I had no idea of the route, not until the day before the event.
An explanation for this is in case the organisers need to make some adjustments for roadworks etc.
Anything that could be considered dangerous to the riders would obviously have to be taken into consideration.
My own belief is that If the course were announced earlier people might make other arrangements.
Like gardening.............or gentle ride out to the pub for a spot of lunch.
I know sportives are meant to be challenging but I don't think that you should be frothing at the mouth like a horse who has just carried an overweight jockey around the grand National course!!
Depending on which calculation I use my maximum heart rate should be between 168 and 174 bpm - not 183 as some ascents dictated.
To say I enjoyed the ride would be similar to saying I enjoy unblocking a toilet.
Whilst the event was taking place it was thoroughly unpleasant and I felt nauseous.
However once it was over there was a definate a sense of achievement, I got through all the crap and cameout the other side and my recovery was instant.
Don't get me wrong I like climbing and descending as it usually occurs in areas of outstanding beauty, where the vantage point is often amazing.
When the slopes of a more extreme nature you see very little going up through the tears and sweat in your eyes and coming down its all a bit of a blur.
So lets recap.....30 minutes climbing ,90 seconds descent....for about 6 and a half hours.
No time for recovery, or for idle chit chat.
Most of my dialogue was in the grunt form, starting with the word 'OH' and followed by words mostly begining with the letters F or S.
To be frank I was not good company for Mark and Bob.
In one of my Favorite films 'The American Werewolf in London', two American backpackers are warned 'Stay on the road, don't go near the Moors'.
I was quite envious of my American Mules who were simultaneously completing the Houston to Austin MS 150 - as I ventured out onto the Moor.
This paarticulaar Moor is same locality that I will have to meet again in June when we do the Coast to Coast Ride.
On the plus side I will have a triple chain set and be on my tourer.
On the downside I will have a heavier bike, two heavily loaded panier's (One with girls stuff!!!!) So even heavier still.
My next sportive in two weeks promises the same amount of climbing but with lower elevations.
I have ordered a new rear cassette which should soften the blow.
I asked if they had any with 100 teeth.
The man in the shop looked at my frame (not the bike frame) and smiled.
Gravity can be a killer you know.