On Saturday 18th March I took part in my first sportive event. I chose the medium distance of 63 miles (which actually turned out to be 65 miles). This was the furthest I’ve ever cycled.
I went into the event very pessimistic, mainly due to the fact I had a humdinger of a cold. Having paid my £25 entry, I was not going to let a cold stop me from taking part. I arrived at Yorks Livestock Centre for check in, having arrived 30 minutes early I was expecting to be one of the first there. How wrong I was. I ended up being in a queue of at least 100 waiting to pick up my number and chip. I was in the queue for the starting line a little while later. I was about to cross the start line when I noticed I had a flat tire. I have to admit at this point I very nearly turned home and called it a day. I tried for a good 20 minutes to take my tire off and switch my inner tubes. I gave up and had to ask a fellow cyclist. Much to my embarrassment, he took it straight off and replaced it for me.
I eventually managed to set off, 50 minutes later than I had expected. I went out far too hard for the first 10 or so miles. Some group overtook me and I tried to keep up. I managed to for about 5 miles and then I died. Not my wisest of moments. When I thought it couldn’t get any worse the rain and wind hit me. I was seriously starting to struggle and I wasn’t even half way. I put my head down and carried on through. I was never going to give in and the only way for it to end faster was to cycle faster.
Half way soon came around and I started to head back to the finish line. I finally caught up with the Yorkshire Lasses who I was meant to be cycling with (don’t ask). Had a chat and I was back on my way. The way back was a hell of a lot easier. I found a group who were similarly paced and stuck with them. The finish line came and my longest ride was over.
I can safely say the sportive was an experience and for the second half an enjoyable one. I averaged 16.2 mph, which I am happy with especially taking into consideration the conditions.
Before you comment, I did check my bike the night before and I even pumped my tires up, so I must have got the puncture on the way to check in. If any of you know of any events coming up do let me know! I would love to take part and make a day of it.