Race report by Mark Silver
With the sunshine of earlier in the week but a distant dream, two TA members, Gary Guntrip and myself were the first two riders off on this longstanding event around the southern Chilterns. Definitely no need for sun block on the day, with continual rain throughout. Gary sported his reserve machines complete with full dynamo lighting, as the frame of his stainless barrow had broken (hopefully soon to be revived). My concession to the inclement conditions was a front mudguard (which I was most grateful for).
Due to a mix-up with the race numbers at the HQ, I was started a minute behind Gary, who I managed to catch within the first five miles. I feel sure it was the considerable drag from his hub dynamo which tipped the balance, wheras the front mudguard I’d found in my scrap bin and fitted the previous evening was most aerodynamic.
The course is a delight, affording a variety of vistas and gradients. I confess I find it a bit less of a delight when soaked through, but my convenient front wheel puncture at twenty five miles gave me a chance to admire the outside of one of those pleasing country pubs close up, whilst sodden hands grappled with Kevlar tyres.
The final climb on the course is the steepest, and it ends at the finish, just opposite the HQ. Into there I dripped and waited for Gary, who to my surprise appeared some twenty minutes later. I had carried two spare inner tubes and had needed only one. Gary had carried one spare and had punctured twice.
The Maidenhead and District Cycling Club hold another event on this course towards the end of the season, and I look forward to racing it again. But hopefully in the dry.
Mark Silver Hounslow and District Wheelers 1:49:37
Gary Guntrip A5 Rangers CC 2:18:38