As previously mentioned, I’d elected to do the long ride today (112 miles – 180 km).
Bit cloudy to start with, but it soon warmed up, although there was a chilly breeze keeping things reasonably temperate.
Things were fine to start with – we went up the previously mentioned Rat Hill as opposed to coming down it. No problem at all – just kept tapping up it with my own rhythm and felt very comfortable.
It all got much tougher as the day wore on. Some nice descents – my technique has improved out of all recognition – but some longish hills also. We actually got as far south on this ride as Benidorm.
Then we turned inland. It started to get VERY hilly – nothing really steep, but there was one huge climb of 25 km (15 miles) in length which just went on and on. This was tough in the heat and the headwind at times, but managed to keep it all together. Great training f0r La Marmotte – the huge climb of 4 mountains I’ve got planned for July.
We didn’t stop for lunch until 3.45 p.m.! By this stage, most of us were suffering to some degree or other, but getting food on board definitely helped. We probably languished a bit too long over lunch, but we did need the rest, believe me! And this point was halfway in the journey, so we still had 60 miles to do!
Journey back was also tough. Lots of long drags uphill, with the group split widely, although we always arranged a regrouping/water stop. We needed plenty of the latter commodity! Took some video footage of one particularly long descent we did.
Another descent of Rat Hill, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Finally got back to the hotel at 8 p.m.!
A pretty brutal ride and I’m knackered.
Tomorrow is a rest day/recovery ride. I will NOT be going out on the bike tomorrow!