First Sportive of the Year

After all day Rain yesterday I awoke this Morning to a Blanket of Fog, the Roads still saturated from yesterdays Rain. I had an entry in for the Spring Sixty Sportive up in Camlough, South Armagh, and thought the visibility or rather the lack of would put the event at risk on a safety issue. Regardless I cooked myself some breakfast, packed the kit bag and loaded the Bicycle in to the back of the Car in the hope that the Fog would lift as the day went on.

Rather than Cycle in constant Rain yesterday I took the time to fit a new Chain and on todays Sportive it was noticeable just how much slicker and quieter the gear shifting was.

Arriving at Camlough in good time I quickly got myself signed on the event insurance, got myself geared up and went out on to the road for a short Cycle to get the leg muscles woken up and prepped for what lay ahead. The South Armagh Hills were still cloaked in a shroud of Clouds, the surrounding farmland saturated.

Camlough Cycling Club put on two Sportives each year and they are always well run events, good water stops, food at the end of the event and great road Marshals keeping Cyclists as safe as possible.

With 500 Cyclists on the road in a mass start the further back you are is more hazardous so I got myself to the front of the pack well before the start of the event to avoid any possible carnage further back down the peloton. I was told by a friend that there was one crash near the start when someone slid off on gravel, no such issues for me though as I started at the front and started at a brisk pace to get away from most of the Cycle traffic.

Analysing my ride data post-sportive I set my best five minute power for the event right at the start which ordinarily would not be the wisest thing to do when trying to conserve energy to complete the route.

No such trouble today though, I recovered well from the hard start and paced myself well throughout the remainder of the event, so much so that I did not stop at the halfway stop for the provided Soup and Sandwiches as the legs were feeling good and the energy levels were also still good. I opted to just grab an energy bar from my Jersey pocket and continue on.

Up through the lumpy, pot-holed roads around Ravensdale Forest I was starting to waver a little and the thought of Soup and Sandwiches a few miles back down the road entered my head! I had to make do with an emergency Torq energy gel, the fast acting sugary Carbohydrate mix soon revived the legs and I was pulling hard again all the way through until the finish. I completed the 36 mile route in under two hours at an average speed of 18.8mph which was a noticeable improvement on last years event held in kinder weather conditions. It is good to be able to look back and see progress.

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