VC Revolution Reliability Trial – (54miles/87km) 3rd Feb
Invigorated by last weeks CCS RT I was all fired up for doing the new VC Revolution’s inaugural RT which, conveniently for me, was based at Wivenhoe not far from where I live. I failed to instil any enthusiasm into any fellow CCS riders so set of again into the sea of blue and white. This time I elected to be a little more discreet and donned a blue top of my own but still felt like the only rider in East Anglia not to belong to the VCR. For a first event this ride seemed very well organised. Learning from last week’s mistake, I put my name down for the “Silver” event of 54 miles inside 3 hours. I figured even I could manage an extra 6 miles in 30 minutes over last week. I wasn’t sure whether to be reassured or concerned that the person to sign on for the silver event just before me was a young schoolgirl who could barely have been one third of my age – and she wavered her pen over the gold sheet for a moment! The only other names I recognised on the silver list were Ken and Julie Baker’s from local rivals Colchester Rovers. Again I’m never sure if this is a good or bad thing but I’ve become quite used to hanging on to their wheels lately so I set off reasonably happy. I’m not great at judging young people’s ages but I’d say that the young lad who set off with us was even younger than the spirited lass. They set off with youthful enthusiasm, maybe bolstered by the super bikes they each owned, making mine look very sad.
This was a delightful ride. From the start there was a general feeling of camaraderie; that we were all in it together and would stick together as a team. This was vocally reinforced by several of the VCR riders who stated that if anyone had difficulty, a mechanical problem or even a call of nature, we would all wait and regroup as much as possible. I felt a little pride in the fine example we were setting the two youngsters who were keen to do their share of the work at the front, shaming me into doing the same. My turns, it seemed, were always on the exposed headwind sections but I felt good and was really enjoying the atmosphere. I wished I’d worn my club colours after all and waved the CCS flag a little. We still managed to employ the successful “don’t tell the strong riders the way” ploy which worked famously. A dropped bottle and a mass wee stop proved the “team” ethic was sound and we all rode what was a modification of the Tendring Hundred circuit together – and at a fine pace. As last week the speed rose during the last 5 miles and apart from ensuring the youngsters were not left alone we did fragment a bit which was exacerbated by the traffic lights on the home stretch through Elmstead Market. So again I finished a few minutes behind most of the others but was very happy with the 2hrs 47mins time I was awarded. My legs didn’t half hurt on the ride home though and I hoped those kids’ did too but “Chapeau!” to them both.