No compaints about the weather today, no moaning about the little climbs I might face along the way. The route was a well known two loop affair, perfect for a 5:20am ride. I like early mornings, even more so when it means I'll avoid the 40mph winds forecast for the afternoon...
Two jerseys, one jacket, one gilet, 2 pairs of socks, 2 bottles, one Clif Bar and pre-ride nutrition of Cornflakes - it was time to ride! Each of the larger loops were around 20 miles long with a section in the middle where I would do 4 loops of a road. Due to such an early morning, and the last day of over 300 miles, I wanted to keep the route simple and flat(ish). The first lap went well, with a little bit of wind resistance during a flat section. Normally, wind like this would irritate and annoy me. But doing this challenge has helped me to embrace the wind, ever so slightly. I then performed three laps of my roundabouted road. A further 10 miles ridden before I soon began the start of the second loop - the home straight was in sight. One more road lap and I was on my way home.
The weather was perfectly dry, apart from the two short and heavy freezing downpours. I couldn't help but smile riding through the torrential rain, car drivers looking a bit perplexed at a cyclist riding in this weather.
I got home, stopped my Garmin and thanks my legs for holding it together this past week.
This was a brilliant way to finish off the year. After a couple of days thinking that I wouldn't actually finish the challenge. I've learnt that a lot about the conditions I can now cycle under - wet rain and wind are now longer excuses for missing rides! In Decemeber 2014 I cycled four times, three of which were on a gym static trainer. A year later and I've ridden over 400 miles in a month, with only 3 of those rides being inside. It's been a great year learning a new sport. I can't wait for 2016 and the adventures I'll be having on my bike!
Total stats - 507k, 8 days, 9 rides, 22 hours of cycling and apparently nearly 20,000ft of elevation gain.
I've just taken part in the Rapha Festive 500 challenge on Strava. Cycling 500k in 8 days from the 24th-31st December. I've tweeted,instragmmed and blogged my journey. You can catch all the posts here - #Festive500.