What a great day it was today for cycling. Warm sunny weather, slight breeze. Just perfect. And it just so happened that today was also the South Essex Villages bike ride organised by the Rotary Club of Basildon. It was advertised as:
A fantastic challenging route for the experienced rider traveling through varying countryside and many quaint Essex villages. The route will be well signed with food stops, water stops and marshals at strategic points.
And it sure lived up to it, The marshals were fantastic and it reassuring to see them writing down bike numbers as we rode past (well at least I think that was what we were doing). At least if someone didn’t make it back then the organisers would where they were last seen.
I have to say though that at the start, I wasn’t too sure if I would was ready for the 70 mile course. My training hasn’t been up to much due to bad weather, holidays and a number of other excuses. But as I settled into my rhythm there was no way I was going to cut it short and drop out at 35 miles. For the first 20 miles or so I was cycling in a group of about 10 other riders and going at a fair pace. But as often happens the group breaks up for one reason or another.
I was starting hurt at around 45 miles and was glad to have a short break at the final refreshment stop at 50 miles. But what I was ready for were the two hills close to the finish. They did break me!
Verdict – Longest ride of the year so far. Brilliantly organised and a perfect day. The hills at the end were a bit of a bitch.