After a week of very little cycling (0 miles oooops) this Sunday was pencilled in for a biggie. I think we will say last week was a taper week. Hey if it works for Team GB am sure its ok for me to disguise my laziness as a taper.
So my biggie this weekend mostly came about due to the Strava BMC 79 challenge , strangely enough this involved cycling 79 miles in one ride at any point of this weekend , and the prize for completing this ride is a digital badge !!!
Now a digital badge sounds fairly lame doesnt it but A. lets be honest am never going win anything worthy by cycling at the grand old age of 40 B. I have to date not completed a single challenge on Strava , including The Specialized Climbing from March which if it was still running I wouldnt have climbed the required 105000ft. Some riders managed to triple that climbing?????
So this was the one for me I have cycled 124 miles in one ride so hey this was going to be a snip!! However what I didnt realise at the time was I hadnt ridden more than 73 miles this year and also none of my previous biggies had been down here in the horrendous terrain of Devon.
The route was planned via Garmin and Uncle Jon was to be my ride partner. So all was well although Uncle Jon had never ridden more than 42 miles.
So all set for the off on a freezing frost bitten November morning. The route headed out of the Big Smoke and east towards Ivybridge which is relatively flat where I was to meet Uncle Jon then it would be on to our usual weekend loop and up on to Dartmoor.
Dartmoor for those that arent aware is stunning with views to die for although in fairness it wasnt my intention to do the whole dying thing just yet. We made haste to Burrator and stopped for a few pics on the reservoir then it was a circuit around dodging the 1000′s of joggers then the plan was up to Princetown which from past experience I know is a hellish route with steep, sharp hills.
At this point Uncle Jon who has quite obviously been doping with Mr Armstrong came into his own showing me how to climb hills with a vigour never quite matched by myself and in all honestly probably never will either. But then he weighs about 2 stone and combined with his EPO intake i never stood a chance. Hopefully the UCI will hear of his exploits and he will get a lifetime ban!!!
Next stop was Princetown to Tavistock , now this is my kind of cycling long sweeping descents with open views of all the bends. 49.6 Mph !!!! But my record was 50.0 Mph darn you Maddie!!
Into Tavistock where by all accounts i am a living legend for my hockey exploits and one day they will take down the Sir Francis Drake statue and replace it with one of me I am sure. In all honesty by Tavistock I had just about had enough, My bum ached my legs ached even my aches ached. But Strava had to be beaten.
Onwards Tavistock to Yelverton was amazing cos yayaya its all up hill !!! Which meant seeing very little of Lance Armstrongs new training partner so I plodded along at my pace to arrive at Yelverton for a quick Full fat Coke (mmmmm naughty) and a quick breather.I had this Strava malarkey beaten now , with my belly full of Coke gas we flew along the last 7-8 miles back into the City that never sleeps. YEEEESSSSS it was done!!!
Well actually it wasnt as I still had another 16 miles to find so Uncle Pantani headed back to Ivybridge whilst I concocted a plan to find the flattest 16 miles I could find. This involved a few local flatish loops and seemed to take forever. But eventually I did it I am now a proud owner of a BMC 79 challenge completed Digital badge…… does life get any better ??
6352ft of climbing
6hrs 24 mins
12.7 mph average
max speed 49.6 Mph
Dont forget to sponsor me …… this training is bloody hard work !!!!!