Number 1 in series of 100 mile road rides organised by a far-flung group of riding buddies and around where their disparate homes lie in Sussex, the Cotswolds, Chilterns and various spots in The North.
Each designed to be lumpy. With Cake.
The first round is a big clockwise loop taking in the South Downs and The Weald to celebrate the changing of the clocks and all the promise of the extended daylight hours to come that brings.
A handful of friends (me, the still ill one, in the following car playing D.S. with bananas and biscuits), 100 miles marked out on a map (that's 160 kms in sportive speak, it makes it sound so much longer and more heroic in the office on Monday), caff stop at the halfway point, no time for the planned pub stop 25 miles later, a few big hills, one century cherry popped, good miles, good riding, good friends chasing the twilight home for tea and buns and cake with a lap around the park to bring it up to an exact 100.
No 'free' commemorative t-shirt, just memories - they tend to last longer before getting relegated to oily-rag status.
All in all pretty much what groups of cyclists have been doing for years and years and years without having to pay through the nose for.
And not once did anyone have to take avoiding action round a chubby bloke perched atop a meandering Trek.
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.