Sunday, 13 July 2008

Essex Countryside Ride

Well, today was the day and inspite of a later night last night and having to rouse myself from bed at 6.00 this morning for the ride, I was feeling pretty good and decided to go for the 60 mile ride – I could always change my mind at the time but you gotta aim high right?

The weather forecast was fairly good, with a window in the rain promised for between 7:00 am and 1pm and the winds didn't seem too bad either.

So it was load up the bike and off I went.

When I got to the venue, the weather was actually quite chilly and I wished I had put a long sleeved shirt on. It ought to warm up once we get going but make note to self to get a pair of arm warmers as these can be worn or stashed as required.

There was a slight delay at the start as, in spite of it being advertised as a 7.30 start, the ride commentator (well, the guy blabbering into a microphone at the start) announced it wouldn't actually get underway until 8.00. In the end, the decided to split the difference and we were off at 7.45. And so, without further ado, the tape was cut and off we headed – all 800 of us. Well, no about 100 actually as the rest must have opted for a bit of a lie in and later start.

The ride itself was a great deal of fun. The weather held out for most of the way although the wind was biting cold at times and was gusting at up to 13.8 mph. So it was from sweating one minute to shivering the next. Not to mention the extra effort required for hills.

The wind also made it hard going up hills. Oh and as I say time and time again, anyone who thinks Essex is flat should try cycling here!

Total climb = 1,937ft

I felt pretty comfortable for most of the ride but the last three miles become a battle of will-power against sheer exhaustion. And it didn't help that it was all up-hill. My legs were just about giving out. But the crowning glory? A half mile uphill with roadbumps just before the finish! Whoever worked out that part of the route should be made to ride it daily!

And then it was across the finish line, collect my medal and certificate and tuck into a large, greasy cheeseburger with no feelings of guilt as surely I am allowed some indulgence for cycling 60 miles and burning off 3,750 calories.

I was slightly disappointed with the time as 4 hours 35 minutes (average 13.2 mph) - I would have liked the average to have been closer to 14 mph. Still there is always the London to Southend ride in two weeks!

The Results

The detailed results:


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