Saturday, 10 May 2014

10 May: Special ride to Baldock to watch The Women's Tour

Ian writes: Today's ride was a special ride as The Women's Tour was passing by our patch. There was to be a sprint stage in the middle of Baldock High Street. The chance to see some Olympic gold medallists doing their day job was too good to miss.

The forecast heavy rain never really materialised, though the 20mph+ winds did. This wind was to be pretty much straight into our faces on the way there. David was the only rider to meet me in Haslingfield. It turned out Conrad had problems with the wind and was running late. We didn't arrive at the Bassingbourn pickup up point until 10.45 as the wind was so strong. Conrad had taken a different route and managed to meet up with Mike S, so they rode to Baldock in one group, David and I in the other.

Despite the wind making us use gears we normally don't touch, the skies were blue and the countryside is coming into its full glory now.

The hills were quite arduous, but we made it OK (David won the King of the Mountains). We took the familiar route via Steeple Morden following the lanes.

The four of us met up at Baldock with plenty of time for a leisurely cafe stop.

Larger crowds were gathering than I was expecting. At least a couple of thousand lined the length of the high street. The crowds merrily cheered anyone who crossed the line on a bike while waiting for the main event to appear. The racing clubs played up to this and sprinted across the line, sometimes with arms aloft.

The main race arrived, the sprint was contested, the peleton passed followed by the stragglers.

The passing of the broom wagon brought it all to an end (they had strapped a broom to the van).

The crowds cleared and we now had that wind on our backs for the ride home. We set off at a furious pace without trying, retracing our steps via Ashwell, whose fine bus shelter kept us protected from the only significant rain shower of the day.

It had taken 2 hours to get there, it was about 1 hour 15 on the way home.

I arrived home with 43 miles on the clock. Many thanks to those who joined me. Ian Driver

1 comment:

  1. Ian -- thanks for the ride but you were too kind. The reason I was late at Haslingfield was because I couldn't make up my mind what to wear or bring along with me given the variable weather.

    And I was wondering where you disappeared to as the race came through. Now I know that all those years of volunteering at bike races has given you valuable experience in terms of where to get the best photo shots.