Monday, 6 August 2012

July Monthly Summary

Miles: 479.8
Riding Time: 30hrs 41 min

Highlight: Following the Olympic Road Race
Low Point: Snapped chain while 2 at the Chichester Challenge

The first two weeks of July were dedicated to my fatherly duties, with one exception – the Chichester Challenge. Unfortunately poor preparation, awful weather and a bit of bad luck meant it wasn’t much of a treat! The second two weeks were the exact opposite of the previous two. I rode the bike almost every day, commuting to work and back. In the end the mileage and riding time isn’t far short of what I would normally do in a month. The difference being that those miles are made up of almost entirely flat 1 hour bursts between Chichester and Portsmouth.

On Sunday I did spend over 5 hours in the saddle riding up to the Olympic Road Race in Surrey. It was a fantastic day out, one that will live long in the memory! Just being part of the atmosphere was incredible, it was inspiring to see so many people out to watch a cycle race. However, the highlight was undoubtedly riding on the closed roads to the cheers of and shouts of the crowded pavements. Possibly a once in a lifetime opportunity. At least it is certainly unlikely that I’ll get to casually ride the wrong way up a dual carriageway on a sunny Saturday afternoon again!

Truth be told however, I was exhausted by the time we neared Petworth. If there had been one more hill I’d probably have been off the bike walking. So looking ahead to this weekend and the 6 hour Brighton Big Dog race, I have no idea how I’m going to go. On previous form I would be targeting a top 10 finish, but with limited riding over the last 6 weeks I don’t know how my stamina will hold out. So I go with limited expectations but the intention to enjoy myself and savour the chance to ride my mountain bike for a change.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Olympic Road Race

On Saturday Ian, Jon and myself met up at Petworth to cycle the remaining miles up to the route of the Olympic road race. After a scenic ride (with a slight detour due to my dodgy GPS download) we arrived at Gomshall. The street through the village was lined with people, Union Jacks fluttering in the sunshine.

A small break away went through first and then the cruising Peloton approached. For some reason Gomshall was the spot the pack decided to take a communal comfort break! Riders stopped all around us to answer the call of nature. Wiggo himself drifted past gaining speed after his own pit stop.

Surprisingly, although the race had passed, the highlight of the day was still to come. We decided to get back on the bikes and follow the race route to Box Hill to catch a second glimpse. As we rode along the crowd lined streets we were joined by other riders with a similar plan. Before long we found ourselves in a large peloton of our own. As we raced down a closed A25 the people lining the streets started to cheer and wave! Cameras flashed, people clapped and waved, certainly some convinced we were part of the race. It was as if we had qualified for the Olympics, an unexpected experience never to be forgotten!