Deloitte Ride Across Britain Day 2

 

Day Two of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain started in the mist of the Kyle of Sutherland but we were soon crossing the water and climbing out of Ardgay and into a bright, clear morning.  

 

Sarah Storey Ride across britain

 

Starting at the back of the field at 8am, both Barney and I were looking forward to seeing riders on the route as we passed them. With some of the riders choosing to come and have a chat or jump on the train for a speedier section, it was great to finally get to meet some of the fundraisers of this year's ride. Of course with the road heading uphill so soon into the stage, Barney and I were seperated and left each other to move through the groups and each meet different people along the way.

 

For quite a while into the first pit stop, as we enjoyed the moorland route from Ardgay to Alness, I was fortunate to catch up with some life long cyclists who knew all about the pacing needed for a stretch of nine days like we are facing. My main companion was one of the UPS riders, another Olympic and Paralympic sponsor like Deloitte, who are also involved with some of the logistics of the ride this year. It was great to chat about racing, especially as he'd been a former team mate of Russ Downing when Russ was just out of the junior ranks some 10-12 years ago.

 

Ride Across Britain Day 2 Ben Nevis

 

After the first pit stop at Muir of Ord, the groups were smaller and I didn't see so many people as the route took us along the side of Loch Ness. On this particular stage last year I'd been riding with former Ironman and CEO of Boardman Bikes, Alan Ingerfield and the entire day had been one hideous wash out with not much opportunity to enjoy the views. In fact along the side of Loch Ness last year, we couldn't really see the water!  This year couldn't have been more different, as not only was I riding solo, I was able to see across the water and to the impressive Glen Mor in the background. It was an impressive sight and definitely a good day for spotting the Loch Ness Monster!

 

All too soon, just like yesterday, the Loch ended and I was descending into Fort Augustus and the final check point and pit stop before the last shorter leg into the finish for the day. Climbing out of the small town I remembered the next bit of the route very well, as on that stretch last year we'd stopped to save a lamb who had got it's head trapped in a wire fence. Passing the same field, I scanned it for stranded animals before pressing on and into the final 15 miles alongside Loch Lochy. It's a rolling stretch of road, some of it resurfaced since last year, which was very welcome as it not only helped lift the speed, it also gave a bit of light relief from being bounced around!

 

The base camp and finish line for the end of stage two is under the impressive vista of Ben Nevis and just north of Fort William, which sits on the banks of Loch Linne. I wasn't the first person home today but I managed to continue my trend of improvement from last year and the training data looks good at first glance; 4 hours 57 minutes in the saddle for around 10 watts less over the same course. Barney has been teasing me because I told him I thought I'd hit a plateau in training and would need to be patient for the next improvement. As I type he is jumping around saying "I told you so!" He too did an impressive ride today, less than 5 hours 30 for the route and I was glad to be able to cheer him on in the final stretch as i jumped in our support car and we went back to hand up extra bottles. I managed to pass him one on a descent as that was the only suitable parking space!

 

Ride Across Britain Day 2 camp

 

If you haven't donated to the cause, please do. If not to sponsor me, then to show your appreciation of the other 500+ cyclists who are completing the route after training for it alongside their full time jobs. Being able to ride alongside so many people is fantastic and everyone is doing a superb job. Until tomorrow....

 

www.justgiving.com/teamstorey

 

@MrsSarahStorey on twitter

 

 

 

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