This years Bristol Bikefest was held in Ashton Court as per normal, it follows the groomed trails for the most part and covers a little over 5 miles per lap.
The weather in the week running up to the weekend festival was appalling, torrential rain & gales. However I think that we were very lucky. Although I wasn’t there on Saturday the weather was nice and dry for the 12 hour & the kids race. Harry was competing in the kids race this year, he was taken to the race by the team manager (Brad) who cheered him on. Harry did really well, coming in first. This is now his second race win, so I’m pleased for him. He was awarded a certificate and a medal for his efforts.
Sunday was race day for the Bedminster Riders team, most of the team were doing the 3 hours solo, however I had opted to do the 6 hours solo. Mainly in training for the Isle of Man End2End race later in the year, however due to the appalling weather earlier in the week this race was cut from 6 to 4 hours, so it wasn’t going to be the test I was looking for. Nevertheless I was still going to enjoy myself and just take it at a steady pace for the 4 hours.
As per normal for this race it was a Le mans style start, which I hate as it involves running… I was one of the last to get to my bike from the whole field, certainly last in the team, so I had more work to do than most. I quickly passed the other in the team, apart from Mike, our latest member of the team. The first couple of laps I was passing people, picking them off one by one until I found a natural place in the field of riders. Then all of a sudden Brad was up behind me, not quite sure where he managed to catch me up but he did and passed me. I wasn’t going to let that bother me though as I knew I had another hour or racing on him to do and wasn’t going to let my competitive nature grab hold of me. I just continued on at my own steady pace. I was actually enjoying the climbs and had been learning to climb better recently. Resisting temptation to spin a really easy gear has certainly helped me climb better, not only is staying in the right gear quicker but it also offers better traction over the slippery rocks. Not sure if I could have stayed sat on the bike for the original 6 hours around such a short course as boredom was starting to set in on just the 4th lap. So as I came across the start finish line on the 5th lap I was a little pleased that I only had 27 mins left on the clock. As the rules for this race are that you need to have finished your last lap before the clock stopped, I had no chance of doing another lap in just 27 mins, my race was done, although the official times are slightly different. I could possibly have pushed another lap in if the clocks were aligned and I knew I have 33 mins left.
The final times were