I have been waiting to pop this cherry for a long time, my first attempt at the lionheart sportive went wrong through bicycle problems so this was my second attempt. I could not have asked for a better day.... the weather was perfect. We made sure we were sun creamed up to the hilt, plenty of liquids and off we went. This was a low key event less than 100 riders and the start line was less than 2 miles from my house!!!
We started off near the front and the pace was quite fast. We dropped off the first group as I was very anxious to keep a steady pace so I wasn't blowing out my arse at the end, Nick was biting at the bit to cane it but he promised he would stay with me so we maintained a good pace averaging about 18/19 mph. We were dropped by the first group but soon got caught up with a second group so we stayed with them for a while.
We ended up in a group that happened to have a friend from my tri club in, I didn't recognise him with cycling gear on as I only ever normally see him in the pool. Another group caught up with us but after having to have a wee stop we lost them. We tried really hard to catch them and ended up missing a turning. We caught my friends up where the route split and stayed with them for a while. We managed to catch another group and made a few new friends before we dropped them. I have to say something amazing happened today.... I (get this ) overtook people on hills..... not just 1 person but at least 8 people. I was totally gob smacked... at one point I even overtook Nick on a hill.
My last memories of doing serious mileage was Tour of Wessex and Lionheart sportive, when after 60 miles I had totally had enough. Today I felt amazing. I'm putting it down to my new diet......this was my first sugar free endurance event and I used only natural energy bars, no added sugar, no energy drinks. I had lots energy, no bloating, no wanting to shit myself.
After a stop at 70 miles and Nick fixing his puncture we headed home. We overtook some more riders, up hills again. We had done the hilly bit and now it was downhill. We were flying, 3 miles to the end and up through Fenny castle which was really really windy but the guys in the VW van who were supplying water got in front of us and blocked the wind and we drafted it for at least 2 miles... good touch. 100.6 miles in 6.22 a time that I thought wasn't possible. A well organised event and the guys with water made added stops at the top of some of the serious hills due to the intense weather. Low key, great event that I will definitely repeat next year. It was great to ride with Nick and we saw each other through at a great pace. It wasn't the most challenging of rides but it was still a hundred miles...... POP goes that cherry. Great day, great company, made some good friends along the way.
I have so much confidence for Wimbleball.... BRING THAT BAD BOY ON..... I'm more than ready for you!!!!!!