Excerpts

My First Century

“So here I was on the start line of my first ever 100 miler. I don’t recall being nervous, not one little bit, the build-up had given me a lot of confidence. It was a nice sunny day, not too hot that time of the morning, so no jackets or arm warmers required.”

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South Downs

“The two major climbs of the day were the climb out of South Harting and the mighty Butser Hill. The latter was a closed road climb, which would be timed and a KOM jersey (from the Tour of Britain) available to the fastest male, female and junior.”

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Ups & Downs

“After a gentle first mile, the next four are pretty much all uphill, including the long climb up to Ranmore Common. Descend, climb, descend and then the two mile climb up Hound House Road… all in the first 15 miles.”

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Happy Anniversary

“Seriously? You’re riding a century on your wedding anniversary?”… sounds worse than it was…”

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Howler – The Return

“Being more experienced also means being more relaxed, so much so that I forgot my bottles. I was about half way to the event when my wife called “Are you meant to be taking these bottles?” she asked “Ooops” was my reply (the polite version).

A quick three point turn and was on my home to pick them up… not so relaxed now!”

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Holiday Hundred

“August Bank Holiday Monday arrived, the car was all packed up, my bike was ready and I had six hours’ worth of energy food stuffed into various pockets. You all know what British bank holidays mean? Yes, British weather… torrential rain… the suntan lotion went back in my bag and out came my winter waterproof jacket.”

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L’Etape London

“Somewhere in the region of 3,000 cyclists gathered at the start line just outside the Olympic Velodrome… heading out of London through Epping Forest to Saffron Walden, then back via Chelmsford and Epping Forest again. ”

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Chasing Windmills

“Arriving at the start shortly after 7am, I was already shivering. My Garmin was registering sub-zero. It was time to layer up… skull cap, neck tube, thick thermal gloves and two jackets.”

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Ups & Downs Again

“So here we are, Ups & Downs again… only this time with a twist. A week or so to go to the event, I double checked the route and “oh no!” the route had been shortened to 98 miles. There was a road closure on the course. Not much the organisers could do, but that’s no consolation to a Centurion.”

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London Warm Up

“My plan for the day was to ride the first 40 miles (before the lumpy bit) at 20 mph pace, take it easier over the hillier middle section then if I had anything left push hard for the last 30 miles back home – target time 5 hours 30 minutes.”

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My Longest Day

“Having now chalked up ten centuries, I was ready to go that bit further and entered my first 125 mile sportive – that’s 200 kilometres (a double century) in metric.

The event organisers described it as… “not for the faint-hearted” with “nine major climbs and five other significant ascents will come before you as this mega-epic unfolds”.”

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London Calling

“It’s 6:40am and I’m sitting here, amongst tens of thousands of other cyclists, waiting to start the biggest event of my life…. the 2016 Prudential Ride London. I’m a little bit nervous, slightly apprehensive but genuinely excited about what is to come.”

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