Hey guys nice to find a few of you reading my blog! I’ll tell you a bit about today.
I was up at 5ish so i could attempt to eat a bowl of porridge. I’ve never been good at eating early, and i think i managed 3/4 of a bowl. I left at half 6 as i knew i needed petrol. Got to the first one on the A303 to find the cash machine not working. Onto the next one on the A34. Petrol station open, the rest of it shut! Now I’ll point out i was very nervous about being the slowest rider there today and all this marlarky didn’t help. I stopped at the next one and it was fully open so i grabbed my 2nd coffee of the day. Then onto the New Forest.
I got there at 8.10 and after getting changed and registering i found not a lot to do! Walked to the car an back a few times. Talked to the men next to me (sorry guys i have forgotten ur names!).
Oh yeah did we get one hell of a goodie bag… if you like gels etc! And a pen, Garmin lip salve, 2 bottles, cycling plus magazine, Muc Off etc…
One of the men i talked to said his average speed was about the same as mine so i asked if he would mind me riding with him. I hate being a loner!
We had bikes ready and were waiting for the Garmin Sharp lads to arrive… and waited and waited! So Felix and Luke from Rapha Condor had a bit of a Q&A… then we waited some more… then had a safety briefing… and by this time i just wanted to get going as i knew it would take me at least 3 hours to get round! Eventually they turned up and did a quick Q&A… then it was collect the bikes time!
Me and the bloke i was riding with wanted to get away asap so we knew we would finish in time… If we git the whole way round!
We set off in the second group. And i have no idea who was leading us as we were about 20 back! Also this was the first time i had ridden with a bunch of people! The pace was roughly 22mph and we kept up for about 7 miles… Then we started dropping like flies! Oh and four of us that managed to stick together up Ornamental Drive were nearly flattened by stampeding ponies!! I started laughing but soon got dropped myself. On the flattish parts i found myself hitting about 22mph… but was on my own for a long time. Until Luke GMs (no i can’t spell his surname… He rides for Rapha Condor as i said earlier! Stop laughing!!!) group came past me halfway up a hill. Managed to wheelsuck and get 3/4 of the way up there until i started going backwards!
It was fairly flat then until The Hill. We were asked to not swear at it too much as the villagers had already complained! Just before i got there i had opened a Torq gel… that ripped down the side an went everywhere! I stopped and tried to sort it out but gave up!
Then i looked up. Hello 18% very short hill. I had lost my run up at it so walked up, trying to avoid people that couldn’t clip out fast enough!! Then Felix English breezed past with his group, and i had to laugh as i saw a few wobble just before the top.
Thank god the feed station was just down the other side! I grabbed probably 3 pints of water and downed them. Several cake bars. Another gel to shove in my pocket. And filled my bottle up with some High5 drink. Then saw the bloke i had set off with. I apologise for dropping him and not waiting but he was fine about it.
Right just 26 miles left. We set out again, some nice flattish roads letting us average about 18mph (ooo Im so quick!). Saw ponies, donkeys, cattle and shetland ponies everywhere! Then we hit a string off little rises. Halfway up i turned to see him walking (i was probably doing 4mph by then!) but thought he would soon catch me up on the flat. How wrong i was!
I had been tempted to cut the last loop of the ride off but i was feeling ok after having another gel so carried on…
I caught up two older women in front of me and sat in behind them for a few miles.
Weirdly i dropped them as well! Looking at my Garmin Edge 200 we only had 9 miles left although by now every hill was bringing me to a near standstill! It was the last hill when i wobbled in front of the photographer (hope he didn’t get THAT pic!). And i stormed the last flat bit doing 23mph! Had loads of cars passing me as they had probably finished an hour or so before me!
I crossed the finish and got a cheer from some of the Garmin Sharp staff – thanks guys! – thank god i had slowed down because i hit gravel and would have skidded into their team bus otherwise. As it is i was wearing trainers and jumped off to land running! That got a few laughs!
No my legs are fine. My lungs hate me and Im shattered (so excuse any spelling or non capitalisation of words!) And that macdonalds tasted divine!
Oh ride data:
Distance 49.8 miles
Average speed 14.55mph
Max speed: 34.22mph
I think i need to believe in myself more!
Thanks to Chain Reaction Cycles for the entry. All sponsors. And Garmin Sharp (even if they were late!). I absolutley loved it! Thanks to the helpful people i met and the ones who spared me a smile and a ‘good on ya’ when they flew past me! And the bloke whose name i can’t remember!