The cold weather is approaching us in the northern Hemisphere, days are getting shorter and the road are getting dirty.
This morning was ideal to take the student that I have been coaching from beginning of October to take part in his first sportive.The wake up call was early,and still dark outside but the passion for the bicycle has prevailed the extra few hours of laying in bed.
Driving along the motorway for approximately an hour from London to reach the beautiful country side of Hampshire we admired the sunrise and the wakening of the day life.
The amazing country side.
We arrived to the venue with no problem at all,it was sign posted from coming off the motorway junction all the way to the car park.We then walked to registration office with our helmet, where they issued us the microchip to be placed on the side of it.We made our final toilet stop before jumping on the saddle and go through the start line.
Being the first sportive for P.( Student's Name kept secret for privacy) we decided to do the short route of 30 miles and to set a target to finish it around the 2 hours mark. Taking in consideration that for P was only the forth exit with pedals and cleats, I could notice that he was very excited due to the atmosphere created by the event organiser pre race.
The race route was very well planned to keep the cyclists away from the main roads, enabling them to be astonished by the amazing surroundings of the nature during the cold sunday morning.During the ride we could smell the perfumes and essences of the trees,fields,bushes,forests and to listen the animals.
The organisers(Evans Cycle) did provide a good route marking utilising the 3 point system. Which is one sign on approach, to indicate the turning or the direction to go, second point are two signs to indicate the actual turning, and the final sign to be just one to indicate and relieve cyclists are in the correct direction.
The 30 miles course had a variety of cycling difficulties and demanding tasks due to the road conditions from being hilly to the mud on the road caused by the weather.
There were challenging hills for the student, where I could test him on climbing techniques and the stamina.I was pleased when he told me that he likes climbing. The Hills made the scenery just flabbergasting, the chilly wind made it particular challenging for the riders keeping the temperature not higher than 6.6 C.
I have to give just a quick advise to the organiser,which is related to the feed station.My advise is that you can not have just a station at 24 miles for 30 miles route.I do understand you also had a medium,long distances but feed stations are important and they play a key factor on most beginner or intermediate cyclist.You need to place an extra table with an extra couple glasses and bananas to makes more enjoyable.I would suggest at an event like that with today distances if the condition allows it, to have stations at those distances such one between the 14-16 miles,34-36 and the final one at 52-55 miles mark.
I would strongly recommend this event for those having a rest during the Christmas Festive before the hang the bikes in the garage and to those want to keep training hard for the following this season.