Posted by: Zombi | April 18, 2010

Remind me why I cycle…

Todays club run was merged with a local reliability ride (You get a card at the start and have to pass 3 points, get stamped and get back to the start) from Dewsbury to Pocklington.  As the route headed West the largest hill was a railway bridge but at 98 miles (+ 10 to the start and home again) it was certainly not easy.

Around 30 riders left Dewsbury (Riders also left from various other parts of the country to meet at Pocklington) and I soon managed to somehow get myself mixed up in the fast group with 3 or 4 others from the club and 10 other ex/current racers.  The pace didn’t start off too badly… but then rapidly increased.  Due to the route being so flat it was constant punishment all the way to Pocklington (48 miles).  As soon as the 1st sign for Pocklington was spotted, 6 miles out, the racing started.  The group whittled down from about 14 to 7 or 8 and it was a real job to even hang on the back (Les, cheers for the tow!) however I just managed to keep in touch and arrived with the leaders.  Just.

Stats for the first 48.35 miles:

Time – 2.26

Average Speed – 19.8mph

Max Speed – 30.2 (that was on the flat… it was torture)

The rest was welcome when we reached the halfway point and sitting in the sun for the 2nd group who arrived about 20 minutes later was just what was needed.  The knowledge that the fast group was going to be even quicker on the way back and my inability to navigate home if I was dropped meant Les and I set off back with the others at a more sedate pace.  In the end we arrived back about 25 minutes back on the 1st group with tired legs and nicely developing tan lines!

Stats for the 48.87 miles home:

Time – 2.48

Average Speed – 17.4mph

Max Speed – 35.5

All in all for the full day including getting to the start and back I ended up with:

108.58 miles

Time – 6.00.36 (I wish I had known as I would have done it 37 seconds quicker to break 6 hours!)

1,700 feet of climbing – My 10 mile commute to work, which admittedly is hilly, has 700 feet of ascent.

The strange thing I find with cycling is that is not particularly pleasant whilst you are doing it.  Cycling home after 100 miles to arrive at the bottom of the biggest and only real climb of the day is just torture however, the satisfaction of tired legs and a warm bath makes it all worthwhile.  What the pro’s do really does stand out to me as showing cycling is far and away the hardest professional sport!

Whilst todays ride was tough, and the longest I have ever done, I was consoled by the fact that I will be spending roughly 7 hours a day to cover 30 to 35 miles less.  It will be a breeze!!!

One eye opener from today though was the Garmin telling me I had burnt 6000 calories.  I am going to have a real challenge to take in that many calories when I am away so will need to pay particular attention to my intake.

This week has seen a total distance, including today of 180 miles.

April to date is 322 miles.

I would like to say a big thanks to the Halifax Courier who published a full two page article on my trip on Saturday.  Well above what I was expecting and much appreciated.  The Telegraph and Argus also published a story on my trip at the start of the week and whilst appreciated, I was a little surprised it was so small but maybe it was just a busy news day.

Sponsorship is sitting at the £270 mark and I have had numerous pledges from friends etc so if you are reading and have not sponsored me yet, it only takes a second… here!  I am aware there have been some issues with the JustGiving page but I believe they are intermittent.  Come back later and you should be fine if it doesn’t work straightaway, or email me at BenBlyth@Hotmail.co.uk and I am more than happy to arrange to collect any sponsorship separately!

7 weeks and counting….

Click here for my JustGiving page.

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