Today started COLD and moist…..But that didn’t matter, for today was the biggest challenge of my short cycling life.
The Bruntwood Ellipse 2011.
A challenging 55 Mile route with 4 leg stinging, lung busting climbs, a ride of this sort isn’t something I would have WANTED to do last year, never mind BE ABLE TO .
My self-set challenge for the day, was to stick with “Tommo” for at least 20 miles, let’s remind you all of Tommo and Gaz again eh ?
Sure, I’m a “little” lighter than I used to be but hey ho, Tommo is a freakin machine who runs marathons for “FUN” !
Tommo, I can’t thank you enough for being the “Best Mentor EVER” Right, enough of this gooey sh….ow of emotions.
I’d met Andy and Tommo had met Paul, we all set off together at 8.30, I got a little excited and got in a breakaway early on and for the first 5 or so miles was averaging over 20 mph per mile, I realised that Tommo and co had dropped back and that, with around 4000ft of climbing heading my way, the pace was suicide, so I back off, Tommo caught up and the other 2 were never seen again.
Tommo put a lot of faith in me up the first climb and we did it, we made it together, then onto the second, long ass drag of a climb, I stayed with him till half way and then boom, the pace was just a little too much and I slipped back.
Sadly my view for the next few miles was of Tommo’s butt, but I’d held on for 25 miles so it was job done !
From there on out, it was survival , pure & simple !
I was doing things that I NEVER thought I could, I had chosen not to ride the Manchester 100 this year, so I could concentrate on this event, would it be worth my while ? or would I disgrace myself ?
Hitting the climbs, sure I got passed, but I was either staying with or passing the majority of people, this ride was no “Blackpool” it was full of serious cyclists on serious bikes and I was there, mixing it with them, but better was still to come.
The views at the top of each of the 4 climbs were all equally STUNNING !
Throughout the day there was a small group of us that passed each other a few times, with 15 miles to go, we had all managed to fall in line, there was 8 of us in this group and every single one of us thought the same “The climbs are over, lets GUN IT !”
and boy did we !
Almost every single one of the last 15 miles was done at an average of over 20 mph, we were all taking turns on the front, working for each other, this group of men, who didn’t know each other and hadn’t said anything, were like a TdF Break away, we were catching lone riders and spitting them out of the back of us like a Unrelenting herd of wolves and you know what ? ….I WAS PART OF THAT MACHINE………..ME !!!!!!
with 10 miles to go my thoughts were “Please don’t drop me”
with 5 to go it was “They wont drop me”
with 2 to go it was “I’m gonna out sprint the lot of them”
and I did, we all thanked each other for some superb riding at the end and with that, it was done.
Sadly I didn’t get a photo/video of the finish, I would have sold it to Eurosport if I had :)
But there is this “Staged” photo of me, at the end, crossing the line.
Now, the numbers, 4 hellish and long climbs, 4000ft of climbing, 55 miles,
Blackpool has less than 1700ft over 62 miles, last year I did that in 3hrs 30mins.
The 2011 Bruntwood Ellipse was done, by myself in 3hrs 25 Mins !!!!!!!!!!! and I can’t begin to tell you just how proud that makes me AND I feel physically like I have just done a much smaller ride AKA I feel fine, not tired, not sore, just happy :)
See, it’s all about challenging YOURSELF, pushing YOURSELF and going beyond your “limits” because, the truth be told, we don’t have any limits, Hope is stronger than fear, don’t let the fear of being unable to do something hold back the hope of wanting to do it, because you CAN do it, whatever your 100% looks like, just make sure you give it !
This was a charity ride, as I have not reached my target of £500 for the Manchester to Blackpool yet, I’d like to ask anyone who wishes to donate to do so on the following link PLEASE.