Simon arrived mid-afternoon on the Friday so as he could leave his car here, Nicky turned up somewhat later. A last minute change of plan saw me throw the 69er into the back of the car, as it would turn out, this was something of a waste of time.
We arrived on site in the early evening to be greeted by a fairly windy field. We found a bit of space and pitched our collection of tents, something of a learning experience as my tent hadn’t even been out of it’s bag since I bought it earlier this year. Once the tents were done we popped up to the main marquee for the hog roast, and a bar stocked with Butcombe beer. As my back was playing up, we soon retired to my cavernous tent to sup wine and listen to the ever increasing wind. Over night the wind picked up, leaving the field with a few less gazebo’s than the previous evening.
The rain held off for most of the morning, and Simon headed out for the start of the race at noon, returning just over an hour later looking a lot happier.
At the end of each lap, Nicky and I would be waiting with a fresh bottle and whatever solid food was required, and after one lap, a fresh front wheel. The rain held off for the first few laps before arriving in force later in the afternoon, then eased off again slightly. Simon did 6 laps straight off before stopping for a quick break. Suitably refuelled with food, and equipped with a clean bike with lights on, he managed another two laps before stopping for the night. To be honest, I’m not sure he’d have managed a 9th lap at that point.
I was woken the following morning by a somewhat soaked Simon reappearing from his 9th lap, the strong winds and torrential rain were back again. After a 90 minute or so break, he headed back out on his 10th, and what turned out to be final, lap. A puncture delaying him long enough that he didn’t make it back to the finish with sufficient time to comfortably complete another lap.
Nicky and I packed up camp, my tent almost drying completely before a last-minute downpour soaked it again. We headed back to my house where the rest of the day was spent drinking, eating and relaxing.
Monday saw a post-race breakfast at the Velo Lounge, after which we unloaded the cars giving my kit a final soaking during a sudden downpour. My tent is now hanging up at the scout HQ where it will hopefully dry out eventually.
For some reason I fancy taking part in CLIC24 next year, but only as a small part of a very slack team.