I'm not entirely sure, but not having dinner then riding 15km more while also racking up your most ever metres climbed the next day probably isn't the smartest plan in the world.
|Dave was nice on Day One|
We set out and I dropped back into the pattern of the day before. Fine on the flats, fast on the descents and spat out of the back of the pack on the climbs. But oddly I didn't mind. By this point it was the plan. No more effort than needed (ie c160bpm), spin the pedals and get up the hills.
Then my back started to hurt. After 140km and almost 6 hours in the saddle (nine hours total time) on Saturday I was in pain early. 60km in and I was looking to stop, to get off, to at very least stretch.
Then we hit an 11km climb. It was shallow, just 2.4%, but I couldn't stop. Couldn't get off. Couldn't stretch. My shoulders started complaining along with my back. But a quick rest and a bit of flat/down and I had a chance to stretch a bit in the saddle. It hurt but it was manageable.
The next big climb killed me. 4.4km at 4.5%. No rest. No reprive. My legs felt fine, my heart rate was comfortably in range but I was done. Gone. I was 90km into a planned 155km ride and I just. Couldn't. Go. On.
|Stunning, but a long way up|
I was staring at the Garmin a lot at this point. I just need to hit 100km. Then I'll stop. That's perfectly respectable. I rode 140km yesterday, 100 the next day is more than enough.
Then when I passed 100 - I'll just hit 4.5 hours, then I'll stop. That's plenty, more than plenty. I will have loads of good fitness work done then. And after that it was I'll just do one more climb, I've come to Wales for the climbing. One more, then I'll stop.
|Long and ouchy|
But no one else was stopping or even resting so I kept going. I endured. Somehow I endured. I also ended up with 155.4km on the clock with 2,401m of climbing. My longest ride and the most metres up in a day.
So what have I learnt? The first thing is the body can do more than you think. The second is I'm an idiot. Months back I knew my back hurt towards the end of long rides. I found a guide to the excercises you need to do to help, and I didn't do them. I will.
Oh, and Dave really is evil - this is what he planned for the final climb of the day.... Bobby and Ratters somehow managed it.
|This was the final climb. After 96 miles. It was 25%.|
|Paul also defeated by this climb. It got even steeper after this section.|