It's just an early season jaunt around the North
That’s what the organiser said any way, and I have to agree. I doubt you would find a tougher organised event local to Sevenoaks. There were about 8 climbs, some I was familiar with and others that I just wasn’t expecting and just seemed to creep up on us.
I rode with Marc, another of the school dads, who had a very nice bike (Marc shares a penchant for gadgets). Marc’s day started badly and went down hill, both literately and metaphorically.
Firstly, he forgot his helmet! The organisers couldn’t help out with a new or loaner one but did state that he could ‘legally’ ride without one. I’m pretty sure Marc got fed up with saying “yeah, I know” to every cyclist that passed saying “where’s your helmet mate”. Marc didn’t have time to worry about his missing head gear when he went down hard on an icy hairpin 5 miles into the first decent. I was following and keen not to copy him and instead went over the bars on top of him (in a comedy slow motion style). We straightened Marc’s Ultegra Di rear Derailleur hanger £££ inspected the torn clothing/skin and cracked on, only to puncture his tubular tyres twice before he finally decided the cycling gods were against him and he retired at the 30 mile feed station.
After neglecting the feed/toilet break, I time-trialed it for the remaining 40 miles, determined not to get overtaken and to make up the down time lost by being the bike doctor. I almost succeeded but got taken on Star Hill in a moment of weakness and I spent the remaining 10 miles hanging on the back of the wheel of the guy who passed me.
I finished in 4 hours 49 (123rd out of 571), which was categorised as Gold (only 12 got Platinum – sub 4 hours). My garmin file states a moving time 4:24 (relating to 44th) with a Ave speed of 16 MPH.
I picked up my goody bag (plus one for my fallen comrade) and rushed home for that long overdue toilet break!
Next Sportive (London Cycle 100 Mile Sportive) – Sunday 30th June 2013