Monday, 26 December 2011

An imperial century !

I know rapha are looking for stories just as much as the miles, so with this being my longest ride, you get a long story.

I spoke briefly with my Friend Espen last night on the phone and asked him to join me today. Luckily for me he said it would be an adventure.

I met him half way to Kristiansand and when he asked how long we were going I simply replied with " a long way ".

To put this in context, we are both budding mountain bikers and closet roadies ( I suppose that secret is out now ), and " A long way " in mountain bike talk is about 70-80km`s.

Keeping with the festive spirit, I filled my pockets with some Norwegian Christmas goodies like the marzipan pig I mentioned on an earlier post along with "kransekake" which loosely translated is an almond biscuit/cake.

Being a mtb`er, the only winter-type shoes I have are these free ride shoes from shimano. They weigh a tonne but have enough room for a good thick pair of woolly socks.

Anyway, back to the plot. I left my house at 06.00am and met with Espen at 07.00am. He came smiling with no Idea of what was to come.

Last night it was really windy, so there were fragments of trees and rock blown on the road and because we have a warm front the temperature had risen to +4 degrees when we left and was about 6 Celsius when we got home.
The snow had all but melted but the roads were full of gravel and the rivers were bursting their banks.

Here is you watching me, watching you Espen

After about 70km`s we were hit by the tail end of the storm (aptley named hurracane Dagmar ) and endured drizzle at first, which turned into torrential reign. We had a very strong head wind and the smile on Espens face had all but disappeared. Feeling sorry for the guy I jumped on his front wheel and towed him down to the coast. Now while most sensible people would be avoiding the coastline, in a storm, we had to face it head on. The wind in my ears was slowly making me insane, it was really unbearable! "Make it STOP!"

Luck was Finaly on our side as the headwind turned to a rear facing side wind, and as we were nearing home, Espens` face started to smile again.

Espen  " There are two types of winter training, before, and after fitting mudguards "

Today's tally was recorded over on my Strava logg and totalled 160km`s, 1,763 meters of climbing, 4,656 calories burned in a time of 7 hours 35 minutes.

I`ve also made a short film and I`ll post it up shortly. (I need to spend some quality time with my family)

...................and here it is.

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