Here we are at the start.
In the end the weather was pretty kind to us today though at times the wind was a bit unhelpful but on balance things could easily have been a whole lot worse. Some folk got a real soaking in one or two very heavy showers but we were lucky and had a generally dry ride. The route covers 101.4 miles of very hilly countryside and includes 8 serious climbs.
As things panned out we had a really excellent ride. We worked together well and the group atmosphere was really enjoyable. As one of us hit a difficult patch we just helped each other along and in the final analysis none of us would have achieved the results we did without working together as a team.
A couple of other guys joined up with us for part of the ride and joined in with our work sharing and it was nice to chat to them at the end, they both seemed to feel that joining us had enhanced their day which was really nice.
To be honest our result exceeded our expectations as the field was much larger than last year and those in the know said that there were a number of very strong cyclists taking part. We stuck with our plan and throughout the ride we were not passed by a single cyclist, the ever supportive and tolerant Lorena was there to man our feed stop which was greatly appreciated by all.
We arrived at the finish in a time of 5:18 which was just brilliant. We had taken 10 minutes off our time last year and the course was also about 2 miles longer, we also had to stop 3 times to open and close farm gates as part of the route took us over a very poor gated road.
What was even more amazing was that as far as we could tell when we left the registration centre afterwards we had finished in places 8-12 (we all finished together as planned) in a field estimated to be about 1000 riding the 101.4 mile route, just a fantastic outcome.
For those interested in the numbers they are as follows:
Work: 4188 kJ
HR Ave: 156
SP Ave: 19.2 mph.
So where do we go now? There are a number of things we can do to improve our performance and we'll have to talk those through in due course. For the moment we will just enjoy what we have achieved and be grateful for how things went and the most important fact, that we all finished safe and well.
[Uploaded 13/06/2009 22:34:43]