Adrian Killworth and Kevin Mills rode their first post-lockdown open event at the Tour of the Cornfields 100km off-road sportive in south west Cambridgeshire on Sunday.
The event looked in doubt after the organisers lost their normal start venue of Wimpole Hall just over a week beforehand, but fortunately they were able to secure the use of a local cricket club. Covid regulations meant that the riders were allocated a car park arrival time just half an hour before their allocated start time. This meant there would be minimal faff time so they had to turn up ready. After registering, it was an immediate roll through to the start where they were set off in groups of six.
Kev and Killa had elected to ride MTBs as they’d been doing that locally to cope with the bumps left by solidified hoof prints after the wet winter, although fortunately this was less of a feature on the sandier soils on the course. There were a sizeable minority on MTBs, but the majority were on cyclocross bikes, with a few hipsters on gravel bikes.
The frustration at not being able to race this summer meant that although this wasn’t a competitive event, many of the riders were going for it. It was fast and furious from the off. The MTBs were faster when it got bumpy or rutted, on the off-road descents and gravelly turns, while the ‘crossers were quicker when it was smoother, on the ascents and on the roads. Kev and Killa were quick to jump onto the wheels of any ‘cross bikes coming past on the tarmac sections. Kev had a minor mishap which saw him flying over the handlebars at speed after the rider in front of him stopped dead as their partner had dropped something – fortunately it was on grass, he avoided the rider in front and Killa managed to avoid riding over him. No harm done – the bike was okay – although Kev was a bit dazed – lots of apologies and off again. They flew along the byways and bridleways in the gently rolling countryside and finished the 97km route with a riding time of 4:07 – somewhat quicker than planned, but it was fun!
A great event just an hour down the road. They hope to be back again net year.