We all know that whether its running or cycling, sometimes you have a flier, sometimes you would have been better staying in bed.
My experience at the Leics Super Tour 115m Sportive on 16 June fell into the latter.
Felt tired the day before, not unusual before a longer event and I had done the training so should be okay. Arrived good and early, met Steve (Cropper) and we set off together at 8.15 in a field of just over 100. Far more where doing the 55 which started later, and some adventurous athletes where adding a 5k run to their 115 mile ride – er why?
Steve was clearly feeling good, chatting away on the first 10 miles. This was the first time we had ridden together and as far as Steve is concerned, its probably the last! I was struggling on the hills up through Charnwood Forest on a windy cold day and not wanting to spoil his event, I encouraged Steve to press on without me, which he did, taking the pressure off both of us.
That was until he made a navigational error and appeared again alongside me at around 15 miles, then off he went again. But wait, at 30 miles he catches me again having stopped at the first feed station at 26 miles. Sorry Steve, I had said I was stopping too, but decided to trudge on.
After that I got lost, twice, although only adding a mile. Chain came off at 35 and I had a puncture at 85. It was raining at this stage and the only time I saw any other cyclists between feed stations at 62 and 95 was as I sheltered in a barn to inflate my tyre with my new toy. I considered limping into the next stop at 95 with my tyre gradually deflating ( I know the feeling) and retiring there and eating cake for the rest of the day. No such luck. The cheery event mechanic insisted he would fix it in record time, while I had a tea. He whisked my Kona away into his van and emerged grinning 5 mins later having fitted a new tube. No excuse then.
There weren’t many parts of the day I did enjoy, but the last 20 home back – wind was easier. The final insult to a grumpy, tired, cold competitor is the lack of signage as you approach the finish and having whizzed past the gate, I gave some helpful feedback as I finally checked in just under 9 hrs. Awful result, but it was miles in the legs I guess, and there a few behind me and not everyone finished.
Well done Steve – great ride in 7.5 hours, I’ll try to be less than an hour and a half behind you next time!
It was a great route through quiet, hilly countryside and I get the feeling I’ll have to go back next year to put this one behind me.
Nice picture, clearly I’m lost or last