Ready, steady go.
After getting the bike out of the back of the car and re-assembling it, changed, and got things sorted out it was time to head for the start. Rather than have a mass start, about 50 riders at a time are marshalled into the starting area and 'released' every 5 minutes. At least there is not a big build up on the public roads although 50 can be a problem in the first mile or so.
Watering hole No. 1
This was at Whittington, about 6 miles from the start. It was needed because after a couple of miles there was a 650' climb for the next 2 miles. In parts it was seriously steep. Had to walk this though didn't feel too guilty, 75% of the rest of them were at it, including teenagers!
The last big hill - honest!
This was on the Temple Guiting Road out of Barton. I stopped for a breather and chatted with a bloke who had to lie down because he felt light headed. In all honesty, this was a serious trudge up.
Watering Hole No. 2
This was at Snowshill heading towards Broadway. This one was classier than the previous one, scouts were serving tea and biscuits, all free. Had to leave a donation for them. Just after this, there was a long down hill stretch that to be frank was a bit scary. Some of the riders were going down it at a breakneck sped, one of them had a Mr Bump cycling top on. Very appropriate.
And the reward for that hard work? A medal. Presented along with a bottle of water and a cereal bar. Apologies for the finger over the lens, in all fairness, the lady had not used a phone camera before.
The Minatour and Lady Hare
The last 20 miles were relatively flat though the wind in your face spoilt it a bit. The GPS reading was 49.6 at the finish and that would not look good on the CV. Had to have a ride around the car park to put anther half mile on. Being a big racecourse, it was a large expansive park so no bother really. On the way round saw this sculpture made out of twisted wire. Didn't realise that female hares had bosoms!
An excellent ride with stunning views, thoroughly enjoyable. Pity that Mick and Graham couldn't make it today. Next year chaps?