Sunday, 14 June 2009

Orchid Cycle Ride

So how did the Orchid Cycle Ride go? Absolutely fantastic. It was one of the best rides of the year and, thanks to the weather, so much better than the Essex Countryside ride. I did though opt for the 40 mile rather than 75 mile course.

It was one of those days when everything seemed to come together. The training had delivered what I wanted it to deliver. It was a gloriously sunny day right from the kick-off. I wasn’t late for the start which meant no hassle, and the marshalling on the route was second to none – well apart from one small hic-sup which I’ll come back to later. The new pedals seemed to work a treat with no falling over due to note being able to get my feet out – although there was one close call. They definitely made a difference and I was able to climb hills easier.

The first few miles of the course saw a policeman at every junction stopping traffic for us, and once we were underway, there was someone at every road junction telling us which way to go.

However, confusion reigned at one point when our route coincided with a cycle race (bet they were pleased!). The problem arose when one set of marshals from the bike race didn’t realise we weren’t part of the race and so pointed for us to turn left when we should have gone straight on. Very luckily for me, the person I was riding with at the time knew the area well and realised we were off course. So we retraced our footsteps and got back on the right course only having done an extra couple of miles or so.

There was also one of those curious coincidences (or synchronicities) that I love so much. At one point, there was a pair of riders in front of me with rider numbers of 52 and 53. Mine was 51 so as I passed them we read 51, 52, 53 from left to right. It couldn’t have planned better could it?

Tatia and Seraphina came along to this one to offer their support and gave me a resounding cheer when the starting gun went off. But, alas, the support was soon forgotten as when I arrived back, the bouncy castle had been inflated and that was much more fun then cheering Daddy back :-)

The time was not as good as I had hoped: 38.8 miles in 2 hours 47 minutes (an average of 13.9 mph). Must try and do better on the London to Southend ride.

Click on map title to enlarge


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