Haven’t done the HONC (Hell of the North Cotswolds)for a few years, its held on the same day as the Paris-Roubaix race. Its about 50-50 off road and singletrack/rough tracks, just the kind of territory for a Burlycross.
Setting off with the thousand other riders through the town I made sure I got near the head of the field, Singular in 1×9 mode and forks back on as the ground has been baked hard by our best Spring for years. The start slowly climbs for at least 6 miles, it was hot and dusty but once we started to descend I soon whizzed by what seems like loads of CycloCrossers on the bumpy downhills. A group formed 3 cross bikes a mtb and me. We were powering on and at one of the checkpoints we were told we were 2nd group on the road, only 2 other riders ahead.
The lack of bigger gears and fatter tyres didn’t really cause any problems on the road sections, i just tucked in and followed, the cross guys started to scrutinse my bike, especially when i left them for dead on the rocky sections. I had fun opening the gates for them then hammering to catch up on the rough, which never felt to hard THIS BIKE IS THE DOGS!
At the halfway checkpoint the guys got there cards stamped and shot off, no food or drink, sod that it has to be fun! I parked up grabbed some superb Bread pudding and Tea and sat on the grass cooking now the breze had stopped. And what a breeze, we had averaged 16.4 mph for the first 30 miles, smoking. the boys caught me up eventually, a second round of food for me and off we went again together a bit more relaxed.
Pilch, Brownie and DaveL were on it but SSDave was getting beat up on the climbs, with 10 miles to go we left him and got ripping again, still finished in 4hrs30 ride time, fastest time here by me ever and still had cake fun, thats what its all about.