On Saturday 14th August 2010 I set out at 5am on my (t)rusty old fixie to accomplish a ride far longer than I have done before of 165 miles.
Now how did I get myself into this mess then… Well it all started with British Gas and Make a Wish charity organising a charity bike ride, with a long route through the hills of Hampshire.
Looking at the start location I though well that’s not that far away, perhaps I can ride there and back, I know if I get enough sponsorship I will do it… Oh dear I got the sponsorship I am committed now.
Luckily I had done the Dunwich dynamo a few weeks earlier so I knew 130 was possible and that I would feel okay at the end of it, so how much worse could this be?
I sorted a few comfort issues out, a lot to be said for a good saddle and a slightly more upright riding position to offset the charms of long distance cycling
Having practised the ride to the start and back – 80 miles I knew that was easy enough as it was rolling with no major climbs.
So I had ridden to the start, now what… What I always do waiting to start a ride, is faff about and drink tea. Joining up with some of the guys from the pricing dept we set out for the first 30 miles at a comfortable pace chatting along. Then the hills started and were soon concentrating on keeping going. At the second fed stop we said our farewells and I headed off alone for the extra 30miles of the long route. A few very narrow and muddy roads due to the weather kept me on my toes and Old Winchester Hill lived up to its name and took nearly an hour to climb. A fallen tree climbed and before I knew it I was at the last feed stop and there was only 8 miles to go back to the start and a nice hot bowl of pasta. Once fed and watered it was time to saddle up and hit the roads for the final couple of hours home. And this is where it started raining, a few spots at first, then heavier until it was splashing up as much as falling. Definitely time to stop and put on my rain jacket for a token gesture at staying dry and warm. Luckily the rain became lighter around Camberley and was a light drizzle for the last fifteen or so miles.
In that time I consumed 8 litres of Torq energy drink, 6 tracker bars, 5 mars bars, lots of cake (yum), two gels (not nice) and a bowl of pasta, which should roughly equate to the 11,000 calories burnt. Unfortunately this proves that cyclists are more expensive to run than a diesel Nissan over this distance and slower.
Highlight of the day has to be the feeling of achievement of finishing the ride and still feeling human, although a tired one. Lowlight has to be the torrential downpour near Farnham, but by that time I was happy to be on the way home. I am just glad that the rain stayed off for the majority of the event.
Would I do it again? Absolutely. But not this weekend. Question is who wants to join me???
So in total I raised £335 with the event raising over 15k for make a wish.