Well the Forest of Dean has been on my to do list for a while, and what better way to get it done than to enter an event with friendly marshals, food/water stops and plenty of like minded people.
My day started off nice and early with a 2ish hour drive to get there and a couple of stops enroute for toilet duties and coffee.
Unfortunately ended up riding on my own due to unforeseen circumstances but I wasn’t going to back out now.. Bike ready and waiting
A rookie mistake lining up for the off and not getting there early enough meant I was greeted by this
So I set off from the back of.. Well everybody really, it meant that the first 15miles were more of a grind along with others and pick off a few when I could, we reached the end of the first loop where the field seemed to deplete greatly, I went off to continue the Wye loop which would see me cover another 20ish miles, I’m not gonna lie there was a LOT of climbing involved in this ride which was really testing at times, a few climbs I certainly wasn’t fit enough to make it up (although a slightly smaller front chainring may of helped at times not having a granny ring can have it’s disadvantages!).
By about 10miles into the Wye loop I ended up riding along with a gent called Doug, we were both riding at a similar pace so we just continued on chatting as we went. By the time we got to the split for the forest loop it was a real ride of attrition.. Performance was largely irrelevant for me by then and I just wanted to make it round.
Fortunately we made it, very tired and thoroughly hungry we crossed the line, it was certainly tough going but worthwhile none the less. The friendly marshals and plentiful supply of bananas were a real saviour! I’d certainly consider doing it again next year (hopefully I’ll improve on my time a bit).
Feel free to have a look on Strava
Wild boar chase