Steve Skinner, Stuart Peckham and Ben Boardman headed up to the H100 Bentley course on the bank holiday weekend all with personal goals but equally with a common goal in mind. With a week to go it was aired by Ben that it’s not often 3 NFCC riders ride an open together even less so for a 100mile TT, surely we should be going for the 33 year old NFCC 100 mile team record (13:11:15 set by Chris Jolliffe, J.Satherley and C. Bix).
. With Steve mentioning that ‘back in the day’ he never went over 4hours for a 100 and Stuart having ridden a cracking ride on the same course last year it was only Ben who was the unknown with blissful ignorance of the pain involved.
The day started with lots of anticipation. Most riders looked anything from confident to outright naïve, but all had the key ingredient – the will to push beyond the pain barrier for a silly amount of time whilst sat in an uncomfortable position on 2 wheels. Either that or we’re all just a bit nutty…
Ben was off first out of the NFCC riders, his minute man in front being the eventual winner. Ben commented that he saw him at the start, then saw him going like a steam engine on the 1st turn and that was the last time until the HQ later. Stuart was next off and soon settled into his rhythm. Stuart had a time goal in mind and had the benefit of having already ridden the course last year. Steve was the last NFCC man off. With years of experience under his belt and a plethora of wins in his prime he certainly had the legs (and the nutrition…apparently lemon curd sarnies tucked up each sleeve are his weapons of choice).
Ben commented that he felt fairly comfortable and was holding his goal pace of 25.1mph so all was going to plan. With each lap a knowing look and sometimes nod was exchanged over the carriageway with his fellow NFCC riders. That comfort soon turned into questioning of why am I doing this, It hurts more than it should, I’ve still got a long way to go and I keep passing my parked car which looks so inviting for a rest. With 3.5 laps (70miles) under his belt though his relative in-experience at this distance began to start showing cracks. The legs turned to wood and the average unfortunately began to drop. Slowly but surely Tony Greens NFCC record slipped out of his grasp and then it was a case of survival. The goal now was to put in a decent effort for the team record. His eventual time coming through the line was 4:4:12.
A little way down the road Stuart was having a great ride and slicing a good amount of time of his P.B. Stuart managed to stay strong throughout, but did have to answer mother natures call. A welcome respite and a formula one speed pit stop under his belt he carried on to cruise through the finish line in a cool 4:11:30 seconds. Tantalisingly close to the 24mph average he was aiming for.
The last man to come in was the old guard of the team Steve. He’d mentioned that he was having some troubles with comfort beforehand which beggars belief that he even found the motivation to step on the bike for a 100mile TT. As he suspected the comfort issues did begin to show. Shortly after the halfway point Steve had to swap his TT bike for his road bike as well as changing shorts at the same time. Somehow Steve peddled on through surely more pain than anyone else out there…He commented afterwards that he would have stopped if it wasn’t for the Team record. As Steve came through the line, all things considered, he put in a very respectable time of 4:33:35.
Everyone was certainly jaded afterwards, but we had to wait a further 10 days before having the times ratified. Once confirmed, 3 NFCC records were broken that day.
NFCC 100mile team record – 12:49:17 we managed to take 21minutes and 58seconds off the old record.
NFCC V45 100mile record – 4:11:30 Stuart took almost 15mins off the previous record.
NFCC V60 100mile record – 4:33:35 Steve set a new V60 record which surpasses all previous Veteran records back to the V45 age category.
NFCC 83rd Annual Dinner 2017
There will be a memorial service for Joan Smith, wife of Geoff club life member. This will be held on Thursday 7th December at 2.00 at St Margaret’s Church, Old Christchurh Road, Everton