Archive for June, 2008

No. 9 – Heart of Shires – 205 Km

Friday, June 6th, 2008

I am certainly brave – or just plain stupid. This is the third 200+ in as many weekends. I survived the first two quite OK – but I am starting to wonder if I am just pushing my luck…

Another ‘small’ problem is that it starts at 08:00, and as I want to be there at least 30 minutes earlier AND the travel will take me at least 1.5 hours IO am looking at a very early rise – with trepidation. I am really not that rested, having done about 50 Km just yesterday.

As I said – I seem to be pushing myself perhaps a tad too hard.

Post ride analysis:

OK – so I did not arrive last. There were two (maybe even three) people behind me. They did start one hour after I did but hey – that’s their problem! The ride (including all the breaks) was 12 hours and 30 minutes. So – not much of an improvement on the last two. BUT – I did take just one hour and 5 minutes of breaks, and even that I could have easily cut some more if only I would have obtained water more easily in the places where we stopped for ‘control’. The ride itself was not too bad. It started by a really perfect weather (cloudy but neither too cold nor too warm) and then developed a nasty spell of coldness, with the accompaniment of not insignificant rain. That has lasted for 30-45 minutes, and I felt quite miserable. Gradually, though, it warmed up and turned into a glorious day. Sadly, my shoes and socks remained wet throughout so it was feeling rather chilly down there.

Then there was the pain in my right knee. It was not a severe, scream your head of kind of pain, but I developed a psychological fear of ‘damaging’ it. So I took it easy and slowly – and it obviously showed in my average speed.

Finally there were some climbs. Overall, we climbed some 2200 meters, which I believe is quite respectable. I am rubbish at climbing so my average would drop dramatically as soon as my legs would sense even the slightest incline in the road.

This time, though, the GPS was flawless! My trusted edge 705 has seen me through some tight spots, and I used it as a safety measure to ensure that I stay on course. Literally. It would also give me endless hours of gazing with fascination at the many screens it has and the ever changing data elements. I also looked at the amazing scenery, OK?

In summary, this was well organised and quite enjoyable event, despite the difficulties. They even had very rich (in fat) food at the end which I consumed with devotion. Oh – just remembered – when I got back to my car to do the 1 hour and a half journey back to London a nice lady came out from one of the nearby houses and we got chatting. The place is a TINY village and she was ever so friendly! She expressed her amazement at my achievement – and so did I 🙂 I said that I may come by next year too and she sounded quite surprised, given that I came all the way from London. Talking of that, she asked the inevitable ‘SO WHERE ARE YOU FROM’? as my accent so easily gives my foreignness away. I said ‘Israel’ and she said ‘What? Did you come all this way just to cycle here??’ LOL

I am taking now a three weeks break from the rather tiring 200Km rides and will be happy to do just 100-ish. I am trying to organise a DIY ‘permanent’ – so I can do an ‘official’ AUDAX ride but with no one to organise it for me.

The certificate: