Canola Canter

11 10 2009

I completed my first 50km ride today. The ride was organised by Bicycle Wagga Wagga, my local Bicycle User Group. Here is the route:

Before anyone whips out a ruler and points out that this is only 25kms, I’d like to add that it was a return trip, 50kms in total. I met up with the group at the sadly named Wagga Beach, where the race organiser decided to announce to everyone that I was a 50km virgin. I was to appreciate this as it meant everyone was keeping an eye on me and offering encouragement during the ride. Special thanks go to the man riding with his granddaughter who got me to adjust my seat to a better height before we got to the hill.

The ride out was good. Not too tiring, only one hill and some nice gentle downhill slopes. I made it to the top of Malebo Hill without stopping (must have been the new seat position) and even managed to overtake a more seasoned rider in the process. I know I was feeling good because I wasn’t watching the distance, but the clock, trying to push forward to get to the check point before the 1 hour mark. Alas, it was 1hr 10min by the time I checked in – not too shabby though, and it still left me on track for a sub 2.5hr round trip.

As I waited to get my brevet stamped, the first few drops of rain hit me, so I scarfed down some scooby snacks, and took off to get home. The rain simply continued, ever harder, and was soon accompanied by a strength sapping headwind. By 30kms, I was watching the kms tick over, and it didn’t help that a score of riders doing the 100km ride sped past me, easily doing double my speed despite having already done 50kms more. By the time I saw Malebo Hill again, I seriously contemplated packing it in. I was cold, wet, tired and truly over it. But I didn’t. I’m proud of myself for that. Not so long ago, I would have given up.

I got over the hill, and just tabbed on. By the time the 40kms clicked over, I knew I was on the home stretch and I just managed to find a little bit more. I even got sight of the trio in front of me, and that spurred me on even more. I never caught them of course, but it didn’t matter, because by the time I left the highway and was back on the local roads, nothing short of a crash was going to stop me.

I clocked in at 2hr 42mins. Not quite the 2hr 30m I had set myself, and well short of the overall 2hr goal, but I finished (in the top half of the pack). With a few congratulations from the other riders as they came, I resolved to do the same ride again next year. The benchmark is set, lets see what a year of riding and training does to my times. I’m going to attack it in 2010, and go as hard as I can.

This is me at the final checkpoint. I’d just handed in my brevet, and was standing entirely too close to the man with the camera.

For my reward, I’ve bought myself a few things for the bike. A new water bottle and a bike bag




One response

17 09 2010
Upcoming events « chrisfit2009

[…] 2009 Canter was the first organised ride I ever did, and the first time I ever rode 50km. It was an awful day […]

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