Friday, 5 February 2010

Port Talbot Wheelers 2-up '25' preview

It's that time of year, when Grumpy Bob unearths last year's entry forms and updates them to take into account his parlous performances of the previous year. 2010 is no exception, with the 2009 season not having been successful, mostly through having too much work, but also (and very sadly) as a result of the tragedy on the F1 last spring which dented Grumpy Bob's enthusiasm for racing for a while. The content of the entry form for the PTW 2-up has traditionally generated emails dripping with derision and sarcasm from "Grumpy" Art, though he has been mysteriously (and ominously) silent this year. See below for the probably explanation.

Team Grumpy bounced back for a reasonable performance at the Duo Normand, though they did get a serious drubbing from the winning BikeRadar team. As usual, Team Grumpy's season will kick off with the Port Talbot Wheelers 2-up '25' on the R25/24 course along the Neath Valley. This isn't the epic "Cheaty Course" on which PBs come thick and fast (and on which this event used to be run), but a neat little course at the bottom of the hill.

The course divides into two sections, with the first half heading south on the dual carriageway from the race HQ and back, turning onto a delightful back road to head south and back again. The DC section is always quite peaceful, while the second half undulates quite a bit, but runs alongside the old canal and through some small villages. Actually, this makes the second half rather more hazardous - last year saw a real Two Ronnies moment with a bloke carrying an unfeasibly long spirit level crossing the road with 2-up teams bearing down on him from both directions.

All in all it's a nice event, despite the frequent dodginess of the early season weather. The HQ, which is in a Working Men's Club, is spacious (if a little chilly), and the organising club and other riders always seem particularly chatty and friendly. Unfortunately this year, the Team Grumpy Centenary Season, we are starting out in less than ideal conditions - Grumpy Bob feels quite fit but is seriously overweight while "Grumpy" Art has likened his present condition to that of a walrus.

Still, four weeks to go, plenty of time...

The Port Talbot Wheelers 2-up '25' will be on the 7th March (at a very civilised start time of 10.00am), and uses the R25/24 course. Still plenty of time to enter!

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