News from Day 1 of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain

 

As the Deloitte Ride Across Britain kicked off in John o' Groats, the beautiful weather being enjoyed further south in the country was not evident during the 170km route for the first day of the nine day event.

 

With little more than one hour of darkness at this time of year, the HQ for the event was a hive of activity by the time I rolled up to start at 7am. Riding alongside fellow Paralympians; Barney Storey and Jody Cundy, as well as Olympians Rebecca Romero and James Cracknell, the start of the first day involved photo’s before the ride proper got underway.

 

Photographs courtesy of Phares Photography

 

And then we were off.  Before too long the rain was falling and the 600 strong field was spread out over many, many miles. With a strong headwind and temperatures struggling to get close to 10 degrees, the ride brought back memories of last winter! Thankfully I’d packed in preparation and with almost full winter gear, we ploughed on to get warm.

 

I found myself out front with a former UK Ironman record holder, Alan Ingarfield and now current CEO of Boardman bikes. On discovering Alan’s former racing pedigree it became clear why our 20 mile an hour average was never waning, regardless of how many kilometres clicked by.  The 170km route, that’s just a warm up for an Ironman!

 

We finally pedalled through the last of the rain and started the climb across the north coast of Scotland, passing through Thurso and the curiously named Bettyhill. After around 50 miles, we were grateful for the turn towards the south and the chance of a slight tailwind. Passing through typical narrow Scottish lanes, with passing places, we reminded ourselves this was a major A road and yet there were very few other people out – apart from the 598 riders spread out across the route behind us!

 

As the 3 1/2 hour mark came and went, Alan announced this was to be the longest ride he’d done in 15 years, yet with another 2 hours of riding ahead, no one would ever have guessed. As the wind came to our back wheel, the pace lifted again and we cruised by the side of a beautiful loch, never dropping below 30kph.

 

Photographs courtesy of Phares Photography

 

Finally the end was in sight, as we passed the Falls of Shin and the castle with the 365 windows that stands on the banks of Loch Linne to find our resting place for the night. My power meter stopped at a 230 watts average for the 5 hours 45 minutes and the shower and massage table were a welcome sight!

 

With one day down and the fabulous scenery well and truly introduced to us, not to mention the incredible motorbike marshals and our top notch support team and their legendary jam butties, we are ready and raring to get on with day two!

 

Thanks to Sarah Storey for these updates www.onthedrops.com

 

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