On Sunday we participated in the Suffolk Sunrise 100 cycling sportive, run by and for Action Medical Research. This was our second year doing the 100k. Last year it was cold and pouring with rain – this year we were hoping it would be warm with the rain which was promised.
We were lucky – the rain never showed up. It was a lovely day for a ride, through some of the nicest scenery Suffolk has to offer. Past Orford Castle, around farms (rapeseed, pigs and vegetables – we saw it all!), on tree lined lanes, over streams, by the flats near the sea… Beautiful.
If you use sites like Dailymile or Twitter, it is great fun to approach people and ask “hey are you XX?” when you think you recognisethem from their avatar photos. It was really cool meeting Abby and Brian (briefly) at one of the rest stops and then seeing them again at the finish!
Having the route tampered with is not fun. And “well meaning” cyclists who stop and create signs for what they think is the correct route 9 times out of 10 do more harm than good. I like my friend Josie’s idea – that sportive routes should be marked with paint on the road as well as signs.
Having weird tan lines is a badge of honour. Years ago I may have sought to equalise them out with fake tan, or using different numbers of SPF, or something. Now, I like them. They show that I am an active person!
Always carry a small thing of sunscreen with you – even in England. You never know when the sun will make a (warm) guest appearance!
Riding on gravel, sand and broken tarmac is not fun. The condition of the small roads this ride takes are one reason I may not do it next year. Although I will keep riding in Suffolk – I love the scenery there!
I may start to experiment with good cycling shorts. Although I love the DeSotos, I hate stopping and applying Chamois Butt’r regularly. And I still have pressure issues (although I did change out of the ISM saddle as I had never ridden so long in ISM and wanted to use something I knew the feeling of, so maybe it is saddle related)… Maybe a thicker pad might help?
Certain foods taste amazing after a long cycle ride: Magnum chocolate temptation ice cream bars… Steak Tartare (protein, so good for muscle rebuilding!)… Pilsner Urquel on draft…
The Skins Recovery compression tights are really comfortable to sleep in – but make sure you drink a lot of water if you do this as it is very easy to become dehydrated when wearing compression… Trust me (as I type this I am drinking water and dehydrated!)… But my legs feel great!
Always smile when you see a camera!
- It is scary riding past horses – you never know if they will bolt because of a cyclist.
- Not having electrolytes on a long ride is a mistake – either drink mix (First Endurance is my favourite) or Endurolytes (by Hammer) or Nuun – something is a must… It was the first thing I had after the ride, once I wiped the salt (from sweating) off my face – I popped a Nuun into my water bottle. I wasn’t dehydrated, but I knew I was lacking something. This is the first time I have ever ridden without electrolytes, and I didn’t like it at all – I finished in fine condition but not as peppy as I normally am…
- There are many reasons to keep your mouth shut when cycling… Especially when cycling through a swarm of bugs. Blech!
- I am incredibly pleased that I invested in arm and leg warmers – the ride started out chilly and I was very happy to be able to peel off layers and to get down to a jersey and shorts without much bulk in my pockets. I purchased Assos arm and knee warmers (with Roubaix materials) on the recommendation of a few friends – they have served me really well.
- When a tractor drives past you with dry dirt coming off its tires, a smart move is to hold your breath and turn away to avoid the dust…