Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Personal Bests and Worsts

Drama of springtime open time trial

Southborough & District Wheelers’s must pride themselves deservedly on the continued success of their springtime ten-mile Open Time Trial, which was held on 27 March. The course was the familiar Q10/33 – the Tenterden-Appledore-Woodchurch-Tenterden circuit.

In a field of seventy-one starters (one fewer than last year), forty-eight were male veterans and six were female veterans. Within the eleven non-veteran male riders were three of the four fastest finishers, namely Peter Tadros (In Gear Quickvit Trainsharp) at 21 min 5 sec, Will Mangar (Team Larkfield Cycles) 22:09, and Paul Holdaway (Team Lifestyle) 22:24. Rye & District Wheelers’ rocket-man Dave Wheeler, a former Thornton Road Club rider and now a veteran of forty-one, took second place, only seventeen seconds behind Peter Tadros. Bronwen Ewing, also of R&DW, was the fastest lady home and a veteran of course, at 24:56.

Thornton Road Club had two riders competing, both of whom were aging veterans and both of whom finished about eight or nine minutes behind the winner. They were Russ Mason, at 28:56 – a personal best on the Q10/33 – and Eric Bates at 30:06 – probably his personal worst. He attributes his ignominy to a careless gear change that dislodged his chain on the hill through Silcock’s Wood. Weather conditions were generally good for the afternoon ride: maximum temperature was about fourteen Celsius, with a robust wind from the southeast, and occasional localised showers that ensured that the road was never entirely dry.

And for numerates and number-lovers, the springtime open results have much that is appealing. The average age of this year’s veteran riders was 54 compared to 51.3 in 2009; the average vet time was one minute and four second slower than 2009 at 28:31. Surprisingly however, the average additional time needed to complete the course for each additional year of a vet’s age was only six seconds in 2010 compared to nine seconds in 2009. Both of these incremental needs illustrate the generosity of the sixteen seconds per vet’s year given in the official vet standards. How things have changed since the standards were set about fifty years ago. A small graph illustrates the numbers admirably, and the photographs below (courtesy of Bob Burden of R&DW) depict the joy and the agony.

Southborough & DW Q10/33, spring 2010

Russ Mason

Southborough &DW Q10/33, spring 2010

Eric Bates

Photos Courtesy of Bob Burden