The 100k Trail Break ride on the South Downs fitted neatly into my training schedule for last Saturday. Another well organised event is the Bucks Off Road Sportive last Sunday, where they had a 121k route. Wanting to build up my endurance, I entered both events for a full weekend of riding.
Setting out on the South Downs we initially hit a 600 foot climb. Conserving energy I took my time to reach the top. Working with my heart rate monitor and speedo, I slowed myself down to maintain an average speed of 9mph. This enabled me to preserve energy for later in the ride.
The well marked route followed several sections of the South Downs Way. This was useful for me as later I will be riding these parts at night on the Double. Riding up all the hills, where they were plentiful, I took it easy maintaining a relaxed state of mind.
After 3 hours, the feed station was a welcome sight where I consumed my prepared tub of pasta. The effects of the pasta would not be felt for a couple of hours, which is when it will be most needed. During the rides I constantly nibble chocolate flapjacks and jelly babies whist drinking about 750ml per hour.
Taking my time round the course and enjoying the beautiful scenery, the end was nearly in sight. Finishing after 6:46 hours gave me an average speed of 9.3mph that qualifies for the Trail Break Gold award.
Following a quick turnaround on Saturday evening, I was back out on the trails on Sunday morning for the Bucks Off Road Sportive.
The first 3 miles were awful. My legs were like jelly and I wanted to go home.
Once I got into a rhythm, I latched onto some other riders who had a good pace going. Keeping my heart rate down, I found that I could maintain an average speed of 10-11mph.
Eating my tub of pasta 3 hours into the ride along with all my nibbles, the miles were flying by. At the 60 miles stage, I felt as though I could have gone on forever.
Once past the 70 mile stage I ignored the heart rate, switched into race mode and powered the last 6 miles to the finish.
Completing the 121k in 7 hours gave me an average speed of 10.7mph with a very low average heart rate of 128bpm.
The two rides were great, and to finish them both with very respectable times is quite an achievement.