3 years ago I did a 2 -up with Geoff Watson and for some reason we had not been able to organise ourselves to make it happen again. Was that because our last attempt was a failure in some way? Not at all, in fact it was the first time a bike and me had been under the hour for 25 which was the same milestone for Geoff and we also managed to go quicker than a 4-up from the club in the same event.
On the way Geoff told me he was “dreading” doing this event all week and I started to wonder if he had a different reason for not wanting to do another 2-up with me for the last 2 seasons! Truth was, he seems to have lost his mojo for riding and I was hoping we would find it out on H25/8 as we suffered a bit. We decided not to take turbos to warm up and take a more relaxed approach to the event. Despite some light rain on the way over to Bentley in Surrey we arrived with sunshine in the sky and the roads starting to dry out nicely.
Riding a 2-up is very different than riding on your own and in my training plan my coach had put “ride to each others strengths and don’t race each other”. As Geoff has the same coach he had the same advice. Now Geoff is a fast starter, has been faster than me this year so I asked him if he would ride on the front all the way? He seemed reluctant so I paced us over the first mile and then we go to work taking about 30 secs each on the front. There was a stiff breeze from the west so the first 5 miles were tough and we reached roundabout 1 at 22.5 MPH which was about what we planned for. With the wind behind, we worked trough a lumpy stage and when the road flattened out we held 30MPh for a few miles taking a “breather. By roundabout 2 @13 miles we were up to 25.2 MPH so a sub hour was possible. The next 7 miles were mostly up hill and into wind so brave turns on the front became less frequent until Geoff let me know he was cramping up. I took a few longer pulls and we managed to get the last roundabout @20 miles 24.5 mph. At this point, I knew we could do it having rode this course a few times but I was wasted. Geoff got a 2nd wind and got us through the lumpy part. Once it flattened out we had 3 miles to go and at 24.8 MPH I knew we had it. We missed a disaster when Geoff decided to see how close he could get to the left side verge and as I was tracking his back wheel at the time and nearly followed him.
Over the last 2 miles our AVG speed was 32.6 MPH (according to Strava) and any cramps Geoff had were gone. We alternated round like we had been doing 2 ups for years and crossed the line in 59:47 which put a smile on our faces and I think he found his mojo out there today!