|TIFOSI ON THE REAR OF MY CITY/ECO CAR|
Since I retired I just don't seem to have enough time to do everything that I want to. Cycling...Camping...Walking...Photography...Meeting up with Friends and.Family..Blogging....Etc.. etc...
I don't know why it is but I seemed to have more spare time when I was working. Well actually that's not true, I do know why it is, it's because I am doing a lot more things and more often.
This past week I have been out on the bike almost every day but I didn't ride on Friday and Saturday because on the Sunday I was riding the Annual Dorset Bike Ride with JD and Mike.
This was the 21st year of the ride, although it was the first time that I had ridden it. I usually ride the Duncton Sportive but this year it clashed with the start of my French Touring trip so I decided to ride the 'Dorset' instead.
The day started with putting the Tifosi on the back of my little Peugeot 107 which I might add is the perfect car for an eco minded cyclist. Very cheap to run and very low emissions.
All loaded up I set off to JDs house arriving there at 0730 hours. From there it was just 3 miles on the bike to the Queen Elizabeth School at Wimborne which was HQ for the ride.
|ALL TYPES OF BIKES-ALL TYPES OF RIDERS|
The two guys in the photo above had genuine old British bikes and they were decked out in the full retro clothing to match the bikes...all great stuff and as the ride is a charity ride in support of the British Heart Foundation it just adds to the fun of the day.
I had originally planned on riding the FELT Z1 but because of the torrential rain and storms we had on the Saturday and overnight I thought that it would be a bit foolish to ride my beloved dry weather bike for the ride. A bike with fenders is what I needed hence the decision to take the Tifosi.
This proved to be the right choice.
|GETTING READY FOR THE MASS START|
At 0900hrs the riders all poured out on to the main road- probably to the total dismay of other road users. After only 800yards the route turned off the main road and on to a narrow country lane which within a short distance had turned into a muddy gravel track. After the previous nights torrential rain this was a potential puncture alley and a large number of the road bike riders either dismounted or found an alternative starting route. This included JD- Mike and I.
Looking back on the ride I am surprised that the organizers didn't stagger the start. After all there were three different distances being ridden - 25 miles - 50 miles and 66 miles. (The three of us were doing the 66).
|JD CONTEMPLATING THE START|
Funneling two thousand riders down a narrow gravel track just didn't seem very sensible and how glad was I that I chose to ride a bike with fenders. To see the state of some of the bikes and riders after riding down the gravel tracks and country lanes I would have been just a little upset if I had been riding my Z1. I know........... .....I can clean the bike after the event but the point is I paid big money for it and it is my best bike. I bought it to ride fast roads not gravel tracks..!
|ONE OF THE FEED STATIONS|
Now Mike had never ridden more than about fifty miles in a day so this was going to be a first for him and although JD is a good endurance type of rider, he describes himself as a 'chugger' and he would be the first to admit he is not the fastest of riders.
I don't know if it is just me or if others are the same, but I actually find it difficult to ride at a slower pace than my 'normal' speed. I find this particularly difficult on hills so what I usually do when riding with slower riders is to shoot off up hills and wait at the top or at the next junction for them.
Having said all this I think that I managed to ride quite well maintaining a similar pace with Mike & JD for those first forty miles. Then Mike started to get a bit of pain in his knees....nothing ultra serious but enough to slow him down a bit. At this time JD was about quarter of a mile ahead so I shot off to catch up with him. From then on Mike and JD rode on together and I set off in an attempt to claw back a bit of my average speed which was only about 13.5 miles an hour at this time.
|MIKE AT A FEED STATION|
|JD AT THE LAST FEED STATION|
I arrived back at the event HQ collected my medal and then I waited to watch all the riders I had passed arriving at the finish.
About fifteen minutes later JD & Mike arrived back...tired but happy.
For Mike it was a big first and I know that he was pleased he had managed to ride his biggest days mileage clocking 73 miles in total. (Including riding to and from the event).
All in all a good day was enjoyed by everyone- only marred in my opinion by the very poor start.
This week I will be back out on my normal training circuits and I will also be preparing the Tourer for the trip to France. I will make a couple more blog posts before I leave.....
I promise that I will find the time from somewhere..!!