Sunday, March 18, 2012

Longleat Sportive

The day started early and it was frosty and foggy. Driving down the rain hammered down and I was starting to have some serious reservations about popping my 100 mile cherry.  The weather did clear up once we had started...... That's after spending ages in a queue just to park and the toilet queue!!! At this stage I was still undecided at what distance to do.

We started as a reasonable size group, members from Mendip Cycling crew and West Country tri and of course Twitter buddies.  We cycled through the grounds of Longleat and was up straight up a big hill over those horrible cattle grids.  My bike gears starting playing up on that first hill and I thought OMG here we go again, hating my bike and very anxious about the distance in front of me.  It was on the second steep hill and within the first 5 miles that my chain snapped and I was so chuffed I got out of my cleats in time.   We phoned the mechanic line and ended up waiting for about 20 minutes to be rescued.  It took about 10 minutes for my chain to be sorted.  During this time every single rider passed us.  We told the others to go on and hoped we would catch them up. There was some women screaming obscenities at the bottom of the hill because of her gears and the chain kept coming off and I so sympathised with her, that's normally me!

When we got to the turn off point for the 100 miles or the 100km at 11 miles so   we decided on the 100km as I dint trust my bike or my chain.  Ironically since my chain was fixed my bike was actually behaving itself for the first time in ages... so I guess my chain has been on its way out for a long time!!

The roads were quiet but very muddy and I'm so glad that it was dry else it would have been a nightmare. Seeing we were right at the back it took us a while to crawl our way back but we had missed the pack and were out on our own. This course was very lumpy and when we hit King Alfred's Tower (25% hill) back wheels slipping, I actually got off and walked. (making sure we were past the photographer first)

The course seemed to get hillier the more you went along it especially near the end where I came close to throwing my toys out of the pram!!!! I was disappointed that I didn't pop my cherry but I think we made the right decision on the day.  62 miles was enjoyable and 100 miles would have most likely destroyed me... thinking of doing all those hills with an extra 40 miles in my legs.

Nice bit of bling and rather disappointed with the hot food after as it had mushrooms in it.  The nice lady did make me a cheese roll which I promptly threw all over the floor!!!! TIT!!!

The scenery was good, organisation was good but muddy roads made it quite treacherous so undecided on doing it next year although I do have a 40 mile score to settle.
Heres the stats http://connect.garmin.com/activity/159192004