When members of the Lewes Wanderers pencilled in their racing calendar for the year, last weekend stood out as having the prospect of some fast times being set on two of the quickest circuits in the area.
However terrain and road condition are only two factors in the delicate equation, with the vital element of weather conditions having the biggest influence. Rain, cold weather conspire to thwart the triallist, but their nemesis is the X factor, the wind conditions.
Six Wanderers headed out to Broadbridge Heath to ride the Norwood Paragon 25 over a course featuring nearly twenty roundabouts on the twenty five mile journey. The blustery conditions made for a tough day as reflected by the times which were probably two minutes down on peak performance. Phil Allen continues his sparkling form and finished in a splendid third position beating some notable opposition in the process with his time of 55:22. Other Lewes times were Neil Midgley 1:01:28, Micky Turner 1:02:39, Mark Paton 1:03:49, Michael Valks 1:04:04 and Stephen Gaston 1:10:17. Pete Tadros, racing for the In-Gear team made light of the conditions posting an impressive time of 53:31.
Rob Rollings and Alan Lloyd were lured to the heart of Surrey seduced by the prospect of racing on the fast course at Bentley for the Charloteville 50 mile event. However dreams of fast times evaporated into the ether, with aspirations being blown away by a fierce 20 mph westerly meaning that riders had to plough into the wind for 25 miles on the hilliest part of the course. The ride was made distinctly twitchy by aberrant cross winds which seemed to appear from nowhere to batter competitors into submission. One rider commented that this was the toughest ride he has ever ridden, noting (for the technically minded readers) that at one point he was pumping out 320Watts in the tuck position to achieve a miserable speed of 16 mph!
Rob had a challenging day, compounded by an exploding hub on his front wheel, and did well to finish in a time of 2:09:19 (unconfirmed time), while Alan clocked a time of 2:16:52 placing him in the top half of the field. Winner on the day was Stephen Whitewick of VeloRefined Aerosmiths recording a time of 1:52:14.
More information of all club activities and events can be found at www.leweswanderers.co.uk