The Rivington 100

Ill. Snot. Sore throat. No exercise. Grumpy.

That was last week. Probably a result of the week before, when I did very little as I’d just won a 24 hour race.

This always happens. A period of training and a peak in form followed by a mad race followed by a big, crashing impact with the earth.


On Saturday I decided not to race in the Rapha Supercross, which was pretty disappointing because it looked like it was ace (and I’d already paid). An hour of flat-out effort would probably have done more harm than good though and put me out of action for even longer. I can do ‘sensible’ sometimes, y’see.

I was going to ride the Polocini Rivington 100 sportive the day after though, come what may. The weather for once was blooming lovely, Allen’s events are always top-drawer and Team JMC were sponsoring a feed station (I had all the cake in the van) as well as having several riders taking part so I was determined to drag myself out of the house for this one.

An early start to drop the feed station gubbins off in the van halfway around the route blew the cobwebs away and luckily I made it back to Horwich just in time to get changed, sign in and eat some porridge before the start…

I was planning to ride quite slowly – I didn’t want to make my cold worse and I’d not ridden a bike for two weeks but the pace in the first few miles told me that this was going to be a tough day out…

Leading out the ride, the Team JMC train rumbled through the town centre, took the road to Rivington and hit the hilly stuff. The weather meanwhile had gone from “a bit grey and foggy” to “wow look at how blue the sky is!”.

photo: Cyclesportphotos

The whole time, I coughed, blew my nose, wheezed and generally sounded like a 40-a-day smoker, then I started to lose my voice. I worried that this big bike ride lark might not have been a good idea….

When we eventually arrived at the Team JMC feed station in Dunsop Bridge, I attempted to cure my sore throat by eating one of the chocolate orange and chilli cookies that Budge’s daughter Charlotte had donated.

I realised my big mistake when my already-sore throat started to burn like it’s never burned before…. I’m doing daft stuff so you don’t have to, dear readers.

Five hilly, sunshiney hours later we arrived back where we started and were each handed a complimentary tray of biryani (yes – CURRY at the finish).

The best bit is that despite my sore throat, coughing, runny nose and near-total loss of my voice, a few hours later my cold seemed to just disappear. That might be the medicinal properties of curry….