Quite simple really, on paper just ride the 100kms to get you out and back again.
Stuart was going to collect me at 7.45 for the drive over, so I set the alarm for 6.00am, unfortunately I didn't set it for Sunday. So waking at 7.36am I had less than ten minutes to get ready. I had to forgo any food or drink and the essential pre ride poo. 100kms on empty never killed anyone.
We arrived at Nash Mills with time to spare, readied the bikes and went to sign on. This is when the second problem of the day popped up. The route wasn't waymarked, instead we were given route maps in true reliability trial style. Thing is I need reading glasses so the piece of paper was just pointless added weight. I had a token go at trying to work it out, until it was politely pointed out to me that I had the map upside down!
However we were in the fast group, so if we got lost we'd get swept up by a slower group, that was the cunning plan we had hatched.
We set off in the first wave of fifteen riders. Then with less than a mile done we had problem number three. An impatient motorist wouldn't give an inch on the narrow lane sending the riders off piste. Stuart took the brunt of it all and ended up with a broken rear mech and bent hanger; game over.
We removed the chain and rolled back passing the jeering riders coming the other way.
At the HQ Stuart packed up and I rode off for home.
My mental sat nav worked out a route of about fifty miles. Initially it was good going, but it wasn't long before the wind got up and was hitting me from all directions. Still the wind is your friend, it makes you strong as Arnie would say.
The wind was ferocious in places and I vowed never ever to by any wheels ever again that had aero spokes, I was bricking it in places. This is working class riding, something that saves a pro three seconds on Ventoux is pointless over here mid winter.
The rest of the ride went well, but the full bottle on my frame was an indicator of how bloody windy it was; hands on the bars boys.
Just before I got home I was faced with a road closed sign, which as any cyclist knows, never applies to them so ahead I went. Then I came across the reason, a flood, Craig popped into my head just then, but like him I pressed on. The wind was so strong there were fecking white horses on it, but ha ha ha it was under my bottom bracket, that is until I got to the middle when it suddenly went right up to my ankles.
My feet were soaked and freezing, I told myself to man up, what if it snows during your first race next month you big wuss, deal with it.
I pressed on hoping to find the G1, 2 or 3 riders at the club house, aware that as chairman there are members I've not yet met, but it was empty so I shot off home.
I'm now warm and dry and wearing trackies and hoody and I don't intend to move a muscle.