Steve Dennis writes…
As a qualifying event for the SPOCO south east series of races, I entered the Maldon & Dist CC 25 with a promise of a lift up to Essex from evening 10 regular visitor Robin Johnson.
The six o’clock pick-up hurt, but probably not as much as it did for him! and we were soon heading off into the gloom that was supposed to clear up by about 9. As we neared the HQ in the sleepy Essex village of Mayland on the Dengie peninsula, it was obvious that the weather wasn’t going to improve so we prepared ourselves for a damp ride. Arm and knee warmers were donned for the umpteenth time this season and we set off for a short warm-up before the off.
As an indication as to just how slippery the roads were for our skinny tyres, a car that went past me much too fast and on a tight bend almost lost it and had to over-correct to avoid going into the ditch. And this was only on the warm-up, I thought!
Back to the start and I was off at 8.55, one minute after Robin, so it wasn’t long before we met up again! As I left him to continue at a more sedate pace, I plugged away into the wind and drizzle to do a rather unorthodox turn at about six miles. This involves a right turn into a narrow lane followed by a left, then left again, finally a left back onto the course in the opposite direction. Once this was negotiated it was back past the start (with a tail wind) to turn left, then left again (confused?) to do another head-wind slog on another road towards a place called Tillingham. Round lots of twisty bends to eventually end up back on the fast tail-wind section that you did earlier. The finish couldn’t come sooner!
At the result board I noticed that the main competition was a non-finisher so my time of 54:58 was the winning ride and a few points in the bag in the SPOCO campaign.
1st S Dennis EGCC 0:54:58 2nd A Stapleton Chelmer CC 0:58:06 3rd A Leggett Stowmarket & Dist 0:59:00 Robin Johnson Brighton Mitre CC 1:20:19