Monday, August 6, 2012

Cumbria Christmas Cracker 2011 Cycle Sportive

The Christmas Cracker Cycle Sportive was postponed in 2010 to February 2011.  I had bought me new bike a few weeks before so was keen to get out and have a go at something like this.  The route is a fairly easy 57 mile round route, it takes in a few hills but none of the major Lakeland passes.  The biggest hills being Red Bank behind Grasmere and the slog up past Grizedale Forest.

This was the first sportive event I had entered and, like a lot of things lately, I learnt a lot from just having a go.

It was very cold in February but I think I could have got away with slightly less in the way of clothing.

Sportives are supposed to be fun events but there were a lot of entrants who took themselves and their cycling very seriously.  A few commented, in a rather condescending way, that I didn't have clip in shoes and was cycling in toe straps.

For the most part though, it was a lot of fun.  It was great experience cycling with lots of other people, I was able to see what it was like being part of a pack and drafting behind other riders.

It took me around some roads that I was unfamiliar with.  It was nice to have the route planned out and a brilliant cake stop at the scout hut in Cartmell (although this may also have marked my first vegan slip).

After doing this event, I signed up for the Lake District 100, a much tougher 100 mile sportive that takes in some of the major passes.  In 2011, I backed out of it having done no training and have put it off to 2012.  I feel much more confident in having a go this year having conquered some of the same passes I will be going over.

taking life seriously at the start

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