So, this is my second Sportive...well many regard the NortherRock Cyclone not as a true Sportive bike ride but a fun ride, however, it was still a test and a very good test at that.
Two weeks ago I did the Richmond 3 Dales which at 53 miles over the Pennines was a tough bike ride. The Cyclone was 63 miles long over probably a slightly harder route. Both routes were tough, but I think the Cyclone just edged it and not because of the extra 10 miles. One only truly real problem part in the 3 dales was the hairpins on the Stang road. The cyclone had the Ryal hills which was hard but I was fitter and had more energy.
So, let's compare times.
- Richmond 3 dales 53 miles: 04:26:56 fastest speed: 38 mph
- Cyclone 63 miles: 04:29:02 fastest speed: 44.1 mph
Immediately you can see how poorly I did the 3 Dales in. I had learned a lot just from 1 race. The Cyclone was rode with minimum clothing (shirt, very thin windproof, shorts, socks and shoes) I carried nothing in case it rained. I therefore felt fresher and lighter.
The next detail I changed was the very start of the day, breakfast. I ate much more and had a sandwich just before the start. I also introduced energy foods and drinks during the ride. Because Morrisons is less then 1/2 mile from my house, I just bought Lucazade gel and Lucazade glucose tablets. I must say they worked a treat and will continue to use them. I still don't like energy bars with nuts in them as they make my mouth dry and I can have problems with stuck nuts in my teeth and throat. I also tried a a small caffeine drink called "Voltz" which is 40p from my local cheap supermarket and that perked me up near the end of the race.
Bikewise, everything was the same as the 3 dales. I still think my 25 mm tyres are probably more confortable then the 23mm Lugano tyres I used but I have been impressed with how tough and uncut the Lugano's have been in 200 miles.
Again, my time was spoilt by spending too much time at the feed stations. This time there was 2 feed/timing stations. My bike's computer showed my complete time as 04:13:02, so I spent just over 15 minutes in the stations in total.
Overall I am extremely happy at the time. I'm pretty certain next year I will get under 4 hours easily. Next is the Ryedale Rumble in the North Yorkshire Moors. This sportive is 71 miles long (again I'm chickening out of the 100 miler). I have a projected time of under 5 hours.
If all goes according to plan I will then apply for the Cumberland Challenge and that's the full 100 mile route. Estimated time for that is 8 hours....gulp!