Well I made it round in about 6ish hours.
The doom mongers had been predicting bad weather for the day with winds and driving rain. Thankfully they were only half right, so we got some light drizzle and stayed mostly dry. But at other points I had to check if I was actually heading downhill, uphill or into a head wind.
Wasted a reasonable amount of time in the first 5 miles trying to track down a mysetery clicking sound that the bike’s never made before. Didn’t seem to be drive train related as it made it whilst coasting and pedalling. Tightened everything I could think of, removed a couple of likely suspects and still it kept clicking. Deciding it probably wasn’t structural I decided to just carry on.
The effort put into working the route out before hand seemed to pay off. Having the map in my jersey pocket slightly less so. Though I only went off piste twice. Once I followed a couple of riders down to where they thought the control was. And then missed a turn somewhere in Ashelym so just pootled round some extra lanes via Slawston to get back on track, think it only added about 3 miles or so. Easily fixed with a map holder or a GPS unit, must resist natural geek urge to get more GPS kit :).
I rode most of sections 2 and 3 on my tod. Not quite sure of the etiquette of waiting for a group to leave and then jumping on the back, and having not ridden in a group for nearly 20 years I’d rather not scare more competent riders with my wobbling. Not a bad thing as I could set my own pace, but could have been nice to occasionally suck a wheel.
Think my favourite bits of the route were:
- the swoop down into Harringworth towards the viaduct. My iPhone claims a max speed of ~50mph down here
- the road from Glooston to Goadby. Riding along the ridgeline gave good views, and the clag on the roads made it feel a bit off the beaten track. And then another curving descent to finish, though taking it a bit more carefully as there wasn’t that much clean road to get a grip on. Also a nice confirmation of the route was getting a picture taken by someone who looked like they were expecting cyclists to be passing that way.
The cake and tea at the finish were muchly appreciated, especially the ginger cake and heartily took advantage.
Good day out, and I’m looking forward to the 100k Three fields now. 200k Roses to Wrags is looking a bit tighter on time limits unless I get a bit faster. Though according to the gps track I spend an hour stationary during those 6 hours, so if I don’t have any bike worries and drink less tea I should get a bigger margin. I also need to watch pacing, I’d flog up on hill and then die on the next one. So more of a consistent pace, though I find grinding up a hill more painful than just HTFU and going for it.
Now to find out what that clicking was………