Tour De Tendering

This post is more of a congratulation post for Lucy than anything else; on Sunday she rode her first 100miles! Now let me explain how this happened… A few months back Colin asked if I was interested in riding in this years Tour de Tendering, a charity bike ride based around the Tendering area. Being the person I am I jumped at the idea, but then promptly forgot all about it. Last Thursday at the the Time Trial event I met up with Colin and he reminded me it was this coming week end and they had all signed up for the 100mile course (2 laps of the 50 mile circuit) Fair enough, I did say I would ride and it looked to be a good crowd heading over, but then Lucy joined the conversation trying to join in and some one mentioned the ride and some how the words “yes I’ll ride” came flowing out of her mouth without a second thought. The second thought arrived in the car on the way home; realism of what she had signed up for set in. We opted to sleep on it and see how she felt in the morning, in the morning I think brute force had taken over and she was determined to ride. So the first part of the week end was taken up by making sure we had a bike that would make the 100 miles. DSC00291Sunday morning dawned and at some unthinkable time we made our way to the meeting point where the bikes were loaded and a two car convoy set off for Dovercourt and the start line. We had signed on as a team, representing Cycle Club Sudbury and our start time was 8:10, we set off about 8:15; well we needed to take a photograph or two. The course was a very good one, raising out of Dovercourt onto the Tendering plateau, were it passes through some lovely villages with a 25mile refreshment break at Great Bentley. After that the ride drops back into Jaywick and onto Clacton-On-Sea were you get to ride the entire sea front before climbing back out again and head back down to Dovercourt. Lap 1 went by within the first three and half hours, the weather was just about prefect; the head wind throughout the Clacton sea front section was not pleasant but as the forecast mentioned rain I opted to put up with the sun and a head wind. Half way round Viv called me to say he was on his way to join us. As he had completed the event last year he knew the route and soon cut some corners and joined us. DSC00292Having completed one lap we stopped for a quick refreshment break. I must remember to take some decent food next year; a hot dog is not really the best carbohydrate to cycle on! That said we set off again to complete the final lap. As soon as we left Dovercourt I noticed Lucy was not as confident in her cycling as she was earlier on. I put it down to the whole getting moving again, but soon realised that this was not the case; she was blowing and if I was a betting money I would have gone against her. To help out Peter and I dropped back and rode with her, breaking the wind and letting her sit on the wheel and try and save some energy. She was determined to make it round to the half way stop which would mean she had cycled 75 miles. Slowly but surely we made it round, but just before the stop we make a quick detour to a supermarket. Peter and I offered Lucy a combination of energy gel bars, malt loaf and fruity fluids. Once complete we made our way to the stop for a quick breather and to re-group with the rest. I am a strong believer in the energy gel bars, Lucy was going to prove my case. Within the next 20 minutes there was a complete transformation; from sitting at the back to setting the pace at the front. The second lap saw a lot of other cyclists; there are three different length routes taking place on one day, and we were picking our way through the members of the 20mile event. After about 6 hours I looked down at the clock to work out we must be in the last 10 miles. Time to see what else I can do. I upped the pace and ended up having our little break away with Dave Fenn jumping on my wheel and crossing the line with a beam across his face; “20 years on and the competitive instinct is still there” he commented. A couple of minutes later the rest of the group; and Lucy rolled in. Apart from not being able to get out of her toe clips she looked surprisingly well. We went in and collected our certificates for completing the event and head off for a sweet tea. During the tea we over heard that there were only 23 riders who had completed the 100mile event. Thanks to every one for the day, especially Peter for driving. But most importantly well done to Lucy, having only ridden a 40mile club run in the past it was one hell of an achievement!