>Team Quest Reliability Trial (short route)
>Sunday was bright and cold. Time for my first event of the year: The Team Quest reliability trial.
I haven’t ridden on the road for several weeks, so I decided to ride the short route (73km). With the ride to the HQ and back I would clock up just over 55 miles for the day.
We started at 9:30 – after the groups riding the full 100km+ course had set out. There were about a dozen of us to start with and we kept it together until about half way (Marlow). I did a bit of work on the front. This was especially valuable on the climb of Winter Hill where I could slip back gracefully and still be in touch by the summit.
The route back was pretty good apart from the climb of Kiln Lane. I’m afraid that I bailed out early and walked (I have a dread of stalling and not being able to unclip my feet on a climb – this dread is based on bitter experience). I think I was still third over the summit.
The last few miles were enlivened by being caught by a couple of faster riders. That hurt a bit. We finished the 73km in about 2:50 to 2:55.
It was a well-organised event with an HQ (great refreshments before and afterwards), free gifts and a well-signposted, carefully thought out route. The season has begun.