|Date||Miles||Time||Type||Avg Speed (MPH)||Link|
|Wed, 16th Mar 2011||52||3:10:56||Road||16.4||Garmin|
|Sun, 20th Mar 2011||71||4:41:43||Road||15.2||Garmin|
I looked out of the window on Wednesday morning to find what looked like a very calm and misty day. As it turned out, there was a very noticeable Easterly wind, especially going over Beachy Head and along the Eastbourne Seafront. The sun did eventually break through when I got to Newhaven, making it quite pleasant (apart from the headwind later). Coming down the Beachy Head zigzag, the Fondriest started making some really loud rattly noises. It turned out to be the cassette lock ring which had become loose. Apart from that, a good ride.
No cycling Saturday which was a real shame as the weather was gorgeous.
Sunday though, was the Burgess Hill Springtime Classic, a 71 mile ride organised by SRS Events, which incorporated Cob Lane, a 20% ascent (more on that later). The total ascent for this ride was 1502m, which makes this the hardest ride I’ve ever ridden. This event was brilliantly organised. There were no queues for registration, the signage was legible and accurate and everyone had a smile on their faces, apart from a few riders finishing (including me!).
For the second Sportive in a row, I made the mistake of following a rider who was quite obviously much stronger then me. He lost me at about 25 miles but by then, the damage was done. I made it to the first feed at Hever in 2:22:10 which gave me an average speed of 16.6mph. Knowing that I was going to have some difficulties in the second half, I loaded up with all sort of edible offerings in an effort to replenish my severely depleted energy levels. The second half turned out to be a bit of a struggle, mainly due to my inappropriate gearing. No matter how strong/fit you are, you will never be able to cycle up Cob Lane in a 42/21, and so, I did the walk of shame. With my cleats slipping and sliding on the 20% gradient, I pushed my bike up the hill, whilst better prepared riders with their compact chainsets and 27 cassettes spun up the hill with ease (some of then, anyway).
With 20 miles to go, I had spent all my energy. No matter how much I ate or drank at the next feed stops, it made no difference. I was just counting down the miles on my Garmin in the hope that the agony would soon end. The second half, I did in 13.8mph; just under 3mph slower than the first half.
Once back at the HQ, after handing in my timing chip and bike number, I was given a printed certificate for my ride, a receipt full of statistics on my performance and a bag of goodies which included an SIS bidon and sachet of SIS REGO Recovery powder. From there, it was off to the kitchen to collect some free food and then, the main hall where a video about Paris-Roubaix was playing on the big screen.
Personally, I was very disappointed with the day but this had nothing to do with the event or the organisation of it. It was purely down to me, being unwilling to learn from my previous mistakes and go at my own pace. I must also do something about my gearing for the next Sportive.
Incidentally, I clocked up my 1000th mile of the year during this event.