There is only one thing slightly easier than a cycle club individual time trial and that is the two-up time trial.
That was the prospect facing 46 riders from the Masterton Cycling Club on Tuesday evening for the annual 40km ride from Johnstone St out to Longbush and back.
All cyclists know about the Wairarapa summer winds and Tuesday looked like more of the same with gusty conditions expected. But, an hour before the start a southerly roared up the valley and the prospect was suddenly of a head wind going out and a tail wind home.
It's easy to think a bad wind one direction will favour the other direction but this course proves the idea fallacious.
Head winds can be experienced every way when hugging the eastern hills on the Longbush road. The rain that accompanied the wind change, along with the drop in temperature, added to the potential misery.
Starting at one-minute intervals the paired riders headed away.
Riders had in most cases self-selected their "teams" with an eye on the opposition. Most pairs were well matched and the times confirmed this.
Some pairs went hard out on the outbound leg to their detriment on the return journey; some were more circumspect and gradually built their speed.
Others just hung on regardless of the direction and prayed for a sight of the finish line. Still others, on seeing the weather and the rain, withdrew there and then. Some of these were rural people who you would think were used to such inclemency.
Another pair, having been warned to be at the start line at their allotted time, did not do so.
Shame really as they would have comfortably won the event.
Instead the winners were the pairing of Mike Wilkinson and Eddy Kuipers, followed by Ben Knight and Andrew Linton. Dave Drummond and Warwick Burr, representing the law, came third.
Squeezed in between second and third was the tandem father and daughter combo of Craig and Jenna Mangin.
Actual times were: Mike Wilkinson and Eddy Kuipers 1.00.57, Ben Knight and Andrew Linton 1.01.09, Craig and Jenna Mangin 1.06.31, Dave Drummond and Warwick Burr 1.06.44, John Chesmar and Brian Sanders 1.08.40, Lesley Mouat and Devan Simmonds 1.08.46, Peter James and Pat Evers 1.09.01, Mike Sutton and Mike Clinton-Baker 1.10.35, Simon Butler and Earle Whitcombe 1.11.06, Lawrence Field and Paul Wallace 1.11.12, Derek Cox and Terry Blackburn 1.11.12, Danny Clarkson and Kirsten Goodin 1.12.46, Russell Pickering and Darren Southon 1.13.23, Phil Sutherland and Brian Lambert 1.13.26, Jeff Saywell and Christina Schierlitz 1.13.26, Brett Tulloch and John Allen 1.13.55, Douglas Maclachlan and Julie Old 1.16.00, Dave Howden and Dave Hodder 1.17.27, Brett Gould and John Murray 1.18.28, Mark Langlands and Jo Van Woerkom 1.20.43.
Next Tuesday's event will be a graded road race on the Kourarau loop over 55km with a 6pm start. Finish will be at Henley Lake. No late registrations.