Great North Bike Ride 2013

by on Aug.30, 2013, under Family and friends, Northumberland Coast

After decades of struggling to find any form of exercise that I really enjoy, I started cycling in May.  By June I’d modified my mountain bike with lightweight alloy wheels and slick tyres and started following a 0-100mile training plan, by July I’d bought a road bike and last Sunday I completed the Great North Bike Ride 2013🙂

I’m not keen on warm weather, so waking up on Sunday morning to discover it was cool and misty with a reasonable NNW breeze was near perfect.  Sarah drove me to Seahouses, waved me off at the start and then drove down to Tynemouth ready to collect me at the end of the ride.  I thought I’d prepared well for the ride;  checked the entire route, ridden some of the more challenging bits, followed my training plan fairly closely and made sure everything on my bike was working properly.  Still a couple of nagging doubts though…could I manage to ride 56.5mi, and how would I cope with another 2000 riders on the road when I only ever train alone?  The longest training ride I’d done was 44mi, so there was still a bit to go beyond that distance to make it to the finish line at Tynemouth Priory.  I estimated that it would take me 4-5 hours to complete, so Sarah said she would be at the finish 4h after I started.  As soon as I passed under the start line, those nagging doubts evaporated; having other cyclists around provided lots of inspiration and the miles quickly passed beneath my wheels.  A quick check at the half-way point generated another concern…if I continued at that speed I’d finish in 3h 30m 🙂  As I crossed the finish line in Tynemouth I was cheered on by Sarah and Jodie, and glanced down at my bike computer to discover I’d finished the ride in 3h 22m!  500ml of orange juice barely touched the sides as I rehydrated, and a slice of malt loaf and a packet of Jelly Babies vanished almost as quickly.

Now I’ve set myself some new goals; 100mi ride, sub-30min 10mi time trial and, of course, complete GNBR 2014 in a faster time than I managed this year 🙂

What could be better than contributing to a good cause, getting some fresh air and exercise and enjoying the beautiful Northumberland coast…all in one easily accessible package 🙂  Sign up now!  It’s well organised and a really enjoyable way to spend a Sunday morning in late August.

Great North Bike Ride 2013

Warming up in the mist

Great North Bike Ride 2013

Crossing the start line

Great North Bike Ride 2013

Final push to the finish line

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