race I decided this new and unnatural position needed work, and spent more time adjusting the bike, until it felt vaguely comfortable on the rollers I had set up in the van.
Last year’s race was enjoyable despite a mechanical that cost me precious seconds, but I had done a lot more training last winter, so this year’s race was going to be a test of my early season fitness.
After a slippery climb up to the start with no traction (had I pushed the saddle too far forward, had my tires gone off over the winter, or was the road just greasy?) I soon learned that a rider a couple of places before me had slipped and damaged his rear mech on the way to the line (Ben and Adam take consolation that you’re not the only ones to fall off), so I made further changes to my set up by letting air out of my tires, to the amusement of several riders who looked like they had prepared properly.
The start is an uphill drag to get your legs stinging and lungs pumping, after this there was a strong headwind all the way to Horsham. At one point I thought I was about to catch the rider in front, but on drawing near discovered I’d been chasing a stationary sign post, time to get some new glasses I think! By halfway I was getting used to my new “aero” position while wishing I had left the bike well alone, especially when I hit the steep sharp hill into Rusper. The return leg was more fun, with smaller smoother undulating roads and a tailwind, allowing me to get into a good pedalling rhythm for the first time, and I was actually quite disappointed when the finish line appeared… until my right leg cramped up and I nearly jumped off the bike sideways into the timekeeper. Anyway that’s how I remember it, oh and there were some horses unexpectedly lurking around bends but on such a nice Sunday morning we have to share the roads cheerfully with everyone, whether they have two wheels or four hooves.
The result: 3 minutes slower than last year. I should have left that bike alone!
Well done to the EGCC veterans Steve, Chris and Paul, for winning the team on vets standard award! I’ll keep practicing!