And I am beginning to dream.
In preparation for this day I have this year
Cycled a total distance of 4122 km
Climbed 31067 m
Swam 41.3 km
and been seated on a bike for over 207 hours
I suppose that I have two big worries about this challenge. The first is , at my age and with my level of fitness, am I just physically capable of cycling 100 miles, ( 162 km ) on a single journey. And the second worry is will I be quick enough. It is not a personal thing here but more of a worry that I will let others down and get in the way of the proper cyclists who are competing in the Prudential London Classic who ride after us but on the same course.
I received my final instructions this week and in a way these worries have dissipated. This is because the organizers have introduced a set of cut-offs so that those not up to the pace will be pulled out thereby ensuring that the proper cyclists are not disadvantaged. They have also introduced a set of detours so that those near, but not quite the pull out mark, can be sent on a slightly shorter route. With these instructions then there are safeguards for Old Age Pensioners like me in the event that we find it all a bit too much.
The start times seem to be organized with military precision. There are two starting points before the courses combine after 6 km with 19 waves leaving each point and from what I have heard from others, people will be leaving every 2 minutes. With 20000+ riders that should be some sight! I think I must be the last person leaving the starting gate as my time is 08-00. That surprised me a little as I said that I was aiming at completing the course in 7 hours 30 minutes ( compared to the 9 hours maximum permitted ) and I thought there might be one or two people who had estimated a time a little slower than me..
The story of the tortoise and the hare springs to mind :-) Speedy OAP !
For one of the training sessions this week, the plan called for an hour's run at a Zone 2 moderate heart rate on a flattish course. As I sped through the quiet Derbyshire lanes with the sun shining and the fields and hedgerows flashing by I began to dream that I had escaped the peleton who were riding on a flat stage in Brittany in the Tour de France that day.. Head down, legs going in a perfect harmony, this was bliss and epitomized the joy of cycling
( Though this image is not of me but a picture I took at the Belper 25 mile TT last weekend )
Can I now dream of cycling down the Mall on August 4, the 100 miles completed, and the Challenge conquored?