Gosh – I am just back from Surrey; either everyone had the same idea as us or every weekend is a like a sportive weekend in Surrey – I suspect the latter. So many cyclists, everywhere! This was the cause of extreme disappointment – for the first time ever, on uploading my ride to Strava, I had absolutely no trophies. Generally on the routes which I ride, there are just a few hundred other riders who’ve attempted the segments, today’s route however had been previously ridden by around 25,000 other riders. I feature around half way through the leader board though, so I am a proud novice; who’d want to be top of the league anyway – once you’re there, you’re there – where’s the challenge in that?!!
The intention today was to practice the hills which feature in London-Surrey Ride 100, (which is three weeks today); namely Box Hill and Leith Hill. The route which Chris had planned for us, took in Box Hill at around seven miles and again at around 64 miles, with Leith Hill at around 55 miles – the latter two replicate the mileages I could expect to have done at these points on the event route in three weeks time.
Box Hill has become notorious since the 2012 Olympics and so is it one of the most dreaded features of the London 100 route, second only to Leith Hill. So with this in mind, on attempting Box Hill seven miles into our ride, I was shocked at how easy I found the ascent – I wondered whether it was just the benefit of fresh legs. But no! I redid the same hill at the 43 mile point and although my legs were fatigued I still found the hill to be relatively undemanding (and it’s extremely rare that I say such things about a hill!) Leith Hill was however less fun, though it was shorter than I imagined. Sadly, road closures meant that we did 48 miles instead of 66 and so the climbs came earlier than they will in the main event. We did consider making our way through the roadworks, like other cyclists were doing (involving climbing around two ditches with bikes), but we would have had to do it in both directions which seemed too much trouble to be bothered, particularly as my main aim was hills rather than mileage.
Now all that’s left to do during the next 20 Days, 8 hours and 8 minutes…:
- Decide whether I am keeping my latest pair of new shoes (Shimano this time)
- Bike fit – booked for Saturday 26 July.
- Last long ride, the Savernake Sizzler – a real challenge – Sunday 27 July (also likely to be a trial run for the London-Surrey 100 bib-shorts, to test them for comfort.)
- Bike service – booked for Monday 28 July (also day one in new job- which could be interesting if I manage the whole 92 miles the day before!)
- Wash bike – Friday 8 August
- Free cycle – Saturday 9 August
Talking of which….I got a package through the post earlier in the week which confused me as I thought it was for the main event, however it was a Free Cycle goody bag:
Apart from a pretty disgusting tabard, the Free Cycle should be a great, chilled out, fun day – taking in some of the atmosphere and distracting me from my nerves.
I doubt I will cycle much this week – maybe an easy 10-15 miler on Wed or Thurs but I am achy at the moment so I will rest, do stretches and roll my leg muscles. Plus I have a cake to make for those piggies at work.
Have a great week – if you find any loose change, even 1p/2p’s please think about donating them to Dressability.