Cambridgeshire Sportive – 150 kms!
9 July 2018 - By Colin Short
A couple of months ago my son Gary suggested to me that we do a Sportive together. With my heart ruling my head I agreed. He then entered us for the longest distance – 150kms (sounds so much more impressive than 93 miles!). My intention was to see how far I could get before clambering onto the sweeper lorry back to base! Suffice to say we completed it but not before some trials and tribulations along the way. It was just over an hour into the ride when I misjudged a roundabout, clipped the kerb and came off and in trying to uncleat my shoe I managed to pull my left calf muscle. I thought that was the end of my ride but I massaged it for a while and gradually it began to ease. It wasn’t a race so it was a bit galling that not one cyclist stopped to help me, only my son obviously! The only person concerned was a passing motorist who stopped to see if he could help. Still we carried on and reached the first feed station at 24 miles well inside the allotted time allowed. We then carried on after a short break. At about 45 miles I was beginning to suffer but got to the second feed station at 48 miles and would have been happy to jack it in there and then but the sweeper vehicle could only take 2 riders and their bikes and there were already 2 riders waiting to be picked up there! So I took a break, plied myself with enough sugar related products as I could take in and carried on. We got to the third and final feed station at 72 miles but I must admit it was a struggle and I was ready to get on the sweeper vehicle once again but lo and behold there were another 2 riders already there waiting! On top of that there were 2 ladies in tears waiting to go as well! So once again I plied myself with sugary things at my son’s insistence and got on with it once again. Fortunately the last leg was reasonably flat and we arrived at the finish in 8 and half hours, although taking into account the rest periods we were cycling for 7 and a half hours which averages out at 20kms per hour. The course was undulating to say the least and the road surface in parts left a lot to be desired. Would I do it again? Maybe, but with a lot more training! I now know what it takes to do an Ironman! It’s the 2.4 mile swim before and the marathon afterwards that puts me off!