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After managing my way through chaos in recent weeks, it was time to ride 97 miles...

Everything had been going wrong.

My ten times were getting slower, my training time was getting squeezed and the stress level was rising. 

I managed to get a morning free for a long ride before hitting newly dressed country roads awash with gravel causing a puncture and loss of morale. I changed the tube and rode straight home. Training for a 97 mile sportive shouldn't be peaking with 30 mile rides...

 

Regular readers will know its been a bit of a journey this year for me. Two massive accidents on my bike in 2013 and Christmas in a sling with an elbow fracture were followed by a newborn baby daughter, house move and then an operation... it was all go!

The thought of getting a century ride in (albeit it a couple of miles short) had appealed to me back in May. An objective for the summer months and some motivation. Sadly it became a millstone round my neck and I can't say I was full of enthusiasm come the day of the Wiggle Steeplechase.

The day went better than I can ever have imagined though proving that training and preparation can sometimes be no match for low expectation and a pressure free ride. 

 

The 97 miles whizzed by in 5hrs 8mins of moving time which with a couple of breaks was sufficient for the Gold standard. That wasn't what the day was about though, it was about getting over 70 miles (my longest ride of the year to date to the Tour de France in Cambridge) and feeling my way through unchartered territory. 

 

The fact that I averaged 19mph to do that was a real bonus and now that fear factor of being a club 10 time trialist without the endurance or ability to go the long distances has dissipated. 

Incredible that my memories of a whole season could turn in five hours of feeling in harmony with my bike and enjoying cycling with mates and enjoying the sport. 

That's it for me this year though, I am off to get my winter bike prepared and start working on my next objective. 

All will be revealed... 

 

 

 

James has been blogging for road.cc for 5 years and racing bicycles (averagely) for 20 years.