The CC Breckland 10

The CC Breckland 10(16km) 1st March
After noticing that on Vet’s standard I was by far the worst finisher in the Ely Hard Riders 25 I was determined to do better in round 2 which was the CC Breckland 10. However a week of chronic headaches and the headwind from hell once again knobbled my final week’s preparations. I arrived in good time but then spent most of it trying to find the start so I could drive round the course. When I finally got my bike out and began a tentative warm up I found that on the flat Norfolk landscape I could whiz along in a south easterly direction – no trouble, but turning round to go north westerly – I could hardly move.

I was pleased that I’d remembered my HRM this week but to compensate the on board computer decided to pick this moment to play up. So I spent most of the rest of my prep time fiddling with the transmitter only to find just before my start time that the receiver unit had become dislodged from its base which was causing the problem. The course was basically a square shape and the first leg was slightly cross/tail wind, so wasn’t too bad until I noticed my HRM was knocking out 170bpm (which is a lot for me with 9 miles still to go). After the first turn I was then going with the wind which was fantastic. For a few miles I felt like a proper tester, rolling along at 45-50kph! If only I could keep this up. But by the turn my HR had only dropped to 169 as I faced into the cross/head wind section. But I felt OK and felt I held a decent pace along this slightly uphill stretch.

Attempting some anaerobic mental calculations (always difficult) I began to think I might get a reasonable time but there was a dead STOP at the next junction after which it was about 3 miles back to the start – directly into the headwind.

Any ideas about a reasonable time were quickly dashed – I could barely move in this direction! Those 3 miles seemed to go on forever and at the end I knew no records were going to be broken by me today. But no-one had come past me and I think I remember passing two riders so maybe things weren’t too bad. I glanced at the results board as I headed for my well deserved, free cup of tea and saw 25.54 next to my name. Still slightly asphyxiated and obviously hallucinating I bragged to the tea lady that I’d just done my best time for over 20 years and she was most impressed. However once I’d drunk my tea and concentrated more carefully on the boards I saw that 25.54 was my Vet’s standard time! My actual time of 27.30 brought little surprise from anyone, least of all the tea lady when I admitted my mistake to her. She’d heard it all before. Ever the optimist, I always try and interpret any statistics in the most favourable light – but the best I could make of this was that it was a 5 minute improvement on my standard time in the previous 25, but still 1.36 down.

The good news was that neither Lee Bark or several of the other contenders from the Ely ride had turned up so with just two events completed I’d bagged points in both rounds and was now standing 4th overall in the SpoCo competition at this stage!

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