Contrary to the forecast it was blue and lovely.
I was slightly unsettled to see how many fit looking club-type riders there were, and was beginning to wonder if my timing prediction that led to me setting off in the first wave was over optimistic. There was a bit of nervous circling and trying to warm up whilst chatting a bit to other ladies. I am not used to not having the children and husband send me off, but people were really friendly.
I ended up absolutely at the front, under the jealous makingly pretty nose of the lovely Victoria Pendleton.
At 9 we were off. Two women were ahead of me for some time, while I pedalled frantically hoping to catch a tow from one of them. I expected any moment a massive lady-peleton to sweep past me. But oddly it never happened. Did a mass crash happen at the start? Were marshalls desperately trying to call us back? A couple more women came past and I stuck with them for a bit, but not enough to draft, which had been my best hope prior to the race. My Garmin showed my heart rate right on the edge and I was sure I couldn't keep it up, despite the welcome distraction of the marvellous countryside. But I did keep it up, counting down the miles, knowing that the famous Bison Hill was to come. On Bison Hill, surely the peletonette would munch me, given my shocking inability to climb.
It didn't happen. And as I passed the finish a small girl said I was 7th over the line. And getting in so early meant I bagged a lovely massage and got rid of the hideous cramp that had set in.
I am properly pleased with myself (even though my setting off at the front meant that a few more of the women behind got better times and I came 12th in the end). As a slow coach multiple mummy with a tricky job and a lactate phobia, 12th out of more than 600 is flipping great for me. Almost makes me want to do time trials (almost), but I guess that is the point of Cycletta and Sky Rides. To encourage women to ride, or to ride better or faster and know that it is possible, not just for the sponsored skinny chaps, but for the rest of us. I'll leave the skin suits though, thank you very much.
Millions of thanks to Minx for anti-big bum riding solutions, and millions of thanks too for the Cycletta. It was a great experience.
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