This week has been a tad busy at work (meaning a grand total of zero minutes have been spent on the bike) so trying to squeeze in a write up of last weekend's sportive was relegated down the list of priorities. Never mind, the sportive itself went well and that's what matters.
The ride I had entered was run by Essex Roads CC and was a 150km loop with a fairly flat profile. Having done a few of these events now, I am noticing that I am far more relaxed at the start - something that I imagined might come with familiarity. The weather was mild, sunny and a little breezy when we rolled out and stayed that way throughout. Using a bit of experience, I jumped straight onto the back of a group at the start - when they initially overtook me they were travelling at a fair lick but at the back of the bunch things were not so tough. The other rider I was with is stronger than I am and he was happy at the brisk pace being kept.
We rode with that group until the first feed station, which came after 50km and what a good job Essex Roads had done. There was sports drink, gels, energy bars, bananas even some homemade flapjack! I scoffed away and I think it's the first time I think I have truly re-fuelled as you are supposed to on a ride and I think it made a big difference. I really am going to concentrate on that in the future.
In the end, the lack of hills and plentiful groups to roll along with made for a quick and enjoyable ride. 150km is the furthest ride I have put in so far and to complete the loop in under 6 hours was not bad. Mid-winter training seems to have paid off, now to kick on a bit - if only things would quieten down at work to allow it...