Saturday was the Beacon Wheelers 10 mile Open TT on the L1020 course near Calthwaite a little North of Penrith.

As my parents live in Appleby, just down the road and my brother was over visiting from Australia I’d seen this race quite some time ago and it looked like a good opportunity to combine everything together!

The weather was hot, really hot, though I’m not complaining at all. We’ve had a great run of weather and I’ve been doing my level best to not once complain about it being ‘too hot’ as seems to be a popular British tradition; I’ll remind the ‘naysayers’ in December!

I’d looked at the course previously on the map and it looked pretty straight forward; running South along the A6 for a little over 4 miles, round the TI and then back North for a little under 6 miles. Unfortunately, what the map didn’t really show was how rolling the course was. As I drove along the A6 to the HQ I could immediately see this wasn’t going to be a fast one. The profile of the course doesn’t really give much up either, looking a lot flatter than it is in reality.

Beacon Wheelers Open 10

The course was a lot more rolling than the profile suggests!

I’d got caught in a little traffic on the way over, so my warm-up was curtailed a little and things became a temporarily frantic when I realised that packing my bike in the car with my brother, his girlfriend and a good chunk of luggage on the way up to my parents had obviously knocked the front derailleur and it wouldn’t go into the large chain-ring. After some pretty hurried shoving, kicking and tightening things looked better and I rolled along to the start.

The first half of the ride was tough, into a hot 12mph block headwind and over some really long dragging rollers. I actually did the latter 6 miles in about the same time as I did the first 4! With the rolling nature of the course it was tricky to get a rhythm and although the drags were not fully fledged hills they were enough so that you couldn’t really carry speed right over them.  In the end I crossed the line with a 22:34. Not my best 10 by a long way, but as it turned out good enough for the top 3 or 4 on the day.  There were about 45 riders in all, with about 10 of those being juniors, as the GHS qualifiers were being run at the same time.

I’ve not seen the full results, but Andy Jackson (Team Swift) was a complete runaway winner with a time of 20:09. Andy is a seriously quick rider (obviously) with a particular talent for the shorter TT’s and regularly does 18 minute 10’s. He’s also competed in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. I believe there was a long 21 in 2nd with myself in 3rd, or perhaps 4th place. Considering the course record (before Mr Jackson arrived) was 22:15 I guess I should be quite pleased with the ride.

Thanks to Beacon Wheelers for organising. It was a really good event and they do a really good job of organising some good TT’s up in Cumbria.

Strava action is here.

Calthwaite Maize Maze

I don’t think there was any photographers about at the race, but this is Calthwaite Maize Maze just down the road. Pretty cool!