I felt like I’d been stabbed in the shoulder multiple times. My hands were wet. My feet numb. My legs aching. But as I weaved through the chicane of the last 100mts along the road I knew we’d done it!
Go back in time 8hrs 17mins 59sec & me & my mate Steve are stood on the start line of the Manchester 100.
This is a 100mile bike ride which starts at Wythenshawe Park in Manchester & weaves its way through the country lanes of Knutsford, Northwick, Tattenhall, Nantwich, Middlewich & Wilmslow before arriving back at Wythenshawe Park after an elevation of 3185ft! The ride is to raise money for The Christies & is organised by bikeevents. At £20 per entry it’s well worth the money.
We set off at our allotted start time of 7:15am after a hearty McDonalds pancake breakfast! 😮 Having not been cycling for a long I felt a tad out of my comfort zone. The distance. The time. Being surrounded by proper ‘club cyclists’ in all the latest Castelli gear all made me feel slightly apprehensive. But off we set through the streets of Manchester passing by the first 2 refreshment stops on a roll. Our 1st stop was about 35miles in. The weather had just started to change, was getting slightly chilly & spitting with rain. We took the opportunity for a quick wee break & bagel fuel stop.
Now I have family that live in Cheshire, flat long country lanes, a breeze I thought this was going to be! Until we hit Delamere Forest & its surrounding hills (or inclines as Steve likes to call them!) It was at this point that I felt a stabbing pain through my left shoulder blade every time I changed gear. The pain in my shoulder was horrendous. My legs were burning on the hills. But what goes up must come down & I was grateful for those downhill sections.
At mile 68 we hit our 2nd pit stop. Coffee, sausage butty, some jelly babies & a mars bar. Fuel up, warm up, shake off the legs! Only 32miles to go!
Those 32miles seemed to take forever! Now I had only really done 30-40 mile bikes rides before on undulating routes & had done a 100km ride the week before to mentally break a distance barrier, but even that is 40miles short of what we were going to achieve on this ride. The weather got worse. The shoulder pain became unbearable to the point I was virtually riding 1 handed but with Steve’s encouragement we pushed through. As I started to get my bearings as we got back into Manchester I started to get slightly emotional. Yes I can ride a bike but how many people can be out there for 100 miles & 8+ hours. This was a huge achievement. Something anyone who has accomplish should be extremely proud of.
We turned into Wythenshawe Park & I could see my family there cheering me on as they always do. A hug & a medal & im a century rider!
Any other century riders out there? Which ones have you done? And would you do it again?