This week was a great week for my cycling and also the first sportive of the year which was the 83 mile Wiggle spring sportive that started at Somerley House in near Ringwood so a perfect one for me to start with.
Getting back to this weeks cycling I have cycled 275 miles and for the first time ever averaged 18mph over the week and I am very happy to report that all bar 1 ride it was a ver easy or at least comfortable week for me. The one harder ride was on Friday when I rode the AEROAD from home to Beaulieu and back and averaged 20:5mph I am very happy with that especially because my route takes in 5 horrible miles of crappy country roads and cycle paths so that makes 10 crappy miles there and back and I still averages 20+. I am now of course keen to see what I can average if I avoid them roads 🙂
Ok back to the sportive. I had agreed to ride this one with my good friends Dave, Stuart and Steve. It was all 3 of them longest ride of the year and Steve’s longer ride ever so we capped the speed a little and I suggest 16/17 as a target which I would be happy with and which is exactly why I did the fast ride the day before so that I was not gagging all day for a bast……That never worked haha.
I collected Dave and we all met at Somerley and after registration and chatting with a few mates we started about 08:15 heading off along the gravel tracks to start bit soon enough we were out on the roads and I was feeling great. After about 10 miles I noted (after much abuse) that our average was 18:6mph so I spent the next couple of hours trying to rein it in BUT more importantly making sure that Steve was happy, Dave is a big boy and quite vocal 🙂 and Stu is quite capable too but I am pleased to say that Steve was doing great.
We reached the first food stop at 39 miles and our average was still 18:6 so we fuelled the Wiggle way with lots of fig rills, flap jacks and jelly beans, perfect diabetics food haha and caught up with a few mates. Soon after we were off again back around Lepe and off up through the forest in head wind but again I get awesome as did my legs and although we did separate often from this point we did all meet up at major junctions so everyone was happy. Steve was actually buzzing that he was keeping an 18+ average so I did my best to keep him going but conscious all the time how easy it would be to bonk! We also picked up another rider Barry who asked to tag along which was fab.
We arrived at Lyndhurst about the same time as the rain and our average had dropped a little, I was continually doing shorter sprints to keep mine above 18 but again we were all happy and keeping a pace. Down through copy thorn and food stop 2 but I spent this one chatting to my old DHC chum Gary and just grabbed a few “to go” foods as we left.
Well with 20 miles left the pace began to slow a little, to be fair it was windy, wet and uphill for the most part but all very familiar ground for me so again I was feeling spot on and managing to keep my 18’s with some 1 mile efforts up the hills which as a bonus I know are really good for my base fitness. As we reached 75 miles and only 8 to go and everyone was feeling great I knew that Steve would make it and I decided to go for it and hopefully keep up the pace, it was a hilly and interesting finish so I put the hammer down and had an awesome last few miles actually feeling like I was working hard and bloody enjoying it too.
I crossed the finish line, saw my friend “wiggle Laura” got a hug from her then my beautiful medal, a milk shake and a lovely bespoke tee shirt then caught up with some buddies whilst I waited for the lads to ride home. Everyone finished with BIG smiles and Steve clocked up 83 miles at 17:3mph average and I was so happy for him and so proud to be part of both his longest and assets ride.
Sue was not feeling great so Dave and I headed straight home after what can only be described as an awesome day.
I finished the 83 miles averaging 18:1 but honestly hand on heart it was easy miles for me today and I could have kept it in the 20’s which makes me feel really positive about the future and what I have in me as a Cyclist. To be fair I never set out to be fast but my winter miles seem to have paid off well. I have noticed a few things about my cycling, the harder I push the better I feel and also that I don’t cope as well with rest days as expected, this week I rode some pretty hard miles and sat here this morning I am gutted that I cant get out for a spin again because of work. I have ridden 3800 miles so far this year which averages about 36 miles a day so I am very happy so far. If I can stay injury free this is going to be an awesome year.
The wigglers were again awesome and very helpful, the route 10/10 and food stops 10/10 🙂 medal and tee shirt the best yet so I know I will be back for more very soon.
Thanks to my awesome mates Dave, Stuart and Steve for the company and thanks a whole lot to Faith my cycling oppo who turned me into this speed freak !
Photos thanks to my friend Tamsyn Smith 🙂 x