Our Big 100 Mile Ride.
Our big 100 mile ride.
The day finally arrived, you know when you wake up and have to get out of bed early but somehow the bed just seems to be a bit more comfortable than usual? Well that was how I felt. This wouldn’t do I told myself, so I hauled myself out of bed and starting preparing myself for the agony that was sure to follow. I started by having a scientifically approved nutritional breakfast (egg and bacon) at least that’s what I told myself.
The day looked OK, it was very still, I mean no wind at all albeit a little chilly. I always go into a kind of blinkered mode when getting ready for a ride and yesterday’s was even more that way. At 8.00 am, Ashley my neighbour, James my Stepson and myself were assembled at the front of the house, I wouldn’t call it raring to go but a least ready to go. Following a couple of photos, we were off.
Our plan was to pace ourselves and try and stick to around 15 mph for the duration of the ride. This plan went straight out the window more or less from the moment we set off. None of us had done a 100 miler before so we were a bit apprehensive as to how our bodies would react to such punishment, especially me at my age.
We headed off through the narrow lanes towards Framlingham, chatting away as we went. Everything was going well, we all felt good as we wound our way through the still sleeping villages. We arrived in Framlingham after around an hour, took a couple of pictures to record our progress and then headed towards Peasenhall and our first stop of the day. My wife Emma and a friend of ours Sarah were waiting for us with food and drinks. This was all very civilized. After a quick fuel up we were off again, this time heading towards Wrentham.
I was waiting for aches and pains to start but the truth is they didn’t really occur. I had a twinge in the neck after around 15 miles but it went away again by itself (just my body moaning about the early start).
My self and Ashley being the two elder members of the trio found that we did have the need to make quite a lot of toilet stops in various fields. Those of you who are familiar with bib shorts and winter riding gear will know what a pain this is when you get the urge, as it were.
We arrived at the furthest point geographically from home at 11.45 am. A little place on the coast with very little there called Cove Hithe. From here it was a quick blast down the road to the lovely seaside town of Southwold. This was our fifty mile mark or as some might say, halfway.
On our arrival, we were greeted once again by the support car, loaded up with various treats. My preference was the left over pizza from the night before, followed by a chocolate brownie. I would tell you about what the others ate but to be honest I couldn’t tell you because I was too interested in my own food.
At 12.30 pm we were off again, there was a bit of off road action as we negotiated the path and footbridge that led across the river and into Walberswick. From here we had quite a pace on as we rode toward Dunwich. There is a nasty little hill, short but quite steep that runs up from the car park away from the village. With 60 or so miles under our belts, this sort of thing was starting to test our legs.
We continued through Minsmere and had arranged to stop at Snape for a quick stop. We arrived to find the team car missing. I suspected the girls may have detoured to the shops at the nearby Snape Malting’s, but after a phone call discovered that they were waiting for us at Westleton, near Minsmere. This as it turned out was my fault as I did say stop there for a bit in case we got a puncture. Unfortunately what I didn’t say was carry on to Snape after thirty minutes or so if you don’t hear from us.
We carried on to Sudbourne Park where shortly after our support crew finally arrived. This was the seventy five mile point and I must admit that my body was starting to throw up some peculiar signs that things weren’t exactly normal. It was nothing in particular just a slightly odd feeling that things weren’t right. We left Sudbourne and I was now aware that getting going again after these stops was becoming more of a pain in the rear quite literally than stopping in the first place. It took me longer to settle down after every stop but stop we did again in Woodbridge.
This was a quick splash and dash before the final leg home. There were a couple of nasty hills on this bit of the ride, which were hurting all our legs. We were struggling somewhat by this point, although we knew we would make it as we were so close to home.
There was a little bit of a hitch. We got back onto the estate where we live but we were 5 miles short of our target, so we had to start doing laps of the road that runs round the estate.
This really messed our heads up as we had to do at least four laps to make the distance. This meant passing the end of our road on numerous occasions. To cape it all it then started to rain quite hard. The roads became wet, I was cold and tired and riding on slick tyres, not the best combination.
We kept passing the same people at bus stops around the estate and in my tired state I was wondering why they would stand there without cheering us on, did these people know what we’d just done. I snapped out of it just in time to see the mileage click onto 100 miles.
We turned the last corner and turned towards home. When we stopped we had a couple more photos taken to record our momentous achievement before a cup of tea and a hot shower.
We did the run in 6 hours 11 minutes, which we were more than happy with for a first attempt.
Thank you to everyone that sent messages of support and congratulations and also to everyone who generously donated to such a fine charity.