A couple of weeks ago I rode the Bath 100 Sportive in association with Action Medical Research. Starting and finishing at Bath racecourse up on the downs I knew I was in for a lumpy ride and I wasn't disappointed. The rolling terrain offered some great views of the Somerset and Wiltshire countryside...100Km of mostly country lanes and picturesque villages punctuated with some significant hills and landmarks. I was riding alone but quickly joined a group of like minded (similar paced) guys and gals as we set off in -4 crisp and brilliantly bright conditions. Only the week before I had put away my over shoes and winter gloves which I regretted after the sharp descent into Bath with icy tears on my face, I soon warmed up though on the Ralph Allen climb in Bath and then the gradual drag out to Wellow.
The ride snaked across country to Westbury of White Horse fame, where we climbed the Bratton climb in glorious sunshine. A breakneck descent brought us to the 1st feed station which had an amazing array of choice and quality, including hot pork sandwiches...chapeau to the organizers and Bratton Village Hall team for the choice and warmth of service.
Hospitality taken, fuelled with Cake and Coffee I took the front for a 10KM rolling section back toward Holt and South Wraxall, where the second feed station was. Once again this feed station was amazingly stocked and I have to admit I took more than a fair share of Jelly Beans for the last 16KM back to the racecourse. It was slightly unusual to have a feed station so close to the end but as we were not racing we loved it. The ride headed in the direction of Box before dropping into the Avon Valley and Back to Bath, all that was left now was the Syon Hill climb in Bath short with sections of 25% just 4KM from the finish...ouch!
All in all, a great ride on some familiar and unfamiliar roads that I will re-trace again. Many thanks to Action Medical Research for excellent signage and a challenging / rewarding route and to the mini Peleton.
See you again on the road.