Closed Circuit Racing

Yesterday I went out to Castle Coombe race track to take part in a closed circuit ten mile time trial. you’d imagine that this would lead to lightning quick times and serious racing. In reality, the course is pretty slow, on a par with the infamous u7b, or as it is better known, the graveyard. The main attraction is riding a traffic-free course. It felt slightly weird, to tell you the truth and it certainly made you more aware, or even entirely aware, of the bike handling of your fellow testers.

With it being in the middle of this beautiful run of warm and balmy run of days, it attracted a field of over 50 miles. the scariest rider by some distance was Jeff Jones. He arrived quite late, having scorched across the wiltshire and north east somerset countryside in his spangly new overshoes (and other cycling gear, not just overshoes) fresh from the Drag2Zero lock-up garage – think belleville rendezvous meets tron and i suspect you’ll be not far off the mark. Ben Anstie was also there. And I was there, and in hindsight, i think i might have been classed as one of the scarier riders, although it’s an odd proposition for me personally because i don’t class myself as one of the scarier riders particularly, but the attitude of my peers towards my bike riding seems to have changed this year.

the race track

the rest of the field was made up of some unusual characters. there was a large Finnish chap with lots of equipment and his parents in support and he took it very seriously indeed. he seemed nice though. maybe i’m just saying this because i beat him by quite a large margin (although not as large as the margin by which Jeff beat me). and then there was a team of riders from Westbury CC. At first I thought they were drafting, but I then realised they were doing a 3-up. And then there were the triathletes. You have to admire the perversity of this sport. it’s filthy. I am all for people doing triathlons, but my singular narrowmindness, my utter incapability to see beyond my own visor, make it difficult for me to understand the appeal of this sport. at one point near the end i overtook a guy running around the track and had a genuine ‘what the fuck?’ moment until i realised he was simply trying to maximise his training and had obviously finished his time trial so then moved onto the run. i half-expected to see him doing the front crawl in a muddy pond around the back of the circuit.

my eyes!

i managed a 21.18, which was fine, behind Ben with a 21.10 and Jeff with a frankly ridiculous 20.21. I think my time bodes well for the season ahead.


4 thoughts on “Closed Circuit Racing

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  1. Anton Aro is apparently Finnish national champ, I will be racing against him at Herne Hill on Good Friday

    1. oh cool. well, he wasn’t that fast, although he did look like he might be fast. maybe he was having an off-day because of the legs. and he had his parents (i think) taking photos and split times. he did have a finnish flag on his jersey.

    1. didnt see these replies until now, herne hill was good pleased with my performances sort of, they only had the dernys this year and not the triumphs maybe next year

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