After 6 weeks of initial organising, it all eventually came to fruition today!
It all started swimmingly with the Police Notification. Entries were slow to roll in at first but we ended up with 126 entrants including Howard Clark who I rejected on the grounds of his broken fingers and one other who withdrew.
Late on Friday, we still have 120 riding. By this time, the 4 reserves had been allocated spaces. Another 4 riders backed out first thing this morning before lunchtime giving apologies. 1 rider got a puncture and did not start. 7 failed to turn up without giving apologies and we had 1 DNF (Did Not Finish) who went off course.
The only cloud over the event was the incident of a driver who was mouthing off about cyclists and deliberately smashed a bottle or some glass at the 5 mile mark. Sadly, the marshall who spotted this was unable to get a vehicle registration. What is wrong with these morons? I'll let that there.
Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped out today and to all the competitors that managed to resist the draw of the England v Sweden Match! That's commitment for you!
I feel it all went very well considering that I received a call at 12:07 from an entrant who was driving down the A1 who advised that one lane was closed on the Northbound carriageway. A couple of manic hours followed with phone calls and texts left, right and centre as it looked as though the event was not going to go ahead. Talk about baptism of fire for my first event. I took the decision to assess the situation on site and also, if needs be, push the event back up to 1 hour. It paid off. By 4pm, it was clear that the cones had been cleared despite the Traffic England website saying that the lane was closed for "emergency barrier repairs" following an accident last night according to the keeper of the Pavilion. It astounds me looking back at the consumate ease with which other organisers seem to float calmly and serenely around their Race HQ's whilst chaos must be ensuing somewhere. I suppose it takes a few attempts to get everything spot on. Despite this I managed to get a sub-standard ride in myself with only a 4 minute warm-up but the disappointment of the ride was ameliorated by the warm wishes which followed. Thanks also to Steve Littlewood, as joint organiser, for strong-arming numerous relatives in including Francesca who provided a cornucopia of homemade food but wasn't there to take the credit. Ultimately, the biggest thanks has to go to the volunteers, without whom, the event could not have gone ahead to be the success it was. I wish to thank all of you personally in time for the effort made. It was gratefully appreciated. Yours faithfully, Roger Widdowson