So time for a longer ride. Sunday was the big one, the Bournemouth Wiggle Sportive The plan was to ride the Standard Route but to start from Verwood and cycle to the start. This would add approx 20 more miles onto the route bringing us up to approximately 95 miles (Pretty close to what is required on the big day). Pete the fellow cyclist who accompanied me on the Isle of Wight Randonnee, was riding with me as well.
We started a bit later in the morning, (the weather was supposed to improve in the afternoon). A gentle ride down to the start, where we checked in and got under-way, we were one of the last groups out. The first 20 miles we made good time, especially when we picked up a pair of experienced guys and tucked in behind them. Averaging 20mph, we bowled on north towards Fordingbridge. At Fordingbridge we let them go and backed off the pace as we knew there were some big climbs coming up.
We made it to the first food stop, stocked up on flapjacks and drinks. We had a chat with some poor cyclist who had hit some gravel a mile back and was covered in grazes where he had come off. He also had a busted shoulder (possibly broken). A warning to all, it can happen at any time.
We made it up the 1st big climb which is a long drag over Donhead Hollow. This absolute killer of a hill keeps kicking you all the way up and after hauling yourself and bike up onto the summit of the ridge there is a “sportive photographer” waiting to capture the grimace on your face. (I almost swore at him)
We made good time onto the second food point with the only excitement being some idiot flying past us at 50mph with his horn on full blast. (well – if you are stupid enough to take a blind bend at that speed you are soon gonna meet something coming the other way). Legs on fire, we made it back on autopilot around the edge of Bournemouth Airport and into the finish.
After a quick cup of tea and me having to help someone break into their bike. (the lock had jammed – so with the use of a screwdriver and a bit of ingenuity we managed to free it.) We now had a further 10 miles back to Verwood. Of course we actually made this 12 miles.
Well – had to be done.
Final odometer on the bike was 97 miles.