The 120 miler that wasn’t

Saturday 3rdMay 2014

Not much has happened this week in terms of exciting riding.  I only managed one ride to work after my alarm didn’t go off on Friday.  I know it was something I didn’t do, or something I did wrong, but why can’t the bloody alarm on a Galaxy S3 be as easy to set and not get wrong as an iPhone.  Damn companies, why can’t Samsung and Apple just stop squabbling and take the best bits from each phone, combine them into one then launch what would be the best phone on the market.

Moving on.  The Wednesday Wibble was a bit of a non-event this week unfortunately.  The ride was meant to be a route recce for Phil’s XC race on Sunday 11 May in Wareham Forest, but due to a rider having a (very) long stop for a mechanical we wasted a good portion of the evening.  Some of us eventually made the decision to crack-on and get some single track in before the sun came up again.  We still covered 15 miles though, so it wasn’t a total waste.

Today was meant to be a crack at 120-140 miles so I decided to follow the Macmillan Dorset 100 mile route and throw in a round the harbours at the end.

I set off reasonably early and it was a bit chilly, especially out of the sun, so I was glad to have my arm warmers and new LIOS gilet

I felt really good and got to Bulbarrow, the highest point in Dorset, in what seemed liked double quick time.  It was glorious up there and the views across the North Dorset countryside were spectacular.  I couldn’t resist stopping and taking the pic of the acres of Bluebell woods that line the road at this time of year.

Bluebell woods

From the top the route drops down to a truly spectacular setting of Milton Abbey and school.  The sight that greets you when you turn the corner is fabulous, especially when the sun is out, nestled there in the valley surrounded on all sides by forestry block.  I don’t think my picture does it justice.  I did try a selfie but I’m as good at those as Gabby Logan (her words not mine) and a picture of my fat melon blocking out the abbey, school and sun had to go.

Milton Abbey

From here one rides into the picture postcard Milton Abbas with its cheeky little climb at the far end.

Not long after this I headed into uncharted territory for me so regular map checks were a must; I can’t wait to get that Garmin.  As I headed further into North Dorset the countryside and villages just got prettier.

Eventually I started heading west towards Sherborne and after approximately 50 miles my legs started to go.  It is a burning sensation akin to a massive lactic acid build up, but it means I just have no oomph in my legs.  My heart rate was bang on and I wasn’t getting hypoglycaemic so my eating was good too.  Needless to say I started to struggle on anything other than the flat.

The route turns east within spitting distance of Sherborne, and begins with a huge (by Dorset standards anyway) climb up towards Cheselbourne.  By now my legs had gone AWOL and I had to stop at every climb to let them recover slightly before cracking on.  This was made harder by the route dropping south around a big loop and back up to Cheselbourne before continuing climbing to Ansty and eventually Milton Abbas again.  I decided to stop at the Hambro Arms in Milton Abbas,, for a drink and some food and was devastated when I got there and the kitchen was shut.  I really wanted to call in the recovery wife at this point, but with a dead battery (rubbish Galaxy again) and thinking about Sammo and Kenny’s ride to Gibraltar, I just swallowed a concrete pill and toughened up.  I wasn’t to know until later, but Sammo did amazing today after suffering a major mechanical that took his bike off-line, proper mans rain, wind and snow.  Follow him at  Nails!

I finally made it home with an hour to spare before our friends arrived for dinner.  HQ1 was having kittens because I said I would only be gone a maximum of six hours that turned out to be nearer nine; another good reason to get a Garmin for the live tracking.

My average speed over 100 miles was 14.4mph which, considering I stopped a lot, means…not much really other than I was rubbish.

I think the problem might be the energy drink I’m using.  Despite giving me loads of energy, I have found out it doesn’t contain any electrolytes so I’m not replacing what I am losing through sweat.  Next time out I will rectify this and see if it makes a difference.

Next ride, three days on the MTB storming Normandy…

Toodle pip.

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