>Organising a drinking session in a place where they make beer

>Today was supposed to be by first 2 up 10m team trial for many years. I used to be useless at TTTs because a) I’d go off too fast and put everyone into the red zone and b) get so tense that I’d eventually get dropped. I’d like to think I would do better now.

Real life, however, gets in the way again. A family health crisis meant that I didn’t have the car and had to ride to the event. 25 miles through the lanes and a pre-dawn start meant that I didn’t fancy taking the lo-pro, so I had to dig out the road bike for the first time in six months.

It was a dry morning, but a thick fog meant that I was wet and cold by the time I arrived in Great Missenden. I signed in and started to warm up, but no sign of my partner Brian. He’s not a man to let you down, so I didn’t panic… He didn’t turn up.

I started solo. The fog was getting thicker, but I had a back light on this time. The journey to the turn was all right. I hit 30+mph down the Wendover by-pass, so I was going well. Or was I…?

Out of the turn it was like hitting a brick wall. This was odd: there was no wind and the road, although rising, is not steep. The climb back to the middle roundabout seemed to take forever – two consecutive 3:40 miles! With about 2.5 miles to go Brian rolled into sight, span round in the road and helped me to the finish. He had thought the start was an hour later.

The traffic on the run in was nose to tail and made changeovers difficult. Why is everyone out on the road on Sunday morning? To cap off a disappointing ride, I lost the sprint for the finish by about seven lengths. The time was 28:00. One pair did a 22:59 I think.

I do need to adjust the position on the road bike. I couldn’t get long when trying to TT. Perhaps a longer stem is needed. That said, it climbs well (better than me).

After the race it was off to the Deep Mill Diner for a second breakfast and then home via the pretty way. 60 miles in all.

One more race to go.