So today I turned 37 ... and what better way to celebrate it by biking 50 miles.
I couldn't sleep properly. I was worried that my alarm clock wouldn't wake me up. I eventually got up before my alarm clock - time 6.40am.
No one else was awake when I left so I didn't open cards or pressies until I got home to be with my family.
I had gathered my things together the night before so felt confident.
I had a rucksack of supplies:
2. my garmen forerunner
3. first aid kit
4. waterproof jacket
5. mobile phone
6. puncture repair kit
7. bike pump
9. food supplies/energy bars
11. and money just in case
I tried to eat an apple but I wasn't very hungry.
I pinned my number to my top and grabbed my helmet and off I went ...
I met a friend at 8am and we biked a mile together to the venue. Since there were over 3,000 people taking part we had to leave the area in batches.
It was an awesome sight. There were so many people about. It was amazing.
I was able to take some pictures of the start of the race.
As we handed our ID cards in we were given a map but I couldn't make sense of it and ended up putting it in my bag and hoping there would be people to follow. As it was the entire route was marked out well and we knew exactly where to go.
It was great to wait at the start before the horn blew. Off we all went, careful not to trip over each other. I love riding my bike. It makes cycling so easy. I have named it Bumble (Short for bumble bee since it's black and yellow).
I was concerned for my friend who was not wearing a helmet so I made sure she stayed on the inside whenever we had the chance to chat as we biked.
The trip was fantastic. The countryside was breathtaking. Fields of corn, green grass and leafy green trees for miles.
It was also wonderful to be amongst so many people on their bikes. We were never alone.
We stopped at mile 15 for some water and met another friend from our running club. She was there with some people from work.
There were so many people having a rest.
It wasn't until we arrived at mile 25 that we had another quick stop. Legs were still feeling fine at this point. It was good fun seeing other people pass us at this point.
Then we were all set to go. The roads were pretty good and we headed along some quiet ones. At various points we met main roads and there was a lot of traffic about.
The next quick stop was to take a picture of a beautiful hall which we passed.
It was at this point that we seemed to be going constantly uphill but my gears were amazing and I was able to get up them really easily. My friends bike was much heavier though with fewer gears and she was biking much harder than I was for the whole journey. I really felt for her.
My knees felt tender from mile 22 but the niggles soon disappeared. I have never cycled for more than 30 miles before so I was soon in new territory. I was elated to be honest. I so wanted to achieve this.
With only another 8 miles to go we had another quick rest where we met another friend on his bike from our running club. He was racing today but just wanted to come and have a look at what was going on. At his point, my friend and I had a collision. She stopped very quickly and my bike went into the back of hers. Luckily we weren't hurt but her mud guard was a little wonky afterwards. We soon sorted that out though.
And then we were on the journey home. My friend increased her pace and we overtook a few people. We were so happy. I was even singing "What a feeling" from Flashdance, much to the amusement of others passing us by.
It was great cycling back to the cathedral, which is where we started. I got off the bike. People clapped and cheered. There were tons of people and bikes lying everywhere.
My birthday challenge had been accomplished. From start to finish it had taken us 4 hours 30 minutes including out 3 breaks and traffic light stops.
I had survived.
I couldn't stop smiling.
And how do I feel now ... absolutely knackered. Lol!
And next year .... I'll be biking the 100 miles. No sweat! x