Sunday saw Retrobike take on the 27th running of the Hell of The North Cotswolds, a 100km (or 50km if you’d rather) reliability trial around the bridleways and lanes surrounding Winchcombe. Click here for the Retrobike HONC aftermath thread. Here is a (very personal) record of the day:
- arrived late. faffed. Met precious few Retrobikers at the start bar Gravymonster and CAS.
- the start was carnage and despite waiting for a while before going through the gate from the school still got caught up in track standing on the first ‘hill’
- passed Jon Herring who explained that he was riding a modern Orange due to a bad back. I explained that it was less bad back, more a lack of spine and rode on.
- the first ‘half’ of the longer route was mainly road. Flat road. I am not complaining although I was at the time.
- regrouped at the food stop (great flapjack and bread pudding as always) and headed off with The Guvnor, Fast James, Mark S and Del. Foolishly (sugar rush from the flapjack?) I decided to mix it with fast James, even leading into the descent to the water splash/ford (no, none of us took it either, preferring the ‘racing line’. Hah.). The Guvnor watched and waited, with a shark like expression last seen in public on a young Monica Seles. Then he pounced, using a deadly combination of youth, fitness and gears. The elastic snapped. He may well be Le Patron as well as The Guvnor.
- and on we ground, dust flying and a cooling breeze taking the edge off 20C temperatures. And on. And on.
- the final descent into Winchcombe was welcome and I met Mark S at the finish – how the hell had he got there first as I could have sworn that he hadn’t passed me? A woeful story of stripping the sidewall away from the rim at 55km followed by 5km riding on the rim and the broom wagon. A real shame.
- then it was corned beef sandwiches and fruit cake, sitting on the grass and talking it all up. A smashing end to a smashing day.
- home to beer and beef curry, washing the bike free of dust, an hour raking the garden and showing off a great Cotswold tan (i.e. tide mark formed by the dust; I was almost sorry to wash it off. Almost).
For those who haven’t been to HONC before, it’s a great event, well established and highly recommended. Just hope there is no photographic evidence this year…..