Not a bad result considering!!!!
D Day minus 3 – Thursday
Had to ride out to my doctors in Buxton to finally get my ears sorted out – really enjoyed my little dip in the Med when I was in Greece but not sure it was worth the couple of weeks of not being able to hear properly. Tried to take it easy on the ride but its hilly out that way and then I got stuck behind a herd of cows being moved to a different field which delayed me so had to hammer the last part of the ride to make my appointment time… At least that seemed like an original excuse for being late!
Last night in the UK for the Aussie cousins before flying back down under for a few months after three years travelling around Europe so obviously had to pop out. Been off the booze recently – well apart from last Sunday when I was in deepest darkest Germany and the airport hotel had a fantastic beer on tap and I was celebrating the end of the Iced Earth summer festival run – I was the only one celebrating but think I had fun! But this evening just one pint of Robinsons Trooper and a great curry and I was done – keep telling myself it’s the virus thats really knocking me sideways!
D Day minus 2 – Friday
Trying to recover from this virus or at least give it a little respite. Nice day weather wise but did nothing all day - the problem with doing nothing all day is not being able to sleep all night – had a very very exciting very very late night editing my address book…
D Day minus 1 – Saturday
Clock on the wall in Chester
Its on! Went to register for the event in Chester. Got there early and went for a walk around the old city walls. Very nice and it was race day at the racecourse… Can’t see the attraction myself but the place was full of suits and fancy dresses and hats – whatever anyone says there is still plenty of cash out there for some parts of the population.
!!!D DAY!!! – Sunday
Up at stupid o clock (0400) to get to the start venue – at least I went to bed early and managed a few hours sleep for a change but wasn’t thrilled to hear the rain lashing down when I woke up but thankfully that was the last rain for the day…
Quite a lot of riders waiting for the off!!!!
Set off at 0715 in my group fully intending to follow plan A – taking it easy and just getting round. Instead I disengaged brain and as usual got suckered into the default setting of racing! Just couldn’t resist; started jumping from group to group , working through the field, making full use of the whole road, pushing way bigger gears than I should – even uphills – and great support from the locals! It was all going swimmingly until around 45 miles done – from that point on it was a battle with both legs cramping badly and energy levels falling… Was ok most of the time but as soon as the road went uphill I went backwards. Got to the last “big” climb – Grim Low and just couldn’t keep going – had to stop while both legs spasmed very very very painfully! It seemed like forever but once I got going again I did feel better that every 100 ft or so there would be another rider doubled up in pain or throwing up so at least it wasn’t just me!
I suspect that even though it was billed as an entry level sportive and not being too hilly we all got caught out by the last half of the course – every corner another hill! Still managed to get round but sprinting for the finish line on the Oulton Park motor racing circuit was right out… crawled over it!
Anyway – mission completed – thank you to everyone who donated for the Marie Currie Cancer Care charity – raised nearly £1800 which is way more than I expected and will help provide end of life care for people who need it either in a MCCC hospice or at home. A HUGE thank you to everyone who donated – YOU ALL ROCK!!!
Apparently my page will be open until 18th November so if you haven’t been able to donate yet there is still time – just goto…
Dealing with the fan club!!!!
I could be tempted into travelling the country doing these sportives. There is quite a selection of them now and they are great fun – especially when they are on closed roads. I appreciate charity fatigue could set in so I won’t be trying to do the charity thing for all of them but be warned if I can fit them in around work I may well be hassling you all again! But first I need to recover from this ride – had trouble walking after this one – and I suspect my virus and sore throat will be kicking back once I’ve got enough energy to feel anything!
East Riddlesden Hall
Got showered, changed and straight out to a lovely wedding in Keighley, West Yorkshire at the charming East Riddlesden Hall. Very picturesque, great to catch up with some of the local Infest crew and meet some new people and nice to have an excuse to wear my suit.
But got there too late for the hog toast and the real ale ran out so wandered into town for the usual late night crappy food options – pizza and cheesy chips – how can they make food so tasteless?
D Day plus 1
Oh dear. Didn’t sleep well and woke to a raging sore throat. This is not good but also not entirely unexpected! Beautiful morning in Keighley and despite the throat figured I needed to loosen the legs a little so went for a cheeky 20 mile ride. Unfortunetly being deepest darkest Yorkshire that meant up and down some pretty steep hills. The Tour de France riders next year are in for a shock!
Gormenghast like – Yorkshire!!!!
Still legs felt a little better and celebrated with an all you can eat breakfast that was ok (but no black pudding!??!) before heading off… Been a great weekend but really need to try and refocus – got a busy week ahead and Infest next weekend – but after that really need to think about a holiday – feel the need to lie on a beach and do nothing for a week or so!