Monday, 30 January 2012

Mr Tony's First 100

Being stir-crazy after three weeks off the bike, I was not going to be denied the opportunity of riding the Windrush Winter Warm Up in the balmy three degrees centigrade forecast for last Sunday.

Tony's training seems to be coming along well too, so he signed up as well, together with my wife and Geoff from Tamworth CC.

Thus the four of us arrived in the temperate South (well, Cirencester) to revel in the lack of frost which had greeted us at home. Having said that, it still weren't warm. Tony, being hard, was standing around waiting in his shorts! Discretion eventually took over and he donned his waterproofs to keep out the wind chill.

Starting out, we had gone but 5km when we noted that the fog was thickening, and our gloves were coated in something close to frost (thankfully only very cold condensation). Catching the group, we were looking forward to a little peloton riding until one of their number punctured, and we were again down to 4.

Exiting Fairford, a moments inattention dropped me into a bike-swallower of a pothole. Breath was held, but wheels didn't collapse. I thought I'd got away with it, but within half a mile, my rear tyre was flat, and I was stopped at the side of the road making repairs. I sent the other three on secure in the knowledge that it wouldn't take long to fix. Wrong!! I was on the winter bike with it's harder to re-tyre Fulcrum 7's and it took 15 minutes.

Commence the time trial/pursuit. Despite the fact that this was punctuated by a couple of phone calls (kids, who'd have them) I caught them before the first control, after 25km of very hot pursuit. This included a 10 mile stretch in 31:47, not bad on the Winter Steed.

Tony was at this point quite enjoying himself, and about to become acquainted with the audax cyclists love of CAKE.

After the first stint of 48km, and with cake consumed, we set off into the picturesque Windrush Valley, visible now the fog had lifted. By the time we arrived at Great Barrington for pasta (76km done) we were still going well, but ready for a rest.

Unfortunately, the biggest, longest climb of the ride comes straight after the final feed when legs are still cold and stiff. By the top, Tony had done his longest ever ride, and was venturing into unknown territory. As the rolling countryside continued, the kilometres took their toll, and thus provided proper training.

The weather exacted its revenge on Tony's unprotected toes, and he is now considering overshoes. I hadn't the heart to tell him that it's the top of a slippery slope and he will soon be clad head-to-toe in close-fitting multi-coloured lycra, and venturing out around his housing estate looking like an advert for the local fetish shop.

6 hours and 15 minutes after starting, we finished. 108km, or 67 miles in real money. Not hugely fast, but with stops and punctures included. Most importantly, 67 valuable winter training miles, and a trip into unknown territory. Better yet, Tony wants to do more.

Game on!

The Rhino

No comments:

Post a Comment