Club heroes Womack and Thompson in action in the snow

Womack after his wintry time trial ride

The coldest weather in the time trial season so far gave Chris Womack of Velo Club Baracchi the time trial experience of his life in the Plomesgate CC 10-mile time trial.

He joined the thirteen other lucky enthusiasts who, out of the forty who had entered, were brave enough to present themselves to the timekeeper and take part in the event.

He said, “Because of the amount of snow the course was full of water and at some places slush with some large puddles to get round as well as plenty of grit plus the driving snow. It was minus 2 degrees by my car but with freezing gale force winds it was more like minus 6.”

Womack had to use his heavier alloy front wheel because of the strong wind on the sporting course from Sudbourne through Tunstall to Bentwaters and back.

He said, “It was a bit easier going out to the turn but coming back was a bit of a nightmare against the bitter wind.  I’ve never ridden in conditions like that before and my fingers got so cold that they hurt, it took at least 30 minutes to get the life back into them.”

Despite all this hardship Womack achieved 28:45.  In the last two miles his legs nearly gave up through the cold and this result was nearly three minutes slower than in the Breckland CC 10 at the beginning of the month.

The times of the fastest were Glenn Taylor (Shorter Rochford) 23:55, Paul Jay (Team Velo Velocity) 24:19, Chris Leggett (Stowmarket & District CC) 26:46

As Stowmarket & District had four riders who started and finished so the fastest three of them must have won the team prize.

The Sunday 25-mile time trials from Bressingham organised by Diss & District CC Bressingham were postponed or cancelled because of the forecast that it would feel like minus nine degrees with a 20mph headwind all the way back.  In those conditions John Dupen would not have been disappointed to miss his trike ride.

John Thompson of VCB was one of very few riders who took part in the Cambridge CC “End of Hibernation” Audax rides, which this year turned out to be badly named.

Realising that the snowy conditions were adverse and the wind would be so strong he managed to “downgrade” his entry from the 200km to 100km and he was one of only three riders at that distance, with just five at the longer distance, out of the 80 in all who had entered.

Thompson said, “Three of the 200km starters packed and one of ours did too, leaving the organiser waiting around all day for four riders!  I felt sympathy for him, although he seemed ‘matter of fact about it.’”

The warm glow of achievement must have compensated for the struggle round the course, which Thompson completed in six hours and forty-nine minutes, which was about 15 minutes inside the allowed time, despite the snow drifting so badly in places that one had to walk.

The event started at Whittlesford and the route is too complicated to mention in detail, but included Littlebury, Saffron Walden, Finchingfield and Stradishall, as well as a later stage via Great Bradley, Brinkley, Six Mile Bottom, Gt Wilbraham and the Shelfords which seemed to fly, despite Thompson’s bike being so iced up the gears had difficulty functioning.

Riders looking forward to the Beccles Cycle for Life charity ride on May 12 are getting their entries in.  See for entry details, including entry on-line or by post.