Last night I went to bed feeling pretty awful. I set my alarm to get up for a ride, but it was 50/50 if I’d make it out, or stay in bed.
The alarm went off and I had the usual argument with myself. Get up, go on, you’ll be fine once you’re up. Oh but it is so warm under here and you’re really not well. Etc etc. Eventually I hauled my sorry arse out of bed, under a shower, and put it on a bicycle saddle.
And what a beautiful day it was! Definitely better than staying indoors. A cold, crisp morning – the sun was shining and there were bright blue skies.
The guys I rode with today were previewing the route that the PUNCHEUR sportive takes. I met Morgan, a thoroughly nice bloke and the person behind the event itself, in Brighton and we rode to meet Mark from Cyclosport, who will be previewing the ride on their site, and James from RPM90, who support the PUNCHEUR event.
I knew that I was going to struggle to keep up, let alone with being a bit ill. I fell behind a few times but my companions were kind and slowed down for me (..thanks guys). It was a great experience to ride in a group, and to pick some things up from more experienced riders. If you get an invite, don’t turn down the chance to ride with people who are ‘better’ than you, however good you might be. It is a great way to be pushed a bit more, and there is nothing wrong with a slice of humble pie every now and then. Goes nice with custard, I hear. (Humble Pie is in fact savoury and goes better with mustard than custard. Ed.)
The route itself was beautiful, especially on what was one of the nicest days we have had in weeks. There are some fantastic small roads through Barcombe, Cooksbridge and Fletching, and the views across the Ashdown Forest are the best for miles and miles. I’ve said it before, but there really is nothing more rewarding after a hill than a lovely view.
When I was sick at the top of a (not very big) hill I decided that a shorter loop home might be a good idea, so I let the guys carry on with their longer ride and I hung a right to enjoy the long down hill to Maresfield. From there it’s only about 4 miles to my parents house – so I turned up, sweaty and muddy, to gatecrash their Sunday lunch. What else are parents for?
I’m afraid to say the bike ride didn’t cure my cold – and yes: I threw up, but the important thing is it cured my bad mood, and was infinitely better than staying in and feeling sorry for myself. I’ve got 30-something miles under me and next time I’ll go a little bit further, and a little bit faster. And not be sick.
[P.S. The Puncheur looks to be a great event, and one I intend to ride. Book in here.]