First post of 2012 about my first proper ride of the year.
For various reasons including some illness, I’d only been out on a single 20 mile ride in 2012 before this event. Therefore I was slightly apprehensive about a 100km ride through the Chilterns straight off the bat. However, it all turned out great. The weather was chilly but bright and I arrived at the start to find a healthy number of people, including a couple of fellow Verulam CC members. After signing in I just missed a large group heading off by about 30 seconds. Luckily so had a few others including some guys from Hemel CC so we sped along and managed to get onto the bigger group after a few miles. In the rush my GPS hadn’t acquired a lock so the route above is missing a mile or so.
Once caught onto the back of the main group of about thirty riders we almost immediately came to the bottom of Ivinghoe Beacon. At this point it transpired that the group were the “group 1” riders, aiming for a fast time. Hence I quickly got dropped on the climb, but I was by no means the only one. The descent through Gaddesden and down towards Hemel saw mainly solo riding, but at a decent enough pace. To be honest I was probably pushing a bit too fast. At the turn near Hemel to head up towards Bovingdon I took my first gel and continued on solo riding through Chesham and on towards Great Missenden. Once up Frith Hill I managed to join up with another small group and we made light work of the climbing up towards Hawridge and beyond towards Tring. However near Tring I started to feel the lack of miles in my legs a bit and dropped off.
From Tring back to Edlesborough was solo, including the familiar Tom’s Hill. In the end I recorded a time of 3 hours 48 minutes which put me near the start of the “medium” target time period. Quite pleasing when I was a bit worried about coming in under the five hour mark to begin with 🙂 I’ve obviously still got some fitness given the relatively lazy winter, but a new bike (more on that to come) may have played a part as well. Another pleasing aspect was that this formed the longest single stint ride I’ve done without any kind of break.