Fred Whitton Challenge

I have a new “Hardest Ride I’ve Ever Done”. 112 miles, 5000 ish metres of climbing, stupidly steep hills and a very hot day.

I finished in 7:16, 16 minutes beyond my target of an “elite” 7 hours or less. If I’d had anything left in the tank in the last 20 miles things might have been different. Anyhoo, I’m quite pleased with that. I’ll need to do it again if I can though…

This is what I’ve learned today.

1. I’m not great in hot weather. Maybe I should train all summer wearing a fleece-lined hoody.

2. I get all fuzzy at distances above 80 miles at the moment. I used to be good for more than that. This fuzzy thing happened at Huddersfield but rather fortunately that one was 84 miles long. I’ve got to get 2007-style long rides and centuries in.

3. 1.5 litres of water at the second feed station might seem like a good idea in 26 degrees of heat, but it isn’t. It makes you feel sick, especially when you wash it down with flapjack and caffeine-laced energy gel.

4. I might have been hurting, but I wasn’t hurting as much as the bloke that crashed riding down Hardknott or the guy who appeared to be riding the route on a Specialized Enduro complete with big Fox fork and wide knobbly tyres on.

Right. Solo racing at Mountain Mayhem in 6 weeks. I’d better get riding mountain bikes again.