Sunday, 14 July 2013

My first century

For those that know me, I have been harping on about completing a 100 mile single ride since I first started riding and losing some serious weight. Last year was impossible, I was still losing weight and only had one bike (my mountain bike). Whilst possible to complete on a mountain bike, you get much greater efficiency from a road bike or a hybrid.

My hybrid did not get fixed until March. Until today I had my biggest ride on this was 88.5 miles in early April out into Lincolnshire.

Anyway, I set off about 5:30 this morning, I had decided on doing at least 100k (of which I have done a few now), but did not have any preference as to where I went or anything. The road took me out on my habitual route round Mexborough, along Manvers and then out toward Grimesthorpe, Brierley and eventually Pontefract.

I developed some aches and pains early on in the ride in my feet and arse. I was ready for this and prepared to stop a few times in order to get in right. I moved the cleats on my road shoes further towards the centre of my foot away from the big toe where I was experiencing the pain and decided to lift the nose of the saddle up slightly so that I sat more on the widest part towards the near.

The ride felt much better afterwards, so I decided to plod on. I reached Eggborough power station at about 8:30am which I did not consider too bad after the stop. It was at this point on the road towards Snaith that I had to make the decision to turn South for Thorne and then Doncaster or push on for Goole. The Goole roads are unfamiliar to me but the route down towards Thorne and Bawtry looked striaght forward to allow me to pick up the final miles of the ride on familiar roads.

I reached Goole without incident, but it was at this stage that the sun was starting to get stronger and the saddle felt like a chesse grater. I resisted any further adjustments and headed for Crowle, and then onto Hatfield near Thorne, which would then take me towards Bawtry. Reaching Crowle seemed like forever, the roads were pan flat and I could see for miles, which started playing tricks on my motivation. I was very tired by the time I reached Crowle and I found myself stopping for rest at a park bench at just about every major village I passed through.

Upon reaching Bawtry, I was back on familiar roads, I was still dog tired, but now I could easily gauge my progress and adjust my route to hit the 100 mile target. I ran out of water in Tickhill. I had a few climbs before I reached home, so stopped off at Tesco in Maltby for more water, and an energy drink. I was stopping every 5 miles or so now, mainly to hydrate, but also to keep tabs on my mileage. I completed 100.66 miles, and have to admit that this was one of the most tiring experiences of my life, but I am glad I did it. I think the saddle made the ride much more onerous, so I am considering swapping saddles over the next week or so with my stock in the garage, to see if I can manage a better ride.

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