Shakespeare 100k – 9th September
So, turning up at a road ‘sportive’ (a kind of race, but not a race, as it’s held on open public roads, so really, it’s not) on a mountain bike then…… there are probably many ways to describe the reaction…. I seemed as welcome as a fart in a phone box! I got my number and stood by the car getting ready, the blokes either side ignoring me completely. They too were doing the 100k, and were telling each other about their ‘training regime’, and their new superlight carbon widget… blah, blah, blah.
Heading for the start I bumped into Joe Bickers the other GT rider, who was on his road bike. We had a good chat and before long it was time to start. The start was a rolling controlled one, allowing everyone to get out onto country roads before the lead rider pulled to the side and we were racing…well obviously we weren’t as this isn’t a race….
I just got my head down a rode as hard as I could, occasionally getting onto someone’s wheel (slipstream them) to take a rest. The rolling resistance of the tyres was really noticeable, even the SB8s were hard going compaired to the thin slick tyres on the road bikes around me.
A few riders passed the time of day, they were all guys that also rode mountain bikes and thought I was mad riding the Trek…. The pasta for breakfast was doing it’s job and the chocolate covered rice crispie bars I’d had in the car park were giving me loads of instant energy. Soon I was at the split point, 100k left, 100mile right….. 100k for me ta!
Now was the big climb out of Hidcote, and to be honest it didn’t seem that bad, just get your head down, accept it’s going to hurt like hell and ride it. Reaching the top my legs hurt, as I’d expected, but I’d got the shakes and felt like throwing up….. I’d started to bonk (cycling term for when you get fatigue resulting from muscle glycogen depletion – It’s not a good place to be) I’d not eaten anything since the start of the ride (this is my nemisis, and I really do need to work at eating regularly) A two minute stop, 1/2 a bag of Haribo, with the rest open in my pocket, and a Frusli bar and I set off. My god, the next 20 minutes were horrible, my legs wouldn’t work, I hurt all over, and worst of all somehow I’d ended up on my own. So I had no one to follow. I started to think I’d missed a turn, but eventually a rider came past just as I was starting to feel better.
Without really noticing the change I was now back up to speed. Knowing the area I knew I was heading back towards Stratford and the finish. I got overtaken by the occasional rider, most of who would comment on the mountain bike, suggest I was nuts, but also say what a great pace I was keeping. Little things like that really helped mentally, and physically too, as I’d jump on their wheel for as long as I could stay with them.
Getting into Stratford I was on 3h 45m, 10 mins to get to the finish to hit my ‘gold award’ time. Of course with the sun out the roads were busy, causing it to be very stop, start. The legs were really hurting now, and every stop meant getting the bike rolling again… and pain! I couldn’t work out why even though I’d been averaging about 17.5mph why I wasn’t back at the start. I’d worked out in my head that at that pace I should finish at about 3h 35m, but I was over 10 minutes past that. There was no point trying to work it out, I’d seen signs for the Park and Ride (the finish) so dug deep and got there in 3h 51m 45s
It turns out the “race” distance didn’t include the controlled start bit! And the overall distance was about 67 miles! So my actual time for the 100k (62miles 241yds) was indeed about 3h 35m
I got my medal, loaded the car, got changed and sat in the sun for a while. As I reversed out my ‘neighbours’ turned up, over 4h 30m since the start….. so much for the ‘training regime’ and the superlight widget….. Losers!
Ride – #149 Bike – ’12 Trek Superfly Al Elite
Miles – 67 Total 2012 miles – 3265.7
Strava – http://app.strava.com/rides/21362513