Doing the Chiltern 100 humanrace event should not be undertaken lightly. My brother had warned me it was hard, the elevation should have given that away, 1800m or 5,500ft in 76 miles. That is not much flat and a tad daunting for someone who grew up in east anglia and skyscrapes.
I signed up for a training program through beatbike.co.uk, I have to say this was a brilliant thing to do. Every Monday night for 10 weeks we had 30 mins of strength by Beccie and an hour of spin from Steve. The program was designed to build strength and stamina. It could be combined with road sessions on a Sunday too – I managed to fit 2 of these in – in addition to Chatty Peloton training. What was also extremely useful was the support outside the training, emails and actual support on the day.
The conditions on the day were perfect. Starting from Bovingdon airfield – it quickly hit me how relentless 1800m of climbing is over 76 miles. (There is also a 116miler for the less chatty cyclists). The event was well organised and the routes easy to follow.
Less than a mile out my chain came off up the first curl of a hill… user error entirely. I am not the greatest fan of descent or tightly packed pelotons… the 2 combined leave less foresight on the hill ahead. How embarrassed did I feel. I kept up with the awesome beatbikers for a good 15 miles.. then my thighs started to grumble…then object ..and quite frankly got a bit Lauren about things. That is to say – going to do their own thing and there is nothing you can do about it. So I fell back and trundled up the hills, then down the hills, the up the hills…. and so it went on… and on…
I do not know at which point I had to lie to myself but I think it was about 37 miles, probably just after Wardrobes… this route is only 50 niles I told myself. When I got to 50 I realised the next stop was due. I think it was 55 miles. That 5 niles was long, very long. Men were pushing their bikes up hill only just slower than I was cycling. Blood curdling cries were hears as the hills just didn’t end or get easier.
At the rest I met a couple of ladies in a similar state of mind to myself.. and then we saw Sian, another awesome beatbiker. We decided to take the pootle approach to the last 2 miles (or not in Kaz world 16 miles)
I made the finish line, it felt good. Not an easy course in anyway I look at it. But doable with training.