Suffolk 100 Part 2
After last week’s poor start to the preparation for our 100 mile ride round Suffolk for charity, I had a better start to the week. Firstly I had to really confirm what route we would be taking. So I jumped into the car, with Emma, my wife as a sort of co-driver with pen and paper in hand and we set off to drive the full 100 mile circuit.
The start was easy as I had already ridden it the day before, so we followed that up until we got to the quiet and beautiful market town of Framlingham. We thought this would be a good first place to aim for and it would give us a chance for some refreshment if we needed it. Although the plan is to carry straight on through and continue along the narrow back lanes up to Peasenhall.
From here we would follow a tried and tested run that I do for charity every year and then extend it at the end to make a full 100 miles.
I was surprised to find that just driving the route took us over 3 hours, but that said we were driving very slowly due to the nature of the roads.
The next day after work I decided to do a little training ride on my hybrid. It was nearly dark when I set off and also pouring with rain and very windy. I got myself togged up and headed off. I’ve said it before but I really quite enjoy riding in bad weather when you are geared up for it, plus I knew I wouldn’t be going that far from home so if I got cold I could head back fast. I only followed the cycle trails into town around it and then back out to our house.
The good thing about doing a run on my hybrid is that it feels so heavy compared to my road bike, I always liken it to learning to walk with lead boots on then when you get back on the road bike it suddenly seems so light and fast. I did another one of these rides on Friday lunchtime also on the same bike and again it felt very heavy but remember to me that is a good thing.
I have a friend who has just taken up cycling and is already planning a trip across Death Valley in America (brave girl) who said that she would like to get some training in at the weekend with me if possible. I said this would be cool so she came over first thing on Saturday morning. It had been raining all night and by 8.00am it had only just stopped, so the roads were very wet. Although I don’t mind riding my hybrid in the rain, I’m not so keen on taking out my road bike in these sorts of conditions. It has completely slick tyres which doesn’t inspire confidence at all especially on wet back roads covered in leaves.
We headed off at a sedate kind of pace, tip toeing around the lanes, eventually the sun came out and the roads dried out a lot apart from the places where the sun didn’t reach.
There were a few steepish hills to climb on our ride and there was a definite improvement in my legs from the week before. It doesn’t take too long to start feeling like your legs are coming back to form after a break and after nearly 20 miles I was feeling good. My friend Sarah was also feeling ok despite a couple of stops for cramping in her toes. I was on a limited timescale so 20 miles was all the distance we could do, but we did cover a fairly broad terrain.
The ride is next weekend so I’ve only got this week to get some more short rides in before the big event. I am hoping that I will have done enough to get back to my summer form but I somehow think this is a bit of a pipe dream. I do have other concerns for next weekend, firstly the weather. Please God let it be dry and sunny with very light winds. I somehow think this may not be the case though as I’m checking the forecast daily at the moment. Secondly, I always seem to get various aches and pains, usually neck etc., which is a bit odd as it doesn’t follow a pattern. I’ve done 60 plus miles without any problem on one day and then the following week will get pains after around 10 miles. However I think the worst thing that can happen is that we all get cold. It is very difficult to warm up once you’ve gotten cold as you will probably all know.
I have to be positive though as we get what we get and we are determined to get through it without too many problems. I will of course do a blog to tell you all about our adventure once we have completed it.
I have said it before but I will say it again that we are doing this for Cancer Research Uk, a very worthwhile cause, so if you feel that you would like to donate to the ride in their name you can do so on our just giving page at http://www.justgiving.com/Preownedcycles So far people have been very generous. Thank you to everyone that has supported us, we have been aiming to raise £1000 and so far we have done pretty well, but every little bit really is a great help to them.