Its been a bad month. Storm after storm, record rainfall, highest flood levels in a generation. Not conducive to getting a 100km ride in. Today was shit or bust for February’s ride.
It was all planned back in January. I’d devised a sweet 100km route all mapped on some of my old training roads to Kenilworth and back. Two weeks ago was to be the day but Storm Ciara battered the UK. Then Storm Dennis blew in last weekend just to make sure I stayed in with my lad and wasn’t tempted to venture out. This weekend was my last chance of the Feb ride and luckily Saturday fell on the 29th. A leap year. This week we were warned Storm Jorge (pronounced ‘whore hey’. Don’t ask) was on its way. I just lost the will to be honest. My mojo for it just ebbed away and was gone by Thursday. Yesterday the forecasts were still grim with 50mph gusts so I just wrote it off in my mind, disappointed and looked at a plan B if I had one. Zwift maybe?
Now I like Zwift but 3+hrs on a turbo just isn’t a prospect I look forward to to be honest. Anyway, in my mind I wasn’t going out. I had a few beers and Friday night was done without even thinking about riding the next day. On queue at about 4am, the rain roared outside my bedroom window as it woke me. Dispensing of the ride in my head was now justified so I rolled over and went back to sleep. I woke at 8am to bright skies, a bit of wind and NO FUCKING RAIN!
I should have just got up, got dressed and gone but I had talked myself out of it so much I just couldn’t but I knew I was going to feel guilty. I resigned myself to Zwift so I looked up events. There were some long ones, some 100km but after the Zwift Audax debacle a couple of weeks ago I decided I’d just select The Uber Pretzel route and do 100km of that. We had some stuff to do down town so me and Sally went out got that done, I had some lunch and then got ready to start at 4pmish and off I went.
The first half of the route is pretty flat. It starts in downtown and meanders in what feels like figures of 8 on all the flat roads so you cover the desert flats both ways, the tunnels, down town and the Hilly KOM in reverse.
I set off and aimed to hold 3w/kg or around 200w. I got an early surprise when it popped up that I’d unlocked the Zwift Tron Bike! Woohoo! I didn’t have a clue I was even close to getting it
For the most part and certainly the first half I rode on my fave Parlee EFX with Zipp 404s but when I got to the jungle I stopped and switched to the gravel bike. I just made things a touch easier and looked cooler too.
When I got to the foot of Alpe du Zwift I switched to the Tron bike for the first time and climbed on that. It was good climb with 70km in the legs. I managed it in 58 mins and knew with the descent I’d only be a few km’s off the 100. I hit the bottom with 5.5km to go so I just rolled back up and out of the Jungle. I got to 98.8km and the bloody doorbell rang! The mrs had gone to work so I had to answer the door. It was the neighbour giving me a parcel they had taken in.
I started again to finish and luckily the last km was all downhill so I just rolled on and stopped at 101km. 3hrs 24 mins on the rack. My arse ached like a bitch. I’m not sure when I’ll do that again but it will have to count for the Feb ride. It was hard enough and long enough to qualify I think.
My March ride is already sorted. March 29 – Mad March Hare Sportive
The daft thing is I streamed the lot 🙂