First 100 Mile Ride EVER!

I think the term Woohoo is appropriate here!

Well, i've accomplished my first ever 100 miler,and in just over 10 hours by the official timing chip. I'll write an account of the day below, so if you don't want all the boring details, switch off now.. :)

The morning had arrived. The few days leading up to Sunday, I had been ignoring the fact that I would be cycling nearly double that which I had cycled in a day before. My longest ride so far had been a 60 mile hilly ride and I was dead at the end of that, I didn't know what to expect on this. A few last minute technical hitches meant I was riding the Roubaix with all its benefits on the flats and downhills, it is not setup just now for hills, or it is and I'm just not setup for it! I knew hills were going to be a problem.

I headed over to Balloch and got up to the start, got myself ready and headed off with about the third or fourth group. The start was normal for any ride, after about 5 minutes I felt the first pang of fatigue, but headed through that as I normally do and was fine. I was keeping pace with the cyclist in front of me until we hit Drymen. At that point the hils started, I was expecting to head along the main road, but they took us down a back road that is a more direct route, which broke the hills up a little and made it a bit better I think. First set of hills, and they were tough.

Once at Aberfoyle took on some water and food at the food station, then headed off to the comments around me about Dukes Pass and lets get this hill over and done with, not too good when you don't know the road, however, I didn't find it too bad, did stop a few times though, but i'm 107kg, so for a normal cyclist its like carrying his mate up the hill with him! Once over the top nice downhill bit and then the slog up to Glen Ogle with a little headwind.

I had forgotten about Glen Ogle, but made it up with quite a few quick stops for a breather, my logic was that I just want to finish, I don't really mind about the time... this time! :) Once over Glen Ogle, it was a nice downhill to the mainly flat to Crainlarach, however, the road surface was atrocious!

Feed station at Crainlarach was a welcome rest for a bit, refilled water and pushed on. Glad to now be on a section of a road that I knew well though. The hill out of Crainlarach wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, made it to the top in no time and enjoyed the downhill section there which gave me good speed for the rest of the ride down to Arrochar.

Another feed station at arrochar and getting closer and closer to home and the finish, somewhere along the road between Arrochar and Finnart, my phone battery died, which meant two things, firstly no cyclemeter for the whole ride, but also if i had a problem with me or the bike, i'd have to wait for someone. Anyway, pushed on and my legs were find for flat riding and made good time to Finnart, but hills were really, really tough, so made the decision to push up Finnart and Glen Fruin. This cost me quite a bit of time really, as I was pushing at 2mph and my minimum speed on the bike is about 6mph, but my legs couldn't take it, even walking up was tough!

Once at the top of Glen Fruin though, I knew I was finished, one hill in the Glen and possibly one before Balloch on the A82, but nearly there.

As I came around the west side of loch lomond i looked across the loch and could see the castle, i was nearly there! Kept up my normal pace (overtaking a casual cyclist on the bridge in balloch) and headed up to a muted reception, just within the allowed time. Most people had headed home by now, just family and thankfully, the timing guys left.

It was tough, but enjoyable, I think I would really enjoy these long rides if I weighed less, I think that is the main issue for the hill climbs, but I'm working on that!

Written by Stewart McKee on
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