To say I am well pleased would be an understatement. I’d concentrated on getting out in general 2-3 times a week on the bike. Those rides have ranged from 15-40 miles with a breather during the crazy temperatures this summer (yes, we have had a proper Summer in Bolton!).
The rides have gone well, during which I was trying to help someone prepare for the bike section of an Iron Man competition. Generally I have been going out in the afternoon or evening and it has been wonderful to get in the countryside thinking as I went along as to how I was going to expand on my previous longest ride of 80 miles from last year.
So, I had it in my head that I would go and do an anti-clockwise route through Chorley, turning left at Bamber Bridge and heading towards Tarleton, Southport, Formby, Crosby, heading towards Ormskirk. From this point the plan was to head towards Leigh on roads I hadn’t covered before and maintain a flat route homeward.
Of course, that isn’t what happened. For some unknown reason I took a different turning in Ormskirk and found myself the wrong side of Edge Hill Uni, heading towards Parbold. I wasn’t sure of the route so my pace was slower and I eventually found myself on familiar ground at the bottom of Parbold Hill. Here I stopped, and concluded that my detour had left me with 40 miles to still do. I decided to take take a rare photograph of the Monastery on the left. It has always intrigued me as we pass it on the way to Southport via Rufford.
I decided that I was going to do a loop back to Chorley, and homeward with any additional miles thrown in to get me over the target. When I arrived nearer home I decided to add a smaller loop which would do me fine, but I have to admit I was feeling quite tired at this point. The day had gone well as far as any aches and pains. I have neck and shoulder aches on a prolonged ride, but the warm up at home and regular exercise along the way avoided those. The tiredness came purely from it just being a long day….. my legs were fine, in fact I considered going over the top from Horwich to Belmont but decided against it. For the last 10 miles I finished up in a very fine rain shower which remained gentle.
I arrived at the fron of the house, got my mobile out for about the 15th time and checked the mileage…… YES! 102.5 miles completed, target completed…… time for a hot, hot bath!
Since then I have had time to think about the whole day. I actually enjoyed it! What I have enjoyed particularly is the build up, covering new ground and that personal challenge to get the job done.
Physically I have coped and reacted really well. Very little aches and pains, and none at all from my neck and shoulders. The bike had been in a bit of gentle adjustment with the saddle and pedals which was good and I was pretty comfortable being in the saddle for so long. My contact points with the saddle didn’t become an issue due to me regulalry standing out of the saddle and stretching.
At the moment I am looking at what I would/will do differently. This will not be may last 100, in fact I may get another under my belt before the evenings start to close in. I am pretty happy with my fitness level, but would be tempted to get a few more climbs in as part of the build up….. maybe just a couple of hard ones over Sheep House Lane to Belmont and back……. probably worth a 60 mile ride. Food was pretty sensible and just the right amount. I think I would improve the average speed the next time partly because of knowing the route (less delays checking) and also knowing where I could push or take it easier.
So, what is my next target? Well, I may aim to do it all again within the next 3 weeks, and then after that, just go out and enjoy even more the two wheel adventure. Next year might just see me consolidating things with more 50+ miles, but covering new ground.
No doubt I shall be back letting you know. Anyway, stop reading this and get out on your bike……. stay safe.