We’ve done it!
The Mad March hare Sportive 2015. A tale of wind, rain, sleet, beautiful sunshine, and more rain.
We set off from the start line after a little splash of rain and sleet, all in good spirits and looking forward to the ride (if not the climb). The first 30k’s seemed to go quickly as we cycled South through Ullenhall, and further on to cross the river at Welford-On-Avon.
As we carried on through 38 and 50k’s we could see our challenge in the distance, and soon after we turned towards the village of Saintbury it started. For just under two miles it was a low gear grind punctuated by the odd pause to allow the heart to slow down and return back inside the chest. 600 vertical feet later, and a few deep breaths we were rewarded with an amazing view and an even better downhill stint.
The return route crossed itself a couple of times and as we passed the 55km mark the downhill section from the start, turned into an uphill section to the finish. The final 20k’s were a drag on our tired legs and the miles seemed to pass slowly. Every little push from the (sort of) tailwind was a blessing, and the squalls, gusts and freezing rain were not. After a short stop at the refueling point for more flapjacks, energy drink and tea we were on the final 15 miles, and after six and a half hours of pedalling, we turned and saw the finish point – a great feeling, as was the feeling of a bacon sarnie and a tea in the hand.
Frank and I looked on this as a taster for some of the LeJog days – kit performed well: we performed well. Great support from the organisers and other riders – just move it to the Summer please 🙂
And one more thing, would it be too much to ask that the ones who use energy gels, and throw the empties on the road; please don’t. It’s not the best advert for a cycle ride.
Max elevation: 869 ft
Total climbing: 4485 ft