FIVE members of the Lewes Wanderers team headed out to Bethersden on Sunday to take part in the Kent CA 12 hour event, one of the most arduous and testing rides on the time trailling calendar.
The basic tenet of a 12-hour event is brutally simple – riders are set off in one-minute intervals and have to cycle as far as they can in their allocated 12-hour allocation.
The complex course consists of several interconnected loops, including some deceptively taxing circuits around the marshes by Camber.
Superficially, the idea of riding on pan flat surfaces might seem appealing, but when the wind factor is taken into account, the reality of the situation is not quite as rosy.
After a stiff climb up Hamstreet, riders are turned off into the Ivychurch circuit, flat but very exposed.
At the finishing circuit riders completed nine miles loops until they heard the welcome shout from the timekeepers to stop pedalling.
The biggest challenge of the day for many riders was to get off their bikes – after 12 hours locked into an extreme time trialling position.
Tom Glandfield of Lewes was a strong contender for a top three place and had a fantastic start to his race, completing the first hundred in a very fast time. Perhaps Tom pushed a little too hard for at the five-hour mark as he was forced to retire, his body simply unable to go on at such a fierce pace.
Pete Morris and Matt Coombs had never ridden a 12-hour event before, so it was rather a step into the unknown as they set off in the early morning gloom to start their rides.
Any doubts as to these boys’ ability to cope with the rigours of the course were soon blown away as they powered around to record spectacular distances. Peter (above) clocked up an amazing 248 miles with Matt a mere three miles behind.
Mickey Turner was another newbie at this distance and clocked an unconfirmed 236 miles.
If these results stand it will establish a new club team record for the 12-hour event, which has remained in the archives since 1984.
The remaining Lewes rider was your correspondent who was competing for the fourth consecutive year and pleased with his distance (unconfirmed) of 230 miles, breaking his PB by over 15 miles.
Four Wanderers opted to take their pain in smaller doses than the 12-hour contingent and elected to ride of the fast 25 mile course at Bentley.
Nick Dwer continues to impress and recorded a fast time of 52:59 to pick up second place, a mere seven seconds behind overall winner Russel Kober of Hainault RC.
Other Wanderers’ times were: Dominic Lowden 59:09, Neil Midgely 1:02:01, and Kaye Dwyer 1:09:25.
Earlier in the week Nick Dwyer took part in the VCM ten-mile event. Nick had a storming ride and his stunning time of 19:17 not only placed him second position in a class field but was also fast enough for Nick to shave two seconds off the club ten-mile record.
The event was won by drag2zero’s Jon Simpkins in a time of 19:00.