And for today’s weather we have….fog!
Actually it wasn’t too bad, the start was delayed by an hour and the first few miles were low visibility, but this sportive was one of the nicest I have done. A great route, well signed, perfect weather and not too hard.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The day started early at 5.45am. Ian was joining me today and this is not his favourite time of day, but we managed to get out of the door by 6.30am ready for our 90 minute drive. Oh and when I say Ian was joining me it was obviously only for the drive. Our riding speeds are not compatible so we would go our own way once we started the event.
The start was at Salisbury racecourse which was a great venue – lots of parking and lots of proper toilets 🙂 After registering and getting our gear on we lined up to start. There must have been around a 1000 people there and because of the delayed start everyone was in a huge queue waiting to go. I saw a few people by-passing the line and heading to the front. Turned out they were doing the Epic distance like us (I think there were three distance options) so we followed them, mumbling Epic, Epic as we walked passed people. We managed to sneak in a little nearer the front and probably saved ourselves half an hour or so. It was going to be a long ride, I needed every minute I could get.
We were finally off at 9.15am and the first half hour or so was very foggy and I didn’t really like it. I had lights but they seemed inadequate – just hoped there was safety in numbers. Ian had scooted off but I took my time, wanted to check that my legs were holding up ok after Thursday’s run before I put in too much effort. 135km is the longest I have ridden for a while and wanted to have something in reserve for the end.
It was such a nice route. Before long I started to recognise some landmarks and some of the roads – it was where I did the North Dorset Village Marathon last year! So much easier on a bike!! The roads were gently undulating and dry (yay) and very quiet – lovely countryside.
There were a few hills, maybe four or five that were proper hills but they didn’t seem that bad to me. They were quite short and with steady gradients, unlike some sportives that seem to add killer hills and often near the end when you are tired. It was a nice change.
Although a long ride, which took me about six and half hours, it was a very pleasant experience and despite being tired I felt comfortable. There were three feed stations but I only stopped at the last one. I had a couple of fig rolls and a cup of coffee – which was very welcome. I mainly stick to my own food on these events – you can’t beat a marmite pitta 🙂
The last 20k or so I was ready for it to be over. Tired legs but still enjoyable. I got back to the racecourse and Ian was waiting for me having finished well over an hour before. He hadn’t had such a good ride, lots of leg cramp and pain and he was also tired from lack of sleep since coming home from Panama. So I offered to drive the two hours to my Mum’s house where we met up with Heidi before she dashed off on her travels again. My lovely Mum had dinner waiting and a glass of wine ready for me 🙂
It’s been a big week – four events done in eight days. Taking it easy now before next week’s Half Marathon in Yeovil!