So yesterday I did the Hell of Ashdown which was essentially a 62 mile sportif over all the hills they could find in and around the Ashdown forest in Kent and Sussex. I new it was gonna be cold and bottled out of riding there and back as well as the ride itself and settled on a plan to go hard as I could.
Just after I started a trio charged past me and up the first hill. I chased hard and caught up on the descent when we all slowed due to the ice here and there on the road. A bunch of 5 me included proceeded to run along at a good lick. The first few climbs I managed to hang on but with the successive hills the youth soon started to gap me on the climb and I had to work to catch up each time.
After a water stop I set out on my own into a strong headwind. All was going well and I had a nice rhythm going and was gently passing cylists and apart from 2 keen club cyclist pacing each other was not myself being passed. Then 2 things happened: firstly Ollie another trilondoner said hello as we waited for the only set of lights in the day to change before vanishing up the hill without a back ward glance, then we got caught in a blizzard. My mojo went completely and I decided a safe roll in was the best way to cover the last 15 miles (which turned out to be 6!) and with only 4 miles to go I blew a rear tire and had to change it in the sub zero. Following other bike tracks through the snow is a novel way to navigate through a cycling event but worked OK
At the end I felt a bit dejected because I thought my bike was going strong but all is not lost. Firstly Ollie ripped the legs of everyone there that day to post the fastest time of anyone secondly, well i did not do too bad all things considered.
What have I learned. I think it is time to use a bit of bike competition to get me going that bit harder on the bike rides.... so its time to find a new partner or two!! Also I reaffirmed the knowledge that bikes and snow dont mix.