Phew, That WAS fun.
Setting off at just after 7am today, I had planned to attack for 62 miles, late on yesterday, the man who put the “O” into Dean-O, said he wouldn’t be riding with me, bummer, I had been saying all year I wanted a 20 Mph average, taking me in at just under 3 hours, without anyone else, the task would be near impossible. As it turns out, Dean-o did indeed ride with me today, and boy was it a great day in the saddle.
The ride started a few days ago with the main preparation for any major ride.
Then late last night, it was pin the number on the jersey time:
The first 35 miles flew by, we were averaging over 20 Mph, and not one single rider had passed us, all was good, no, not good, it was great, such little effort was required Dean said “Its like being at home on the sofa”
Time to Make It More Difficult:
You know me, I don’t do things the easy way, the next thing I hear was my worst nightmare on a ride like this, Dean shouted from behind “Shit….Punctutre”
Noooooo, everything was going so well, now, this was going to knock us off our stride.
Just as we were setting back off, some random guy on a MTB rolled up asking what he could do for cramp, we were around 22 miles from the finish, he looked in so much pain, we offered him advice and Gels and set back on our way.
Oh BTW, Andy from work, dont just ride past saying “Gaz, hello” when I am at the side of the road with a Dean-sil in distress 😉
After we got going again we struggled to keep up the work rate, the issue I was having and I hope Dean doesnt mind me saying this, is that I was doing about 70% of the work on the front, after all, the target was mine to chase.
Preston came and went and that nasty , leg sapping climb hurt, soon it would be time to meet my nemesis, Lytham St Annes’ WIND !
This was the 3rd year in a row I had done this ride, the first, when we hit Lytham, my speed dropped to around 4 Mph, last year, I just about held double figures, this year wasnt gonna be the same, we rode off the back of a group for a couple of miles, then we rounded the corner to the Sea Front at Lytham and BOOM ! headwind and a nasty one, I said “there’s only one thing to do” and I attacked HARD, Dean grabbed my back wheel and we dropped the group , I was holding around 18 Mph, my hear rate was at 98% I was on the drops, head down and I was suffering like I had NEVER suffered before, as we came to the end of Lytham, I was throwing water into my mouth, over my head and onto my legs, I was putting THAT much effort in, one of the Lytham miles I had managed to average almost 19 Mph in, now that’s a proud moment !
Cramp, Suffer, Push:
The next 7 miles were a haze of pain and suffering, I was pushing pushing pushing, I asked Dean if he was able to take over, he told me he was giving 100% just holding my wheel, it would be down to me, I cramped up a couple of times and a couple of the miles were slow, but with 3 miles to go, I got back on the drops and I pushed so hard again!
The Final Count Down:
We rounded the final corner, the pain had gone, I could see the finish line, Dean offered to “Do a Mark Renshaw” I wasnt sure I could sprint , I was suffering that much I said “Ok, let’s try” he upped the pace a little, that was enough for me, with about 300m to go, I stood up and I went for the sprint HARD, my legs, lungs everything was on FIRE.
I crossed that finish line around 10 seconds in front, I had done the work and was rewarded with the sprint, Thank you dude !
Here is a video of it:
I had put myself into places I never thought I could, as soon as I got off the bike, I wasnt able to stand up, I had “left it ALL on the bike”
The time, well, I failed, I finished the ride in 3 Hours 10 Mins, 35 Mins faster than last year, but 10 mins short of collecting a few promises of “Double sponsorship” for beating the 3 hour mark, as you can see from that picture above, I gave it EVERYTHING I had, I am proud of averagng 19.4 Mph, but dissapointed in failing.
One thing I can assure you all of, is right now, I am plotting for NEXT Year and I WONT Fail !!!!
Post Ride Piccys:
Right, I’m SHATTERED, Time for bed, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Sponsor me, its for a GREAT CAUSE !
If this or I have inspired you, then PLEASE sponsor me for the 2011 Manchester to Blackpool charity ride, together, we CAN beat cancer.