Yesterday was the Anual ride out organised by Garmin to raise money for charity and once again I was lucky enough to secure a place along with quite a few of my mates so I knew it would make an awesome day again.
Sue and I headed to New Milton at around 7:30 and this year found the venue straight away, parked, pee’d and headed to registration 🙂 I picked up my lovely Garmin Jersey along with quite a few freebies and then for the included breakfast, Today I had a bacon and a sausage roll which was just scrummy and good energy too. By the time we had done breakfast my mates had arrived, they all chose to cycle over which made a pretty decent 100-mile ride for them and would have been 120 ish for me which was too much because I am racing on Sunday.
We sat around and chatted for the next hour or so and it was great, although it had clouded over and gotten quite cold too. I then saw one of my hero’s Alex Dowsett which made me happy. I chatted to a dozen or so Canyon riders and was desperate to take this a step further but thanks to Canyon I will be in a better place to do this next time which should be fun and help raise brand awareness too.
At 11am the riders started to head off and we all joined the queue, I guess I crossed the start in around position 200 maybe slightly sooner but I was in no rush at that point. The first 4 or 5 miles were a plod and overtaking all sorts as we headed to open roads. Into the forest was breezy so we stayed with a bunch until we hit Ornamental Drive and we split as we tackled this beloved hill. I reached the top in 3rd place within our group of 10 or so but we never regrouped again so I rode on to catch up with Paul and Daz, I caught up but lost them soon after at the next hill but I was happy chasing them down, both very powerful riders. This was a fab start to the ride.
We turned into the airfield and I realised being solo was a mistake 🙂 the wind was long and hard but I did have a lad tuck into my wheel so at least I was helping someone, as we reached the other side he shouted thanks as I accelerated away again into Roger Penny Way and WIND 🙂 but I was enjoying myself and proper solo at this point. I rode like this for about another 10 miles or so trying to keep my watts around the 240 mark, conscious of Sunday’s important race. I passed the feed station at about 27 miles but it was raining and windy so with a full water bottle left I decided not to stop and carry on, a decision I would be very happy about later.
This year they had once again thrown the 25% blissford hill into the mix. O joy with my 53 ring haha YES I changed to the small chainring and YES I still went up at a snails pace haha.
20 miles to go and they were a very lonely 20 miles haha. I think I passed around 5 cyclists. The first a couple of lads together who tucked onto me for a few minutes but soon dropped back, the next a lad on a 2013 Aeroad who was desperate to out-do me but after an aggressive show of strength, sadly, he never had the minerals, it would have been good to have a partner for the last 10. It was raining quite heavily now and it seems to suit me.
The next lad I passed was just before Burley and I shouted to him that it was quite lonely up here 🙂 joking of course. As I passed he shouted that I was now 5th overall, this gave me a little buzz and I picked up pace a little.
I almost got into trouble at Burley, going much too fast into a bend then realising it was a “give way” my front wheel locked up, thankfully the car coming towards me round the bend flashed his lights and waved me across so I corrected, kept my 20mph and sailed across thanking him and my guardian angel… Thanks, driver, you were AWESOME in both realising my error and acting quickly, that could have been nasty and 100% my error. Silly schoolboy error!
Up out of burley and the last 4 miles at speed but again maintaining 240W I never saw another rider but sure enough I rode into a deserted wet field 5th overall which I was delighted with especially given the conditions and the fact that I maintained 233W average. Speed was a little over 21 mph which I’m happy with given the location and conditions and mostly solo ride but since training with my power meter, I don’t take too much notice of the speed.
At the finish I saw Switch who congratulated me on a quick finish, he is super quick but not riding today and then I found my Susie who to be fair was pretty shocked to see me too 🙂 I grabbed a quick bite because I was suffering from lack of grub and then I got cleaned up and changed.
It was a while before anyone else arrived (coz I’m super quick) haha but Sue noticed Alex Dowsett looking very wet I approached him for a photo. I apologised about timing but like all Canyon ambassadors, he was 100% happy and chirpy and especially so when I dumped my hoodie and he saw my shirt 🙂 grabbed a nice photo, shook hands and he patted me on the back, made me very happy.
The boys arrived and we all swapped stories, lots of accidents due to the bad weather but thankfully none of us and hopefully nothing too serious and I must say that once again the New Forest drivers were AWESOME thanks, guys and gals.
I had the most amazing day, albeit not the “group” day I had planned but to be fair I could have slowed down and rode with the rest of the gang but I was enjoying my ride too much.
All in all a fab Garmin ride, we never won the raffle, I rode into the field 5th to a fanfare of NOTHING haha and we went for a lovely lunch afterwards.
I must add tho in all seriousness THIS WAS NOT A RACE it was 100% a social coming 5th was nice but its just a number today.
Thanks to my awesome DHC crowd for a lovely day and my awesome Sue for supporting me.
Just been informed by a fellow ride that I got the KOM for the 2016 Garmin ride, 2 of them in fact 🙂 so very happy
Here are a few photos from todays event and unless mentioned otherwise they are taken by the very talented Sue Porter Photography I hope you have enjoyed our sports photography and please consider using Julian Porter Photography for any photography requirements or events you might have coming up. Sue and I photograph almost anything where people are involved and we would love to hear about any projects you have coming up.