Sat: 4am wakeup call before heading out to Ruislip for the 6am start of Tim Sollesse’s 300k Steamride London-Cambridge-Oxford ‘University Challenge’
The plan was to just tap it out easily and leave some in the tank so I could race the 50mi TT on Sunday and get a BBAR rank (completed 50mi, 100mi and 12hr races).
I’d decided to eat control food and minimise my use of my usual Torq energy products during this ride – I’m going to have to get used to eating ‘real’ food if I race TransAm next year. After a cappuccino and a couple of cakes I found myself riding with Pete from Milltag after the first control (changed to Costa in Hertford because of flooding at the orginal Something Lovely tearooms). Pete and I ended up riding the whole thing together, just cruising along in the sun, chatting. We rode by the Audley End miniature railway a bit unsure if it was the Info control because the distance was a bit off from the brevet card. At 114k we stopped for a bit in the Regal pub for more coffee and cake. The next control was at Ampthill Waitrose (172k) where I smashed a tonne of food and drink – eyes bigger than stomach plus nice bakery options equals feeding frenzy. I pocketed some yum yums but the rest of it also ‘sat with me’ for quite a while afterwards. At 215k we hit upon Buckinghamshire Railway in Quainton, a Control town I’ve visited before from the other direction. There appeared to be a wedding on so we just grabbed the required Info and carried on to Wheatley Services at 241k. I met some guys who’d ridden TransContinental here (g’day, sorry I can’t recall names). Pete grabbed some Subway but since I was still digesting lunch I just refilled bottles. We made it to the Rivers Edge pub 300k finish line before it got dark which was nice. In a rare moment of sobriety I declined a drink in order to get home quickly to eat and sleep before the race tomorrow. I must’ve been a bit low on energy because I managed to get a bit confused on the straight road home in the dark. Cue a few pointless u-turns before making it home. Thanks Tim and volunteers, it was a great ride. Thanks Pete for making my more chilled out audax quite interesting.
1:54:41 in the Breckland 50mi TT on the B50/18 course. Adam Topham won with 1:40:08. After not much sleep and another 4am start I drove a couple of hours out towards Norwich with Mal. This gave me a bit of time to squeeze into my skinsuit and get in a warm up. The weather was once again lovely if a bit windy for my liking. I headed out with a power target in mind. This worked for all of 5 miles at which point yesterday clearly caught up and I started to fall apart. The next 45 miles were a horrid combination of rutted roads hammering my pre-tenderised arse and a feeling of emptiness – not a profound emotional emptiness, because we all know I’m a heartless robot, but emptiness in the legs. I just couldn’t get them to push the pedals all the time. I couldn’t believe it but I was having to coast just to compose myself before putting some power down again. I knew I’d finish and get a time for the BBAR but it was a pretty pathetic experience. I got a bit lost at the second turn and lost some time but the biggest hit was the fact that my power was about 30W down… on my 100 mile power! Yeah, I was in bits. Anyway, found a bit of energy with a couple of miles to go and came in, surprisingly only about a minute down on my all-time PB. Must’ve been a faster course making up for my total knackeredness. Afterwards I ate cake and visited a local distillery #becausewellpro
Thanks to Mal and Scilly.Suffolk for the cheering 🙂
Before sending us to a no through road the Garmin did take us past this which was quite pretty…