Me and my big mouth...
Other people have often said it and now I am saying it about myself too...
Have a look at this headline... >>Click here<<<
Now I have a bit of history with this event. The first year I rode it in 2009 there wasn't (in my opinion) enough difference between the sportive signage and that of the main road race the next day.
The net result being I rode over 10 miles extra up some ridiculous gradients that I needn't have done. Of course that is my fault for not having a Garmin or not reading the map properly. But either way I wanted a good ride to banish the memory!
The build up had been poor with the weather seriously limited my mileage and I knew this would bite me on the day.
The major climbs are Launde Abbey and Neville Holt, both of which limited me to walking speed, especially with the entry to the Abbey coming up an equally steep ramp less than half a mile before.
My morale was pretty shot before I got to either to be honest.
I started with a group who seemed intent of arguing amongst themselves (despite apparently being friends!) and eventually hung back before we started the proper climbing at Cuckoos Hill.
The single track road up there is usually deserted but on Saturday a procession of cars were coming the other way, it was chaos with little margin for error.
After getting through the feed and past the Abbey another challenge started to present itself. The roads were flooding and many a corner I would usually fly though saw intense feathering of the brakes. I had dillied over whether to ride my best bike or winter bike and the winter had won out. Possibly one of the best decisions of my life.
One of the worst came on one of the many big dipper climbs when pushing as hard as I could my right shoe plate snapped. This left me pulling my foot on most of the remaining climbs including Neville Holt and the tough final three in sight of Oakham and the finish.
Not to be my day?
This was confirmed when my Garmin mount failed and smashed the unit against the stem. It turned itself off and re-set. I didn't even have the moment of showing the family the sharks teeth of the profile of Strava.
As I stood in the car park shivering and cursing I wished it had been a sunny day, I wished I had better legs and I wish my bike hadn't also let me down.
That's cycling I suppose, but through no fault of the organisers, I am not sure I will be coming back...