West Suffolk Wheelers 21 – (34km) 8th March
Following on from the mental boost of my 4th placing in the SpoCo standings I realised the only chance of my 15 minutes of fame would come from an early high place in the competition by competing in every early event whilst other (far better) riders were more choosy (and quick while Lee was ill). Once people had completed the requisite number of qualifying rounds I would be back where I belonged at the bottom of the table. So into the fray once more I put my name down for this event at Risby, conveniently near to Bury St Eds Crematorium. The wind had settled in the week but returned in time for the weekend so it was a similar story to the Breckland 10. This course was basically two laps of an almost 10 mile loop plus another bit as a start/finish straight. This worked well and was great for making the most of the tremendous tail wind section but did mean that half way round the second lap you knew it was all up hill and against the wind from here. It was also great for spectators as the route came through Risby twice during the ride as well as starting and finishing there. This was lucky for me as I’d persuaded Sarah and Jacky to come out and watch this event!
My minute man rather upset me when he passed me within the first 4 miles from the start, but what a tailwind it was! 55kph was easy and I could even turn my top gear over for the first time ever! (52×12.) As I turned into the wind my average speed was almost 40kph and I was delighted. Once I’d crawled all the way back into the wind and up the long drag though, I was put back in my place. But the thought of the next stretch with the wind kept me going and I think I was even quicker on the second lap. My personal target was to be in the top half of the finishers and be inside the hour. So my finish time of 58:05 was quite satisfactory (winning time 48:19! B*st@rd) and I turned out to be 27th out of 54 finishers – in the top half – just! The icing on the cake though was the 94 points which took me to joint 2nd overall and the leading vet to boot! I knew this was only a statistical blip and when the season pans out I will be back in my place but hey? “Look at me now Mum!”