Posted: 28/08/2014 at 15:12
Daylight - route is well signposted and marshalled, and is basically four left turns. Let me have a play at a recce in words (for anyone who has done this route many times before, my apologies for boring you!):
Coming out of transition, head out of the car park and u to the main road, cursing gently at the number of parked cars who have ignored the no parking traffic cones. Turn left onto the main A606 heading for Oakham, and immediately realise that it feels as if the bike is heavy as lead and you are not getting anywhere. Stop panicking - you are on a slight rise for a mile or so and the prevailing wind will be in your face. A mile along, past the hotel, windsock and occasional helicopter, and you get the first decent downhill - its wide with good visibility, so you can let that go and enjoy the speed. At the bottom, its a couple of miles to the Oakham roundabout into the wind.
Left at the Oakham roundabout onto the new bypass. Immediately feels faster - the wind is now on your side, and mostly sheltered by big hedge and trees. For about three miles its a nice ride. Enjoy it, the ripple is next. Three hills up and down again - not lake district spec, but you'll notice them and need to get off the big ring. You get a decent straight drop off after each to get your breath back. The middle one is the longest and steepest. Get through those three, and your at the Uppingham roundabout.
Turn left again. You now get about 8 miles of straight with the wind (usually) behind you - a chance to get into a cruise and make some time. After about 8 miles, you are flagged off left at a slight angle by a petrol station - still fairly flat. There's a small roundabout to go straight over, and then you are into Ketton village - can be narrow, but they suspend the traffic lights in the middle for us. Get through there, and after about a mile marshals will be waving at you to turn left- that's the one I usually miss on training rides if I am not concentrating.
Turn left and up the hill. It's not a bad hill, but it goes on a bit. Once you are at the top, there's a steepish left bend just before the main road - there was a fair amount of gravel around last time I was up there, so that's one to watch. Keep going to the main road - this junction is heavily marshalled, as you are turning out on the main A road.
Turn left and start heading along back towards Whitwell. Wind is probably back in your face now. Road surface is good - it was redone a while back. 3 miles along there, and you descend fairly steeply into Empingham village, and then end up suffering for that by climbing through the village itself and get laughed at by everyone sitting outside the pub. Keep climbing up past the woods and the right bed at the top, where you can at last see Rutland Water again. Steep and slightly bendy down into Whitwell, through the village, up the other side and turn left back down to Whitwell car park.
And now all you have to do is the whole thing again!