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Look, there goes another one !          a premature claim in July 2001       Back to Rides in 2001


Look, there goes another one!

Or two.

Today was the day of the Eastern Counties CA 100 at Newmarket.  Compared with recent weather it wasn't a bad morning, although going east was significantly quicker than going west.

Fastest of the tandems were Rowan Horner and Chris Birch, who put in an awesome ride to take over 10 minutes off the RTTC men's tandem bicycle record.  Their time of 3-21-10 is only slightly outside a 30 mph ride.

Back in the real world, I was riding with Marina Bloom on the tandem tricycle.  We were chasing a modest target of 4-21-29, and were ahead almost from the word go.  Without much trauma we were inside 57 minutes for the first 25.  Then it was into the wind to reach 50 miles just before 1 hour 59 minutes.  The helpful breeze took us to 75 miles in 2 hours 56mins, meaning that we had lost interest in just beating the record, and were wondering if we could beat 4 hours! 

We had a modest target for the last sector, and this was "on" even as late as 98 miles.  Then my legs went to jelly, and it was down to Marina to get us to the end.  I could see the finish as the clock display rolled over to say 4 hours, and we ended up with 4-00-06.  Which is a fine beating of the record, but frustratingly outside what would have looked a far more impressive final time.



So, clearly I wrote that message on the day of the event.  I'm not sure where it was published.  It doesn't look like Facebook, so maybe on some kind of forum or noticeboard.

I had ridden this event in 2000 with Dave, and had remembered the finish layby being on the right hand side of the road.  On this occasion the finish had been on the left, but clearly at this stage I had no suspicion that anything had gone wrong.   I guess our on-board computer had shown something suitably close to 100.00, and so I just presumed some other part of the course must've been altered during the year.

My biggest concern once over the line was the 8 mile ride from the finish to the HQ.  As noted, I had blown up in the closing stages, and was barely able to turn the pedals, let alone make an effort.

Fortunately, Mike Bloom was there with some food.  He had been looking after us, driving around the course in his Mini.  Fine if we needed food or spare wheels, but a little trickier if we'd had to abandon & needed a lift back.  The tandem was probably longer than the car!

Anyway, this was an occasion when I needed food & couldn't be too fussy.  Mike offered me some fig rolls.   I really didn't want fig rolls, as I was sure I didn't like them.   However, after a few minutes, I'd finished the pack & felt ready to continue the journey.  I've loved fig rolls ever since (and they did get me back to base).

 Cycling Weekly took the story and I remember the headline "Tandem Records Crumble".  Unfortunately, after the magazine had gone to press a note was sent to the riders stating that the finish timekeeper had been at the wrong layby. The course was being re-measured, but we were told that there was almost no hope that the shorter version would be as long as 100 miles.   It won't have been very far off, but once it's declared short then nothing counts.   Sigh.

 Back to Rides in 2001

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