There's another thread on Beryl Burton, but it prompted a question about the details of British course layout. I am looking for that long-in-the-tooth Brit that can tell me how the courses were laid out.
I was always amazed at how fast the times were. Alf Engers was turning 25 miles in 50 minutes and change. Burton in the mid 50's. 50 and 100 mile tts were sub 2 and 4 hours.
But somehow I've picked up the idea that these courses were not chosen for low traffic, but were on rather busy dual carriageways that had a constant draft from passing cars. Engers was DQ'd once for forcing traffic to back up, evidently to get an advantage of the draft without actually pacing. I had one spring ride on the shoulders of a busy 4 lane road that was much faster than my level of fitness. I currently ride regularly on the shoulder of a road that is marked as a bike lane between the bedroom community of Nevada, IA and Ames. Riding against a quartering 12 mph wind, struggling to hold 15 mph, my speed picked up several mph several times as 18 wheelers passed me.
So the question is: Was it part of the culture of British TTs to consciously choose courses where motorized traffic created a constant tailwind, both ways?