ON Sunday three Lewes Wanderers headed out to Bethersden in Kent to take part in the Kent CA 12-hour event. In a 12-hour race riders have to complete as many miles as possible in their allocated time.
Due to last minute road changes the already complex route had to be altered adding to the difficulties on the day. The first part of the course tracked around numerous roundabouts near Ashford before heading to start the Camber circuit.
The circular route around Camber had to be completed five gruelling times and the ever-increasing wind made the going tough.
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 five arduous loops riders started the Ivychurch circuit. The weather started to close in and lashing rain coupled with the rising wind compounded the difficulty of the ride. The last section of the ride around the tough rolling finishing circuit forces competitors to dig in deep before the welcome sanctuary of the finishing line released them from 12 hours of unrelenting toil.
The three Lewes boys had good rides, Tom Glandfield being the star man recording an estimated distance of 258 miles. This distance, if confirmed, will see Tom finish second behind Andy Miles (VC Elan) who completed a stunning ride with a distance of around 268 miles.
Tom has equalled his PB, an outstanding performance in the conditions, and has just missed the club’s long-standing 12 hour record by an agonising one mile margin.
Peter Baker, fresh from his arduous Paris-Brest Paris adventure, put in a fine ride and covered an estimated 229 miles. Your correspondent had a frustrating day, as, along with several other riders, we missed a crucial turn adding around six miles to our trip. This, along with a bike malfunction, probably lost me about 40 minutes’ of good riding time.
My reaction at this point in the race is best left unsaid! My estimated distance is around 215 miles.
Final confirmation of results will take around a week to arrive, so it will be a tense wait for the Lewes team to see whether they snatch victory in the team award from VC Elan. Undiluted praise should be extended to Esther Carpenter and her gallant band of helpers for running this incredibly complex event so splendidly in such difficult conditions.
A large contingent of the Lewes clan opted to avoid the arduous 12 events and choose to take their poison in smaller bottles at the SCCU 25, based around Broadbridge Heath.
There were many fine rides on the day, the highlights being Nick Dwyer’s fast 52:20, Pete Morris’s 55:29 and the fast improving Mark Frost who notched up an excellent time of 54:24. Natasha Fuller had a splendid ride and her time of 1:04:37 earned her first place overall in the female event. Early indications are that Lewes scooped first and third team prize, a stunning achievement in such a quality field.
Due to limited space, last week’s report could not be published.
The highlight of the Bank Holiday weekend was Sunday’s club run to Box Hill. Away from the rigours of racing, a large group of riders gathered en masse to ride in the club’s annual jolly out to Box Hill near Dorking. This was the second running of this extended club run and it seems set for a permanent slot in the calendar.
After a 45 mile journey, the riders faced the climb up to Box Hill, which forms part of the Olympic road circuit for 2012.
Breaking off for the obligatory tea stop gave the Wanderers a chance to mingle with the large number of cyclists from other clubs and pose for a team photo before heading home, via breathtaking vistas, to complete a tiring but memorable eighty five mile round trip.
More details on this and other events can be found on the club website at www.leweswanderes.co.uk