1st big ride of the year, on a freezing cold morning I drag myself out of bed, put the new bike in the back of the car and head down to Salisbury race course for the start of the Wiltshire Wildcat sportive. On a nice warm day this 62 mile ride through the lovely countryside of Wiltshire would be a fantastic idea. As I get out the car, I am starting to think this is not going to be fun. I go to registration and get my rider number, free bag of goodies etc etc. There is a freezing cold easterly wind (obviously Sian Lloyd’s weather machine is malfunctioning again as it is blowing freezing cold exhaust across the countryside – someone needs to have a word.) I set the bike up, and ponce around for 10 mins looking like I am warming up like some professional, and then think, SOD this wind !! and I go get a big warm cup of tea and a doughnut. I finish up my tea and sort of think about getting actually getting ready to start, looking for some evidence the wind is going to die down. I pull up to the start line and who is sitting right in front of me getting ready go? – Olympic Gold medalist, World champion, Tour de France stage winner etc etc Chris Boardman !!. It seems my run of luck with riding with the cycling elite is continuing very nicely thankyou. I follow him out of the start gate and we end up having a really good chat about all sorts of stuff. Chris Boardman is a really great guy, he chats to all the fans and is really passionate about promoting cycling. He must have had his photo taken a 100 times and he signed a ton of T shirts. I saw 2 young kids about 10 years old and they were just over the moon when he signed their cycle jerseys. (The next Bradley Wiggins / Mark Cavendish maybe ?)
Here is the footage of the start of the Wildcat Sportive with Chris Boardman
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Q42HqZ9D-Gg width=”320″ height=”180″]
I got round the 62 miles in 4 and a half hours with a couple of 10 min food stops, so I was happy about that. The going got really tough later on as the course turns back east, right into Sian Lloyds weather machine’s exhaust. A freezing cold wind in your face is not nice on a bike as its like pedaling uphill all the time (I did make it a bit easier on myself by finding a rather portly gentleman and sitting on his wheel for 15 miles. If you are interested in the route / cycling stats they are here.
Still it was a great day out, and a good training ride for the 1st one of the year. Next one is a few weeks time.