Newbury 12 hour

What a day. Well, for me, morning.  I don't think I have ever got my pacing so spectacularly wrong in an event before, but in my defence the gusting westerly was probably the root cause.  I didn't have a specific distance in mind and probably that was again part of my downfall.

I had given another rider a lift down to the event who also happened to be my minute man and he was hoping for around 270 miles, so I thought that after the start I wouldn't see him again.  You can imagine my surprise when I went past him after 20 miles! The downwind leg was amazing, easily coasting along at around 30mph. Unfortunately for me the headwind leg also felt petty good, and I was pushing too hard but not really realising it at the time.  The big alarm bell started to ring when at 3 hours I had covered 70 miles so was on 280 mile distance! Oops.  Things still felt good for the next hour but the writing was on the wall. I went through four hours having covered 90 miles so I was now at 270 mile pace; already a pretty big drop off. I think I did 100 miles in about 4:20; some 15 minutes better than I had ridden previously, admittedly on the SCCU  course.

The next hour and a half was pretty miserable. As well as my power dropping through the floor I had started to get a nasty saddle sore. I was wearing my new nopinz skin suit which is a great bit of kit but the chamois pad is not as thick as I am used to. Coupled with my rubbish saddle it just wasn't a comfortable combination and I was not able to keep my position which in all other respects was ok. The thought of spending another 6.5 hours like that was simply not an option so I packed at just over 5 hours. The first time I've ever climbed off a bike in TT but the right decision.  

Lessons learnt

1. Get a new saddle.

2. Pace don't race 

3. Nutrition was ok, mainly using high5 but I need more savoury stuff, sandwiches etc. 

4. Remember to put on sun cream. I have some interesting sun burn.


Suzie!  That woman has the heart of a lion! She rode 221 miles and hopefully she's broken the club record but if not, she's only a skin suit and aero helmet away, and on a much better day will smash it.  She just kept trucking on. An awesome and gutsy ride when a lot of people packed.


also need to say a massive thank you to Brian for giving up his Sunday to support both Suzie and I. I know he loves it, but it's still a big ask and makes a massive difference having a friendly face on the end of a sticky bottle. Hopefully I can do him justice next time. 

  1. That was a real dog of a day,way too windy for a 12.

    It's down to the maths for Suzie, Chrystal has the record at 221.820.

    The exact result will be out in a couple of days.

    I'm finding it difficult to come to terms with the fact that I can't ride a 10 miler (on a float day) as fast as quite a few people ride 12 hours in a gale (well almost). ie 30 times the distance. That's not good is it! I hear the call of old peoples day centres on Wednesday mornings, it's very close to coming to that ,it really is.

    If Ollie the dog and my builders will let me I might ride the Farnham club 10 tomorrow, flat calm forecast.


  2. On a good day Suzie will smash the record to pieces! Exciting times. She has the vets record anyway till the final results come through. I beat Anns 12hr record by 300 yards🤣 my friends said it was an awful day on that course and half the field packed. Very well done Suzie😘

  3. Agreed, another 10 miles at least maybe 15.

  4. They've just sent out provisional results. Suzie has 220.95.  Let's hope for another float day on the ECCA 12 and see if we can lend Suzie some wheels. Awesome effort irrespective of missing out on the record.

  5. Hard luck Alex, just like me in the 24hr three years ago, I just could not pace myself and flew too fast for the first 3 hours. I did have lots of good sandwiches though. The weather was hot with little wind. It was the night circuit that killed me and many others packing after 21 hours. Better luck next time.

    As for Suzie she is amazing and on the right course and less wind she will take the KPRC record if not this year next. Well done!

  6. Hi all, have only just read all these lovely comments as I went off to the Alps a few days after the 12 hour.

    It was a tough day with the wind that gradually got worse! Every 10 miles when we turned at the bottom rounabout it was a case of "oh no, here we go again!" Turning at the top roundabout was great! I gave it my best shot but sadly it wasn't enough. Oh well, roll on the next 12!

    Alex was like a rocket! Had he kept that pace up for the 12 hours he'd probably be heading off to the Olympics in 2020! Great stuff Alex! You certainly didn't look like you were suffering in the saddle area!

    It's great being able to take part in 12 hour TT's but without the support and commitment from Brian it wouldn't be possible. Before, during and after the ride he's there to give advice, give progress updates, pass food and drink, listen to me moan about what hurts and what doesn't and to persuade me that lying on the marshall's car bonnet at the finish may not be the best idea! Many thanks Brian!

    Thank you for your lovely comments, I really appreciate them!

    Better luck next time eh?!


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