Okay so that was a tough ride!
It was fun though. Ash picked me up in the morning. I’ve know ash for a few years now he’s a good friend who I met through his brother. I wasn’t too aware of his interest in cycling till he told me after reading this blog and offered to help me out with the riding.
When we got to Worcester it was cloudy and dull, so I figured I wouldn’t need the factor 50. This would prove to be a mistake!
The ride itself was a pretty good one. Ash set a fairly brisk pace, but I was pleased that I kept up for the most part. The roads were perfect and the climbs not too bad. Before the event began I set myself a target of under three hours and early doors it was looking good.
However, as we approached the first really steep hill my chain came off. And I struggled to get it back on; it took a couple of minutes. The next problem was as it was at the bottom of this hill, I lost a lot of momentum and it took a massive effort to get up the hill, I was fairly cross with myself when I got to the top! I looked ahead and couldn’t see Ash, he obviously didn’t see my loose the chain and had gone on. I wouldn’t see him till the end.
So I was back to how my cycling usually is alone. So I carried on but now I didn’t have Ash to encourage me, so I went back to the loud music on the Ipod and the chastising mentally to keep myself pushing hard. I feel good most of the ride and not like I was struggling so I was pretty pleased.
The last 10 miles though, I bonked pretty hard. I saw I had 30 mins to do the 10 miles which would be a push but doable so I gave everything I had. I used every trick I had in the book to keep myself going, I thought of dad, why I was doing this and what it would feel like to cross the line on target. The last 5 minutes were so tough, but I gave it everything I had I wanted that 3 hours time badly…
Sadly it wasn’t to be and I clocked a time of 3 hours 8 minutes dead. I was chuffed with myself though, it would have probably been easy to have given up when the chain came off, but I didn’t and I pushed myself hard. It wasn’t to be, but at least now I know I can dig deep when I need to.
I was burnt to a crisp after which gave me lesson one of the ride; wear sun cream and top up! Lesson two; get a computer on the bike ASAP! I had no idea of wattage, cadence, time; distance etc and this would really have helped! Lesson 3 I need to eat more on the ride; I only had 1 gel during the ride which probably wasn’t enough and would have been a factor in why I bonked. It’s so important to look after yourself and I spent to much time hydrating and should have taken on at least another gel.
Ash was a big help, pushing me the whole time and I learnt a fair bit about gear selection and tips on just helping improve my time. Hopefully we’re going to get a few Sunday rides in over the coming months, having a training partner will be a big help.
I’m trying now to kick on with the fundraising and a mate has come up with a great idea. It’ll be a hell of a challenge organizing it, but could lead to some good money raised and publicity so watch this space.
In the meantime the training continues, I still need to shift at least a stone in weight and get my base level of fitness up but I’m definitely heading in the right direction. I need to do some more rides at the weekends, in prep for my next event the action 100… that’ll be a hell of a test!