Sportive >> Wiggle "No Excuses" Sportive
No Excuses !!

A stunning course taking in some of the quiet roads of Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. My first sportive of 2011 and my longest one to date, I went into this a little apprehensive. This year I had only been out on the road once, however I have been putting in 100+ miles a week on the turbo, so I was keen to check my fitness. With this Sportive being free to enter, I had to take the opportunity, Yes Free!!

bgerhold's picture
bgerhold
Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 00:51
3
1,068

The deal being if you failed to turn up for whatever reason, you would be charged £25 which will go to charity (no excuses) 1000 riders signed up for this event, and was sold out in a flash I turned up in Huntington slightly nervous, but strangely relaxed, arriving at 8.30 I had plenty of time to prepare before the starting line closed at 10.

With it feeling a little chilly, I killed time as much as possible hoping for it to warm up a little, it was obvious many people were not prepared to wait for this, majority of people were kitted out in full bib tights and jackets. I made my way to the start and set off at 9.20, straight away I clocked three riders working well together and moving along at a fair pace so I thought I would get on the back.

Soon after this, one after the other, the three riders turned round and saw me tucked in at the back and I heard one of them say “We need to lose this fella”, I was determined to stick with them but as the intensity increased so did my heart rate. My aim for the ride was to keep my H/R below 170bpm, following this trio set it much higher, so I decided to let them go off ahead.

They stayed in my sights for the next few miles before they disappeared into the distance. The course was pretty flat with a total of 1,850ft being climbed, this enabled some pretty good speeds, the persistent strong wind did hinder it a little but after the 40 mile mark my average speed was 19.9mph, I was determined to get this above the 20 mark so I battled on.

After 45miles on a nice downhill section I shot past the 3 riders from earlier in the ride, they certainly didn’t like this and before I knew it they were on my back wheel then overtaking and again cycling hard away from me, but I stayed glued to my 170bpm.

This to-and-fro would happen a couple more times and at one point we did speak, they were from the midlands somewhere, but I didn’t have a clue what they said to me, I did notice however that they didn’t seem so energetic, so around the 55miles mark I got down on my TT bars and off I went, this was the last time I saw the trio.

Around the 60mile mark I began to feel it myself, I hadn’t eaten enough it seemed, so I had half a bar, some Lucozade and water and a few miles later I felt alive again. For the the final 15 miles the two routes had merged and the remainder felt like a breeze, I was full of energy and enjoying passing all the riders suffering towards the end of their respective rides.

I completed the 81 mile route in 4hrs 9min, my average speed being 19.4mph. Beating the Gold time standard by 35mins.

This was a very enjoyable ride and as always well run by Wiggle & ukcyclingevents, well signposted and apparently well stocked feed stations (I didn’t stop, so can’t vouch for that).

The only thing I would suggest to improve the events is to add an extra timing mat on the longer routes, so that it proves that this was completed, it may not matter to some, but to people who are quite competitive like myself, then it helps make the results a bit more reliable.

Link to video clips of approx my last ten miles of the event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfVal10NZgs

Link to Garmin Data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/74078391

The data on my Garmin at the end of the ride showed: 80.56 miles 4hrs 9mins 1848 ft of climbing Average speed of 19.4mph. (my device did crash, and took a little while to turn back on, losing about half mile of data)

Official Wiggle/ukcyclingevents result – 81miles 4hrs 11mins

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