100 miles is loosely considered "the cyclists marathon" - and this weekend it was time to give it a crack. The weather for riding was outstanding; almost no wind, clear skys and mild enough temperatures. I set out south towards the coast, more or less following the traditional London - Brighton route.
I made great progress heading out of town and for once was careful to keep my speed down, knowing that it was going to be a long day. I had no trouble at all getting to the coast and the only hard bit was the steep Ditchling Beacon. Some nice camaraderie there when I ran into a few friendly riders also puffing their way up. One guy commented "your doing well to get up here on that thing" (referring to my bike).
I rolled down to the beach for lunch bang on 1pm and had about an hour there sitting in the gravel watching the crowds build...first warm days of the year and Brighton goes a bit silly...though nothing like last year @ easter when I biked there one way:
Anyway, heading back north I went up the main road for a while before diverting to quieter side roads. There was one wonderful section of supposed "road works" that had an entire section of country road closed off with not a road worker in site, and no one to stop me cycling through it. Tiredness kicked in around 110 km and any uphill sections felt especially rough. Just had to push on through it, and as the m25 got closer and closer, I knew I wouldn't quit once I was past that so just kept peddling...eventually something of a second wind kicked in.
Past the m25 marking the London border and onto the home stretch and was delighted to see the odometer reading 171km as I pulled up to the house, an awesome ride!
Today, just a short 30km recovery ride down to Dom's birthday drinks and nice to meet some of his friends, including another Dom who rode the same challenge to John O'Groats and had some very good advice to share. On the way another friendly rider stuck with me for a while to chat, and he too commented "your doing well on that old thing" - PAH how DARE he - poor Bianca (my bike - yes it has a girls name I'm afraid) may be looking a little worse for wear but she's never let me down! Point taken though, she has been quite creaky and is overdue a proper servicing.
I've got her booked in this week as a treat.
All up, a 300km training week and my best yet. My muscles are feeling ok and I have noted all the small niggles from a long ride that I'll need to stay ontop of for 10 days at a similar distance for the actual challenge. Till next week!