A Month In Review

It’s been over a month since I wrote on this blog but a lot has happened in that time and we are hurtling towards our very own D-Day

Firstly, Adam and I (plus my future brother in law Ash and my friends Ben & Jenny) completed the Pearson London to Brighton run. Ben is training for L’Etape Du Tour which will see him climb the Col d’Izoard at the end of brutal Alps Tour stage so he and Ash did the reverse journey too, but getting up and over Ditchling Beacon was enough for me and Adam!

Secondly, I turned 40 on the 23rd May. I decided that this milestone should be celebrated with another milestone so I took the day off work and challenged myself to cycle up Box Hill. I made sure that I took it fairly steady as I wanted to reach the top (plus I did stop to take a photo on the Zig Zag Road) so I completed the hill in twelve and a half minutes which I was pretty happy about.

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My Box Hill Birthday Bash

On the way home I punctured and, while changing the inner tube at a BP garage, I got to thinking that I could definitely do Box Hill quicker so I made a plan to revisit it on the following Sunday. The second attempt was much easier and I knocked nearly four minutes off my previous time, I was delighted to do it in under nine minutes!

Last week Ash, Ben and I took part in the Evans Cycles Ride It Woking Sportive. Ash and Ben took on the 90 mile course while I settled for the middle distance 60 miles. It was a lovely route, not too hilly but a couple of punchy bits and the weather was kind to us. I was impressed by the set up of the event, the food stations were well stocked and had lots of variety, parking and registration was painless and the route (in the main) was well signposted. I completed my 60 miles in 4 hours and 21 minutes (including stops). My only annoyance was missing out on a ‘Gold’ average speed of 14mph, coming in at 13.4mph. I didn’t need the second feed stop really (10 miles from the end) and then I took a wrong turn, I’m sure I would’ve been over 14mph if I hadn’t hae done those two things!

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Ride It Woking Pro Photo

With little over a month to go I knew that I needed to step up my efforts and my distance so, on Saturday, I devised a route that would see me complete my first 100km ride. It was a beautiful, sunny morning and the route was great but the windy conditions and the 5,725ft of climbing made it really challenging. The attempt on Toys Hill, 60 miles in, was particularly difficult and I had to stop a couple of times. However, climb and you shall be rewarded – the views over Ashdown Forest were amazing

I completed 71.2 miles (114km) in a total time of 6 hours and 13 minutes which would’ve been a bit quicker in less blustery condiditions, but I was really pleased with myself that I completed the 100km.

In a couple of weeks time Adam and I are taking on a different cycling experience. For our birthdays, our better halves have bought us a taster session on track bikes at the Lea Valley VeloPark – I am both excited and apprehensive in equal measure! The thought of a bike with no brakes isn’t exactly normal!

After that it will be all systems go for Paris

IAIN

 

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About iamiain

Nearly 40, cycling newbie, hoping to conquer London To Paris in 2017
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