To the Races – 110km audax from Alfreton + ECE

It’s definitely getting colder at 06:30 these days. Making the most of the ECE (extended Calendar Event) option to turn this into a 20o with a 50km leg tacked onto the start and end, means leaving home early to make sure I make it to Alfreton in time for a couple of cups of tea. Ride over was uneventful an mostly done on autopilot. Got to the start with about half an hour to spare, so plenty of time for tea and bicuits.

Set a good pace to the first control on Tutbury after I latched onto a fast group,reasonably flat decent roads for this section. Though a bit of muck around meant I kept glasses on if I was following someone. Reminds me that I need to add some flaps to my mud guards to be nice to anyone following me. Glad I’d got guards on, as quite a lot of riders sported impressive skunk stripes. Quick stop at the control in a car park in Tutbury and then back onto some country roads to Ashbourne. GPS  unit took a different view of the route to everyone else, and it was at this point that I discovered I’d forgotten to bring a route sheet with me, so no chance to check. Luckily I could wing it into Ashbourne as the next Info control was pretty central. Seemed to loose an hour here to a cafe stop that didn’t seem that long at the time.

Short section left to get back to Alfreton, but this contained most of the climbing. Nothing too huge as we just skirted the edge of the Peak District, though as usual anything passing near to Crich is going to involve some hills. Rolled back in Arrivee for about 14:00, giving about 5 hours for the ride.

A cup of tea and then the ECE leg back home. Bonked reasonably hard in Lambley for some reason, but was out of sugary stuff with no shop to help out. So was a long struggle back up Spring Lane for me. But it’s all done now and the GPXs are off to the org for validation.

A nice potter around some newish to me road, so a great way to spend a Saturday. Probably my last calendar event until Febuary as there doesn’t appear to be anything that doesn’t involve a reasonable amount of driving, or having to rearrange proper things. So i’ll be out on my own DIY GPSing, hopefully with better weather than last year

Bike was caked in crud so had a good cleanign session the next day. Suprised to find the rear tyre flat though. So that’s the first puncture in 5000 miles, so I was about due one. Slight less impressed that one repaired spare tube had perished, and the other one allowed itself to be installed and inflated, but to wait 2 hours before going with a disturbing bang.


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