Well I set myself a target of completing the 55 mile bike ride within 4 hours, which of course with the little training that I had been doing due to the absence of a bike was another challenge itself.
I must admit I was feeling pretty nervous leading up to the event especially when I was sat waiting in the rain towards the back of the start line. However after the first rolling mile was down I started to feel quite comfortable on the new bike and welcomed the cooling rain. So I decided to go for it, just so I could catch up with the leading pack and maybe stick with them for a bit to help motivate me along.
The rain had stopped and I soon had the group in my sight but shortly after the pace picked up and I was putting everything I had into keeping up with them. The final pit stop came up at 40 miles and I was still with them, we were the first group to arrive. After leaving the pit stop though I began to struggle, every hill I came across was burning the muscles in my legs and I slowly began to drop back. Thankfully though I wasn't the only one to start suffering at this point and was joined by a couple of others who had also dropped back from the front so we were all motivating each other through the last few miles.
The finish line was in site, I couldn't have been more relieved. I crossed the line to find out not only had I beaten my target time and finished in 3hours 53 minutes but had also finished in the top 10 out of the 80 starting.
That definitely deserved a victory pint!!!
It was tough but I did it and couldn't have been more pleased with my result, I still have a long way to go though if I am to cycle almost double the distance in 6 weeks’ time.
Back to the training I go.