Member Lydia Watts tells her inspiring story
Hardriders TT Sunday 5th March
I was woken by the sound of the rain at about 6am; however, this was not a gentle pitter patter, but more of a thrashing on my window pane. My heart sank! I promptly turned over and went back to sleep. Only to be woken up again an hour and a half later by the dulcet sounds of my dad coming up the stairs into my room to wake me.
Hardriders was certainly going to be true to its name.
During the drive over to the HQ at Wroxton Village Hall we were filled with mixture of apprehension and excitement with what the morning would bring. When Reuben (Trotter) and I arrived we headed straight in to collect our numbers and had a chat with other club members comparing the size of puddles we had all driven through on the way over and the dangerous conditions on the course.
10.18am – my time for the off – soon arrived. Luckily by this time the rain had relented, I arrived at the start line and waited for the countdown – 5,4,3,2,1 and I was off! It was slightly unusual not having Keri do this, but I soon put my head down and before I knew it Sunrising Hill was approaching. We had been warned to take it steady and to make sure we didn’t hit any of the cats eyes as they were protruding by quite some way. I opted to ride my disk wheel in these testing conditions which was interesting when the gaps in the hedges appeared especially coming off the straight at the bottom of Sunrising! As it’s always said, the ride out seemed longer than the ride back, especially with the headwind to the roundabout… as I was approaching it I started to pass riders in the other direction whose faces seemed etched with the same pain I was experiencing.
On the return leg the purgatory of Sunrising soon loomed into view. Having never been up it on a TT bike I was slightly apprehensive as to whether I would reach the top without keeling over… deep in the red I was suddenly aware of familiar voices egging me on half way up the hill. Mum and Dad and Reuben’s parents had come out to give support. The top of the hill, where the gradient is at its steepest, made me feel as if I was going backwards until I heard Sandra giving me the encouragement I needed for that one last push up this hill. Unlike my teammate, Florence Wiggins, who flew up the hill without a struggle picking up all of the QOMs!!
True to its word the Stratford Road into Banbury is a fast one! This allowed me to pick up some of the time I had lost on the hill resulting in my ride ending in 1:05:31 and the fastest female rider. Having never ridden a TT longer than 20km before I was very pleased with my result.
Lastly, I would like to thank Mike (Hicks) for organising such a fantastic event and everyone else who helped out, it was a really well organised event and somehow I enjoyed it!
The countdown to the Wednesday night TTs begins… I can’t wait!!