The longest ride
On Sunday, Scott and I took part in the Birmingham Bikeathon.
A charity ride for Leukaemia Lymphoma Research with a choice of 3 distances, 26 miles, 52 miles or 100 miles.
We opted at for the 52 mile route, so I dragged out the trusty old Boardman and headed off to pick Scott up.
The start of the ride (I’m trying to resist calling it a race) was at 09:00 in Canon park in the ‘event village’ the village had a few greasy burger stands and a trailer selling some bike bits. There was also a team of stunt riders with Dare2B, who had an assault course set up, but we didn’t hang around to watch it.
The plan was to take it easy and just enjoy the day, after all, this wasn’t a race, so we started of in wave 3 with a big mixture of cyclists, ranging from people on very very expensive race machines, to commuter bikes with baskets.
I’m pleased I didn’t bring the cervelo. It would have been good to get used to sitting in an aero position for a long ride, but I would also have looked a bit of an idiot (its not a race)
We set off at any easy pace, just ambling along with the pack, but I was starting to get irritated. People were spread right across the road, in big groups just chatting, which is fine for them (its not a race) they were enjoying their day out, but I cant have people in front of me, so we started to move up past all the dawdlers.
The weather was perfect, not too hot, a little overcast, but dry. The route was nice too, we were out of the city pretty quickly and onto some nice country roads. There were however quite a few single track roads with blind corners and the occasional car coming in the opposite direction. Riders were still filling the road and seemed oblivious to the dangers. Helmets were optional! which was a surprise.
We continued to move up through the packs and eventually, I guess, through the different waves as there were some points where we were riding on our own, trying not to get lost.
At around two thirds into the ride (not race) something happened to my brain. we were riding with another guy, who was sitting just behind us and at a water station, he went in front of me. Ahead of me!
That’s not how it works.
This was at the bottom of a hill, I like hills :D
I was gone (sorry Scott)
I passed the guy at the bottom of the hill and just kept going, suddenly my mind had decided that this was a race. I pushed hard, acquiring targets and taking them out as quickly as possible. By the end of the now race, my legs were dead, but I felt like I had won something, I rode through the finish line on my own, in my mind the winner! beating people on fixies, mountain bikes and pink bikes with baskets.
It wasn’t a race
I finished off a great day with a finishers medal and a big stretch