North Norfolk Wheelers 10 mile club time trial – Tuesday 5 April 2016, start time at 6:45pm: Bruce Williams reports
The North Norfolk Wheelers first evening time trial of the new season turned into an exciting affair as 40 riders unexpectedly descended on the Pretty Corner lay by on the A148 eager to test the power and speed in their legs early in the new season. This was a record entry for the club on this course – including 20 or more guest riders from other local clubs – but plenty of NNW club helpers were on hand to assist with time-keeping and recording duties.
This course takes the riders, each starting at one minute intervals with the first off at 1845, to the Holt roundabout where they retrace on the A148 finishing just short of the starting point, the winner covering the 10 miles in the shortest time. Course record has stood for many years to the late Zak Carr (an East Anglian and National time trial champion in the 1990’s and 2000’s) at 20 minutes and seven seconds, an average speed of just under 30 mph and a record that will clearly take some beating.
Nobody was thinking of records on this Tuesday evening with sunny conditions but a chill westerly wind prevailing, not that this dampened the excitement or enthusiasm of the 40 competitors. A time trial is often referred to as the ‘race of truth’ as competitors ride alone and un-paced depending on their own physical and mental strength to sustain their best power output and speed. As the song says,‘nobody said it was easy’!
Making up the record field were guest riders from a number of other Norfolk clubs including Iceni Velo, Norwich ABC, Strada Sport, API, Tri Anglia and students from the UEA. The NNW is recognised as a friendly club always keen to welcome guest riders that add to the spirit of each event as well as to the competition.
The sun was nearly disappearing over the horizon as last man at number 40, the promoting club’s Charlie Nurse, sprinted off the start line eager to get his club season off to a winning start. Club officials are anticipating a close contest this season between club champion Charlie and second claim member, Laurence Wright (first claim Team Velo Velocity) who were separated by the odd few seconds in a number of club and open time trials at the end of last season. Both are experienced campaigners and, non-professional cyclists though they may be, take their fitness, race preparation and training regime pretty seriously.
To prove the point, having started at number 15, on his return to the starting area and realising that the last riders were still to start, Laurence elected to go again starting at 41 ! First man off, Andy Elliott of Iceni velo, had a mechanical problem on his start but eventually got it sorted and also went off (again) at 42. No point turning up and not getting your money’s worth.
John Swindells of Iceni Velo had cycled to work and then came by bike from Norwich to the start and of course rode home after the event. There is commitment to training and cutting down on carbon emissions for you. Despite riding on his road bike and the abundance of miles in his legs, he recorded a time of 23.16, about a minute down on what he might have done on his time trial bike, per his own estimate.
Anticipation proved correct as Nurse and Wright hammered their way round the course, NNW’s Nurse winning in a fast time of 21 minutes 16 seconds by just 4 seconds from Wright. Chris Skinner of API came in third with 21.56, and Aiden Bond, another NN Wheeler known to have plenty of speed from club events over the last two years, came 4th in a time of 22.09. Karl Read also of the promoting club, with an actual time of 22.46, got first place on handicap.
Fast times are one thing but the spirit of enjoyable cycling competition is the most important thing with all riders keen to test or improve their fitness and enjoy the occasion socially with their fellow club members.
This set the season off superbly to what we expect will be a big season of club time trials with a number of NNW members also competing in open time trial events in East Anglia this season. Hopefully, the guest riders who were most welcome this Tuesday evening will continue to turn up and enjoy the hospitality and spirit of friendly competition for many more of our events.
Full Results below