100 Miles in a Day!

On Thursday 27th August I ended up doing my first 100 mile ride, partially by accident!
The morning started with a commute in to bath with dad, going through the back lanes to Norton St. Phillip, then along to Midford, through the Two Tunnels and into the centre of Bath.
I then met up with my friend Luke, and we headed out of Bath up Kingsdown, which was a steady ride as Luke only had access to a 39-25 instead of a 39-28! Once at the top of Kingsdown we headed out to Biddestone. We had a few brief stops at this point for Luke to adjust his rear mech that was playing up. Once at Biddestone we met up with Lauren.
The three of us then did a loop around Castle Combe and the surrounding area, and feeling a touch hungry headed to the cafe at Sherston.
(The worst news at the cafe was that there wasn’t any bacon or sausage sandwiches even though it was lunch time! Add to that it started to rain while we were there, it wasn’t the best cafe stop in the world).
We started riding again when the rain stopped coming down, only to get a few minutes down the road and it start up again! With no mud guards, raincoats, and bare skin on show the rain wasn’t very fun, and we took a wrong turn! We ended up getting Lauren home to Chippenham through her local knowledge, looking at signs and taking educated guesses.
Luckily Lauren lived next to a Sainsbury’s so I went in to get some lunch. Food done, Luke and I navigated our way back to the top of Kingsdown in the sun now and descended back into Bath. We headed back to dads office, and then for a coffee/cake stop, before heading home with Luke leaving us as we headed out of Bath.
On the way back home we went through the Two Tunnels to Twinhoe, then through to Wellow, Radstock and then along the cycle path home. As we approached home I was a few miles short so we kept riding and turned around at the end of the road, and retraced our steps until the gps said 100.00 miles. Then it was picture time before riding the final mile back home.
In total the riding was 102.5 miles in 6 1/2 hours at an average of 15.5 mph over a hilly course with a lot of wind and rain and sun! Very tired legs and not many Jelly Babies left but a very enjoyable day of riding.
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Westpoint, Exeter 25th August

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On Tuesday 25th August I travelled to Westpoint near Exeter for a race. At sign on I identified the stronger riders to look out for, and set about my warm up.
The course was new to me, and the Commissaire let us have a couple of warm up laps while he was waiting for the relevant information. I used this opportunity to check out the course for terrain, pot holes and corners. The course was a square circuit, with a hill on one side, a descent on another, a headwind and a tailwind side.
The race got under way and a few riders were quickly shelled out of the back. The pace then slowed a bit, and so going into the third lap I attacked up the hill. The attack was at speed and only 3 riders were able come with me, (who were the three I had identified at the sign on sheet). The four of us then worked to extend the gap, with me sometimes dropping off the back and then chasing back on after corners when I had just done my turn on the front and one of the others attacked.
Eventually came a time when I got back on and a rider attacked straight away, splitting us up. I caught the rider ahead of me, but due to chasing and the initial attack I didn’t have enough energy to chase the other two down.
In the final few laps we had nearly caught the 2nd placed rider, but he had got enough of a gap to hold on. So I stayed on the wheel of the rider that I was with until after the final corner where I came out around him in the uphill sprint and took 3rd place.
I was very happy with that result on my first visit to the circuit, and pleased with my initial attack which split the race up. It was one of the best races of my season and the race where I was most aggressive… and it’s another BC point too!