Sotonia member and long distance rider, Nick Austin recently rode the BDCA 100, breaking the club record and making British Best All Rounder (BBAR) standard. Nick rode to a time of 3 hours 53 minutes and 23 seconds, beating the time of Stuart Martingale of  3:54:15 set in 2007. Here’s how it went in his words: “I entered the BDCA 100 last season. It would have been my 3rd 100 mile TT, having done my first and second 100m TTs last year as well. However after a three hour drive to the headquarters they decided they would cancel it, due to poor weather, so I turned round a came home! Luckily this year wasn’t a repeat, and actually conditions were near perfect – around 18 degrees, sunny, with a slight southerly wind.

The BDCA is a fast 100 mile course, as I found out. Having done the National 100m TT on the Bentley course earlier in the year, which is quite a lumpy bumpy course with a very pitted uneven section of road at the top end, the BDCA is flat by comparison, and on smooth concrete. Flat, that is, until you hit what is affectionately known as “Concrete Mountain” – a 5 mile or more uphill section at about 20 miles and 70 miles. First time it isn’t too bad, as your legs are fresh, but second time around it seems to go on for forever, as you watch your average speed slowly drop.

I had a few goals for this race – to beat my 100m time of 4.17 from the National to improve my BBAR average (as I’d already done a 50m TT and a 12 hour TT this season). Secondly, having just turned 40 and being a veteran (a scary concept), I knew a 4 hour time would get the club veteran record, and then I had a final target of the club record of 3.54. Having done a 1 51 for a 50 earlier in the year I knew this was a possibility, but frankly a 100 is a strange beast, and it’s a long distance over which anything can happen.

I went out just below a pace I knew I could probably sustain and because of the weather conditions I was still putting out an average of 26mph (I needed 25.7 for a time of around 3:54). I finished the first 50 in just over 1 hour 54, so I knew I needed around a 1:59 for the next 50, or a shade over 25 mph.

About 55 miles in the first signs of fatigue started to kick in, and Concrete Mountain was a bit of a grind. A tractor in the road followed by a long line of cars, traffic at the roundabout and a red light didn’t help either. The 3rd 25 was done in about 1 hour 1 minute, and I fell slightly short of my target time.

I knew I’d have to push for the last 25, which frankly was pretty hard going. It’s a long distance to push when you’re legs are feeling it. With 10 miles to go it was touch and go, but I pushed on, grimaced and dug really deep. The last section was thankfully more down than up, and the wind seemed favourable. With a good push I finished in 3:53:23. I had so little left in the tank that I struggled to ride the mile back to HQ, averaging about 5 mph!

The upside was also that, not only did I manage the BBAR, but I also averaged just over 25 mph across the 3 events (1:51 for the 50, 3 53 for the 100, 271 miles for the 12 hour). That one is definitely going on the wall when it comes in the post. All in all a cracking end to probably the best season I’ve had on a bike. I seem to be peaking as a veteran!”

Nick Austin