So yesterday as I was getting ready to start my brick workout, husband’s friend came round and said he was thinking of doing the “3 Counties” bike ride today. Sounds like fun, husband and I said. Let me see how I feel after my brick.
Well, I felt a bit tired (doing a brick session in the kind of heat we had yesterday is a killer) but, really, how can you pass up the opportunity to do an organised 50-mile ride which starts and finishes four miles from your front door? You can’t.
So at 8:30 this morning our long-legged friend was at our front door and, not long after, all three of us were in the delightful surroundings of Bracknell town centre, signing on for the annual 3 Counties bike ride.
It’s not a sportive, it’s not a race..I’m not sure what you’d call it really. It’s a mass-participation ride, organised by the local Rotary, open to everyone from kids and families to enthusiasts. There are three distances on offer: 13 miles, 33 miles and 50 miles.
We were doing the 50 miles, natch. If I can bang out 50+ mile rides on a regular basis between now and the Little Woody long course triathlon in August, I’ll be happy. (I’ll also need to start running 8-12 miles straight afterwards, but let’s gloss over that for the moment, shall we?)
The route of the 3 Counties ride today took us through…er…three counties. Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. I didn’t really notice going through Buckinghamshire but I take their word for it. Here’s the route. Isn’t it nice? For those of you who know the area: we went through Dunsden, Sonning Common, Cookley Green, Nettlebed, Russell’s Water, Middle/Lower Assendon, Warren Row, White Waltham… It was a really lovely route with very few bits of busy road. Some nasty little climbs but also some fab downhills (the best one ruined for me by a motorist who seemed oblivious to the fact that cyclists can’t vanish into thin air, nor can they jump into hedges….) Very well marshalled throughout by cheery Rotarians. I can’t comment on the rest stops as we didn’t stop at them, but plenty of people seemed to be enjoying them!
After my bike-chain battles in last week’s sportive, I was pleased that my chain only came off once today. Hooray!
Despite doing a brick session yesterday, I was pleased not to feel too sore or knackered. I pledged to stick with husband and long-legged friend today and did just that (although I’m sure they held back a bit for me!)
Here’s me and long-legged friend. Please just compare the lengths of our legs. Then congratulate me for being able to keep anywhere near him on a bike ride.
However, as husband said at the finish, I wasn’t “sucking anyone’s wheel” so I didn’t make it easier on myself by riding with faster people. I could definitely tell I was pushing the pace more than I would have done if I’d been by myself.
My time was 3:03:00 for the 50 miles – I’m pleased with that, particularly as I know it would have been quicker if it wasn’t for red traffic lights, going through towns like Henley, and getting stuck behind slower riders (or – worse – getting stuck behind caravans who are stuck behind slower riders going up a hill….)
How was your weekend? Good training/racing?