Ben Hardisty writes…
An unseasonal “Autumnal” day in mid July and another trip out to tick off a London West TT course. This time it was the H50/1a which I had not ridden before, which runs on the A4 between Newbury and Reading. Road works on the circuit had already hit events this season so I was lucky to get a ride.
However my second “50” of the season coincided once again with more inclement weather, a strong gusting south westerly, and then for good measure I was “refreshed” on the last 5 miles with a drop of heavy rain.
The course runs for 15 miles in an east-west loop, with 3 and half loops completing the full distance – riding west to east it was not too difficult to coast to 30 mph, but on the return leg I was grovelling to maintain 20mph. On the final leg into the wind my legs felt like lead, particularly when getting out of the saddle, so at least I knew I had put the effort in.
Fortunately this course is pan-flat with only a couple of very gentle rises and drops, and a warm, windless day would surely lead to some fast times from the sharper end of the field. As it was Adam Topham still had an excellent ride with 1-47. I managed 2-14 which is a pb for me at a very modest average speed of 22.3mph. To put things into perspective, Andy Wilkinson had a higher average speed on the recent 24 hours event.
Next week its into unknown territory with the SCCU 100. Gulp. I will praying to the weather gods this week.