Sunday, 22 March 2009

The Denmead 300 Perm

Sunday morning:
A quick note to say I'm home! Its now Sunday 11:30AM, had a shower and breakfast and am not feeling too bad. I can walk!

We finished at 2AM, and I got home at 5:30AM, stopping about 5 times along the way to take powernaps.

Will post more later - taking Poppy for walk, and looking at the bees this afternoon.

Sunday afternoon:
I'm a bit downbeat at the moment. Because as I set to blog yesterday's ride and put the photos up, I realised I couldn't find my camera anywhere. Hopefully it will still turn up somewhere sometime.

We had a very ambitious plan, to finish before midnight. By late lunch time, we realised we were not going to achieve this. Instead we finished at 2AM. I probably added an hour for everybody, being the slowest and loosing a lot of time on the hills.

I have mixed emotions about this ride. On a positive side, I managed to complete the ride, with 2.45 hours to spare. The light system was fantastic, my saddle bag worked out. My chain fell off a couple of times but there were no punctures. My eating and drinking was good. Had the right clothing. Fantastic, generous company. The weather couldn't have been better. The scenery beautiful.

So what was wrong? My slow hill climbing sets me back quite badly and plays on my mind. The biggest concern I have is the night riding. The navigation gets more difficult because its harder to keep an eye on the routesheet and the road (even with the brilliant dynamo light). Its harder to read the road signs. I pay good attention to the mileage to work out where I am and take note of the next instruction on the routesheet. I overshot one junction, and quickly realised I was wrong so turned back. I overshot a second junction, but had Pete not called me on the mobile, I wouldn't have realised for an other couple of miles (not quite true as I was slowing down thinking the junction must be soon or behind me). And when you're tired, I think such mistakes can easily happen. Again, these things play on my mind.

Back in January, after the first 200, I stated that I could not see how I would ever do a 300. Now I am saying that I can not see how I am ever going to do 4 300s in a row!

I got home at 5:30AM, stopping about 5 times along the way to take powernaps. The drive normally take less than 1.5 hours.

Some stats: 20.4kph average, 52.3 max, 178bpm max heartrate, 140bpm average heartrate, 8847 calories burnt.

A big big thank you to the now named Denmead Dynamos: Chillmoister, Urban_Biker and Keeks for being such excellent company. Unfortunately, LEE had DNS'd (Did not start) because of a stomach bug. Hummers joined us for a while too after providing a welcome breakfast bite. I have doubts though whether I'll do the 400 with them in two weeks time. I do hold them back more than is acceptable I feel - so will suggest I either ride a calendar event, or go my own pace.

Also a big thank you to Sarah for letting out the chickens two mornings in a row!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

FNRttC March 2009 - Brighton

I was asked many times if 'this' was something to do with Red Nose Day! It would have been so much easier to say yes, but it was so much more fun to see the ensuing facial expressions when the truth was told. Mind you, its hard to explain when asked "Why do you cycle to Brighton, from London, in the middle of the night?". And you do this on Red Nose day? And you are not raising money? Should have referred them to my JustGiving site ...

We had the usual stop start exit out of London, before we came to quiet lanes. We had some really fast stretches (max 52.5 km/h). I also love the rolling section after the climb in Coulsdon

We cycled through residential areas, went through gates onto a footpath, left, right, up, down and ... all of a sudden, into a back alley, bike on shoulder, up the stairs and 'Arrivals'. Being in Gatwick Airport was quite surreal.

I just love FNRttC. Every ride is different. The only thorn in the side last night was an on/off puncture. Not so bad in itself, but you know that it holds up the group and it meant that I ended up walking up Ditchling Beacon. I have never walked up that hill before (I mean, I always manage to cycle up - slowly).

The mist over Ditchling Beacon and Brighton was an improvement on the hail we had last year. Shame we couldn't even see the sea though! I didn't have good memories of the Madeira Cafe breakfast, but this morning's Full English was pukka (= the max).

It was a great group of people with old and new faces. It was great catching up with Brian, Chris, the scott and meeting new cyclists.

Had a smooth journey back home, good train connections, coffee ready at home!

More photos are here.