Back to the normality of work this week after completing the Etape Loch Ness last weekend, the first of my 5 Challenge events in order to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The journey up to Inverness on Saturday took us through snow storms in the high passes, a bit of a taste of what was to catch some on the ride on Sunday.
Out of 3,300 riders, my start number was 3,143, down in the final wave of 200 riders to head out from Inverness, heading south along the western banks of the Loch.
After 55km into the route as you leave Fort Augustus, there is a 4.8 mile (9km) climb gaining nigh on 400m in height. The climb heads up in three steps with most of the first part reaching 12%. I managed to stay on the bike all the way to the summit, to be met by a piper and snow falling. I was nowhere near the King of the Mountain title but at least made it into the top half for all riders.
My finishing place was 2,186. I passed more riders on the road than those who overtook me. Although this was not a race for me, I am still rather pleased with my finishing position. Perhaps I should be a little more optimistic with my anticipated ride times in future so I am not always starting rides from the back as it can be hard when chasing after those in front.
Either way, the aim was to complete the ride and I did that in a respectable time of 5 hours 10 mins (or 4.29:39 for my actual cycling time). Not bad for an overweight middle aged man in lycra!
A great event and well run but cyclists, come on, stop dropping so much litter on the way round, so many gel wrappers and solitary gloves left on the road!?
Next up is London to Paris in July so back to the training for me!
Not long to go until my first event this year, the Etape Loch Ness on the 26th April (18 days in fact).
This cycle sportive takes place around Loch Ness covering 66 miles / 106 km on traffic-free roads with an ascent of 900m to negotiate. Today I have found that I am rider 3143 with a start time of 06.52, but in amongst the numerous Macdonald’s and the Macleod’s I am the only “Selley” taking part in this years event. I just seem to have found myself in the last group heading out so hopefully I will find plenty of people to ride with on the day and won’t be the “lantern rouge”.
This event is just the first of my “5 to Ride for Macmillan” so my training has been planned (very loosely) with the rest of the year in mind. I must admit, I don’t tend to follow any “plan” as such but will try to get out and ride when time permits, which has been difficult having started a new job, having a young son and having broken my bike. Besides, who worries about “max Vo2” and “threshold efforts”?!?
Hopefully I have done enough to get around Loch Ness in a reasonable time but if not, I will blame it on the monster.
The real reason I am doing this ride and the others is to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. The support they provide to those suffering from cancer and their friends and family is invaluable but can only be given due by the kindness of the public as they rely on donations to provide that service.
The last of my 5 to Ride is the Tour de Broads and they have recently featured me on their website which can be found here;
But before I can even start these rides, my bike needs a good service and I need these bad boys fitted (I have finally gotten rid of the square ones) ..
Hopefully they will help me to go a little faster!