What a great ride! I am very impressed with how it was organised and implemented. Surface had little sediment on it - no massive bollocks (bollards) - lots of good signage - good facilities and the free fruit at the end of the ride was nice!
Had a fantastic run down to the coast. Flying down the slope in a pack with the wind behind was great. I was easily averaging about 35-40km's. Some places I was in top gear (front & back) which means I must've been doing in excess of 55-60km's! Gotta love the pack ride. I tweeted at the turnaround and that was around 830am so it must've only taken me around 50min to do around 33-35km.s
But boy was the ride back HARD! Full headwind, no packs and gradual but neverending incline. The last 20km's were killer. I was down to my lower gears and struggling to keep a proper pace. Did half of it standing up. Was comforting to see that I wasn't the only one struggling! Heaps of other riders looking more pro than me and with much nicer bikes struggling to keep at least 16-18km's. Although I was chugging along I had very few people overtake me which helps the ego
The final run through the tunnels was amazing! The air felt so much lighter and the massive decline meant I was topping my bike's speed out (around 70-75kms) and then I tried being aero like those cool TT kids by ducking my head down and pulling my arms in.
I didn't think I would struggle so much at the end though. I regularly do 70-90km rides and I'm usually in good steed afterwards. Haven't done a good ride for a while so I must've got really out of shape. Forgetting my gels & food in the car didn't help nor did having only 5hrs sleep last night and forgetting to pump my tyres this morning
Riding in a pack was a good experience. I don't do much of it. Judging by some of the people I was riding with - I don't think alot of people on the rides today do many pack riding either. Alot of them slowing down without signalising, wobbling and dashing side-to-side, riding up on the inside with inches to spare before hitting me, ignoring any of my signals etc I'm not trying to have a go at anyone or make a massive complaint - I probably made a few mistakes myself - I know I got one comment from a rider who wouldn't let me in the bunch, when I had some guy right behind me wheel sucking about half a foot behind, and I tried to squeeze into the pack to get ride of the numpty behind me.
Managed to do the ride in around 2hrs 10minutes so around 34km/hour average. Very happy with that! Considering how slow I was riding in the last 20km's - that's a great result. I attribute this to alot of time being made up with not having to fight much of the winds on the way down because of the pack.
edit: I decided to don the ATB jersey (unlike alot of other riders) and wear my BV forum jersey. Did anyone get annoyed by a little guy with baggy shorts and a BV Forum Riders Jersey? That'd likely be me