This one just about finished me off. I entered it in a moment of excitement, finding one that was close-ish and train-able, and failed to notice that it was 150 km rather than 100 km.
A small turnout, and a damp misty start from Droitwich. I had company briefly (one guy who had the route sheet somewhere in his pocket and so was planning on following other people), and another chap who took a wrong turning and emerged just as we were passing a junction. I stopped to check the first info control and they kept going; I had nearly caught them up when they missed a turning and failed to hear my shouts, so I headed off and left them to it. They passed me a bit later when I had stopped to take a photo and I assumed from then onwards I was bringing up the rear. I could never have kept up with their pace anyway.
As seems traditional my route sheet and holder fell off, and required emergency cable tie repairs. Despite being rather difficult to connect, my rear light cables seem very easily disconnected by, presumably, road vibrations, even when covered in duck tape. Lights required at start (mainly due to the weather) and final 10 miles – it was a really nice clear afternoon and got dark quite suddenly. There were some gorgeous views of the Malverns from the final stage, heading north between them and Breedon Hill/Cleeve Hill area, with the sun setting, but my phone battery had died by then.
As well as the usual physical complaints of a long ride, I had a slight chesty cough which resulted in some discomfort in the breathing department, and the ride was quite an effort. The final stage – 40 miles – was flat and with a tailwind, but even so I had to bribe myself with stops every 10 miles to feast on fruit and nut chocolate and haribo.
Finished the 100 miles at 7 pm, by which time there was no sign of anyone else. The start/finish was a pub, by then full of Droitwich’s Saturday night crowd. I didn’t want to hang around too long so after acquiring a receipt I headed to the station, to spend half an hour lying on a narrow metal bench in a shelter on the platform. Surprisingly comfortable, just what my back needed.
A great, well thought out route, excellent route sheets (I didn’t take any wrong-turnings), lucky with the weather and wind direction, and easy to get to by train. I found out (much) later that the organiser, who was – unusually – doing the ride too, hadn’t felt too good and cut his ride short.
100 miles, 10 hrs 30