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so I can say I TRIed
so I can say I TRIed

Big bike day at Blenheim

charlieeliseby charlieeliseAug 28th 2012
I think I've been posting less due to my increasing worry about the event. Bristol I made it through but it was tough. London is much, much longer. My run is very much a work in progress - I suppose at least I know I can do a 10k - but I am taking a course at the Running School and am hoping I can use the more efficient technique by then. However there is not long to go...

Months ago I signed up for the 60 mile sportive at the Blenheim Palace festival of cycling, thinking it would be good for me. It was Jon Bartlett's suggestion, he also thought it would be good for me, and he was right. But all last week I was worrying about it, wondering if I would finish. If I did finish how long would it take? I had 12 hours. Surely I could manage that?

It was the hottest day of the year so there was no need to worry about getting chilly. I was hoping for about 4 hours. I was petrified of being near so many other cyclists but I did ok. Well, at least I didn't knock anyone off their bike at any point, which is more than can be said for some...

There were a lot more hills than I was anticipating and some of the roads were, shall we say, full of character. I was determined to finish though because this is slightly over the distance I will race next month on the bike.

Some of the downhills were terrifying, particularly one which was incredibly steep and led out onto a main road which was not marshalled. I think I did something strange to my hyper-mobile thumb joint while trying to brake on that hill, it's not been the same since and remains a bit sore. While most of the marshals were very good, I did nearly get killed at another junction when a bored-looking girl waved me through as a car came across. I turned left alongside the car to avoid it and crossed afterwards.

I was amazed at how many people struggled on the climbs. I mean, I struggled, but they seriously crawled up them. And then overtook me on the downhills as I've completely lost my descending bottle. I do enjoy a slight uphill though, I think you can get a lot of satisfaction speeding up a gentle slope.

In the end my timing chip said 4.38. Not as fast as I'd like but it was 'undulating' shall we say! It was a really hot day and the time includes a break at a rest stop (mmm banana) and the large pack hold ups and road crossings, and pauses to get a proper drink. The bike said 4.15. The way I'd been feeling I was pleased just to finish!

Went back to Richmond for my long bike on Sunday and it definitely felt easier...
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