I survived! I was too tired to blog on Sunday evening and I prioritised delivering presents to my Dad, who’d spent all of Father’s Day standing at the side of various roads supporting me. – Thanks Dad 🙂 So, I intended to write last night, but as soon as I got home I fell into the sofa and remained in a semi-comatose state for the rest of the evening. I wonder what it is you most want to know, is it: Whether I managed to keep my food down? Whether the Shewee was put to use? Whether I finished? or What time I managed to do it in? I will try and answer all of the above, here goes: I was lucky enough to meet up with Clare, an ex-colleague and a fellow cyclist friend, who had signed up to do the 60 mile route with a friend, Tamsin, and they were kind enough to invite me to do the first 55 miles with them. I am so glad that I didn’t have to do it alone – the IPod just wouldn’t have had the same motivational effect.
Queuing to start
On our way!
My parents, Grandparents and Ollie, all coordinated to follow me around on the day and provide support – they ensured that they were at various points along the route to offer photography, refreshment, first aid and technical services to us as required – and they were invaluable! The picture below is the first chance Ollie had to snap us, at around the 5 mile point. And shortly after, this happened…
Thanks to Ollie for pointing out our mistakes!
…our first mistake of the day (the signage really wasn’t that great).
And so we come to the burning question, did I or didn’t I?!? I did! I am so relived (excuse the pun) that I bought it! The sportive was fairly cheap, which meant that other than at the HQ there were absolutely no facilities, something which I hadn’t realised in advance. The Shewee is one of the simplest but greatest inventions ever made.
The first 55 miles of the course were relatively flat, the conditions were almost perfect – just what I had wished for; slightly cooler, overcast and no rain, for this first section we were able to average around 16 mph. Furthermore I read about sportive nutrition the night before, here, and I strictly kept to eating a little every 20 minutes – Mum and Dad had Fig Rolls, which were most definitely the fuel of the day.
The main irritations of the day? – A slight breeze, a rattly bike and poor signs.
Going the extra mile… literally
Conditions and support were so good that Clare decided, half way through the morning, that she would swap from the medium course to the long course, and finish with me. At the 53 mile point, shortly after she’d ungraciously dismounted thanks to some nasty gravel, Tamsin left us via the medium course and Clare and I continued for the final 30, hilly, miles.
Clare and I on the final 30 miles
Who puts massive hills at the end of an otherwise flat course?!!? Two in particular were HORRIBLE, and they came just after we had missed our Charfield stop with Herb, so we were close to running out of supplies. I don’t think either of us have ever been so pleased to see someone as we were to see Mum and Dad at the top of the second hill, which had gone on and on and on…Water, wipes and bananas were gratefully received and set us up for the final 10 miles. It was also at this point that we realised that my ‘rattly chain’, which I had oiled and fiddled with throughout the ride had actually been my bottle cage falling off!
The end is in sight!
All this writing, and I still haven’t answered three of the main questions.
Did you finish?
Yep – finished!
In what time?
The official time can be found at the link:Rider Times
Or our riding time can be found at the link: Laura’s Strava Activity
So 88.8 miles, completed – followed by a lovely high protein meal and yes – it all stayed down. The 20 minute advice worked well.
Just another three days until the next one…Runway Rumble