"Bloody hell, my Garmin's just died". These were my opening words at the start line of this years Manchester 100, where I was aiming to beat my previous time of 6hrs and 36 mins. No Garmin, meant no ride stats, so not the start I wanted.
We went off at 7.00am sharp, which meant up out of bed at 05.30am to get there on time and it was a good day in the saddle, with my time ending up at 5hrs 58mins (knocking 38 minutes off my previous time). Number of observations about today, bulleted for ease of reading and in no particular order.
- Ade, Ant and Martin (fellow North Cheshire Clarion cycling club members) went off at a blistering pace of around 23mph! Those boys were up for it today.
- Bike felt great. New straight post and set-up is absolutely spot-on.
- Bit of a tale of two halves today, wind really picked up on the back fifty which meant the going was hard at times.
- No group hand signals from the large number of participants meant that dodging potholes at a seconds notice was order of the day.
- Rode the event with fellow North Cheshire Clarion club member Sarah, who was great company. I opted to ride the wind for the bulk of the back fifty in order to get under the six hour limit. Sarah was very patient with me constantly asking for ride stats due to my goosed Garmin 705 (which is still poorly)!
- Had plenty to eat and drink on the bike today, so didn't "bonk " albeit the legs started to feel a little heavy on the back twenty.
- Traffic got busy when the 100KM route merged with the 100 mile route. Lot's of people on mountain bikes riding at a much slower pace, so quite a bit of traffic dodging to do.
- Sarah and I really put the hammer down in the last ten miles to come under the six hour target, we were dropping everyone!
- Enjoyed a post-ride massage (see pic).
- Enjoyed a post-ride Roast dinner at the pub this evening!
All in all, I think I could have gone faster today and this gives me encouragement for next year where I'll aim to go under 5hrs 30mins. Coming up later this month is the Tour of Britain stage that I've entered in Stoke, that should be a humdinger with a lot more hills in. That will be a big challenge for me but I'm up for it.
You can see the route for the Manchester 100 below.