In our post cycle high after the New Forest cycle my brother in law and I entered this race then promptly forgot about it until we started getting the pre-event updates! Our preparation was somewhat last minute but it was only 33 miles compared to the 50 odd last time and we had our pro-cyclist Jenny joining us and she had all the gear so I’m sure that would help!
I’d bought a proper bike since the new forest but due to forgetting about this race I had to take the beast again!
After an evening pumping up tyres and looking for my cycling bits and bobs we set off to Fontwell at the crack of dawn. The racecourse was 40 mins away and the car park was quite empty! A quick registration, quick check of the bike by the man who was surprised I was going to do the race on “that sort of bike.”
We set off (no queue like last time), all quite chilled and relaxed and got into the groove relatively quickly. The one thing I hadn’t considered was how cold it was. My mocking off my teammates having knee warmers, arm warmers, over shoes etc was starting to look a little premature!!!
The cycle ride was very pretty in places, 33 miles long but bloomin undulating with some decent hills in the way, profile below:
The second half of the race kicked off much like the first but we had a lovely surprise of a second feed station that wasn’t supposed to be there. Got to be honest, that cup of coffee saved me as I was getting a little chilly at this point
The last big hill was conquered and we rode in for the finish Tour de France style
In summary a good way to spend a Sunday morning. The course felt a lot harder than the New Forest but I probably wasn’t in quite as good shape and the hills seemed to come round much quicker. The company was great, Mark put on comedy over shoes to give me a giggle and Jenny is a great cycling companion and has more gear than I thought possible!
Lots of laughter, a fair bit of mickey taking, jelly babies and the biggest thanks goes to Gemma (my wife) for telling me to take a pack of mini sausages to eat as I went round (we couldn’t find anything else), they were brilliant fuel and will be going on the next ultra with me!!