by Mike Cox
On Saturday 21st February, my friend Chris and I took part in the Wiggle No Excuses Sportive. This is great challenge that really holds you accountable – you pay a £35 entry fee and if you ride, you get it all back. If you fail to turn up, the whole entry fee goes to charity.
There’s two routes, the Standard 41 miles and the Epic 80 miles.
I did the Epic… but I did feel like I was cheating slightly as the route was very flat in comparison to Sheffield (aren’t they all?) The whole 80 miles was easier than expected. It was headwind out, so the middle section was the worst, but the last 25 miles went by relatively quickly! We ended up completing the challenge in 5hrs 20mins.
I did feel a little apprehensive before the ride as I’ve not ridden over 50 miles for a couple of years – fortunately my legs soon remembered what they needed to do. I was made up at the end because, after such a long distance, I hadn’t been completely destroyed!
I admit that I did find myself flagging at about the 50 mile mark, and all I could think was ‘there will be worse than this.’ But, because of the cause we’re riding for, giving up just isn’t an option. Psychologically, thinking about Weston Park made the whole thing much easier.
This has of course got me thinking about the main ride! My main worry is recovery. I’m confident that I can go and ride 100 miles, but can I do that level of effort four days in a row? Arrrgh!!
I've entered a couple more Sportives to get my miles up before 4Challenge. I'm doing a 100 miler in four weeks as well... Wish me luck!