Today we head off to the Derby Velodrome (or Arena if you insist) for the second Cycle Derby Sportive and their first spring one. I had packed shorts and short sleeves for this one but as soon as we arrive the wind blows us off our feet. Time for a rethink. On go the arm warmers, the long trousers and the full fingered gloves.
L is not sure she can manage 50 miles so downgrades to the 30 mile route. She’s not the only one, faced with some challenging conditions many don’t fancy it and the 100 mile route seems sparsely attended.
All the way around the roads of South Derbyshire and Leicestershire the swirling wind never seems to be behind us, always either in your face or blowing sideways. Luckily there aren’t many hills, the few that do come seems to be centred around Swithland in Leicestershire. A place I have un-fond memories of from our orienteering days.
The first stop on my 50 mile route (correction 53 mile route) is on the roadside somewhere just outside Barrow upon Soar, we have done 21 miles but the food stocks aren’t great. They only have energy bars and they are running out fast.
My pace is less than I would have liked but I can’t find anyone to pull me along. In fact I often end up with a group behind me using me as a shield to the wind.
After 43 miles we are somewhere near Breedon on the Hill and a much better stop with plenty of sausage rolls and cheesy pastries. Just 10 miles to go but still the wind hasn’t changed direction.
When I roll across the finish line, it isn’t there. In fact the whole event village is nowhere to be seen, having been blown off Pride Park. They have all moved into the Velodrome foyer where they dispense hot soup and medals.
We celebrate our survival in the evening in the Barrel Drop before eating at the Crafty Crow and having a final night cap at the Hand and Heart.
L thanks me for a very exciting weekend. Which is odd, as it included cycling.
(Sunday 12th April)